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Soylent CEO Apologizes For That Ridiculous Hilltop Shipping Container

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Robert Rhinehart, the CEO and founder of meal-replacement producer Soylent, has issued an apology for the ridiculous shipping container he placed on a hill in Montecito Heights and says he has finally removed it.

Rhinehart purchased the land atop a hill nicknamed "Flat Top" which locals had successfully kept developers away from for years, and plopped a bright red shipping container on the parcel as some sort of "experiment in sustainable living." Unfortunately for him, this drew the ire of neighbors and officials, who say he didn't have the proper permits for the container.

The container eventually became a magnet for vandalism, and after refusing to comply with officials or remove it altogether, the city filed charges against Rhinehart, making him face the possibility of a $4,000 fine and two years in jail.

The container was eventually hauled off on Thursday, according to the L.A. Times, and on Monday Rhinehart wrote a public apology on his personal blog:

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Over the last week, there have been news reports regarding my shipping container project on Flat Top Hill. I have since removed the container, and brought the land in to compliance with city building and safety codes. I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to my neighbors who I upset. As a first time property owner, the container was meant to be an experiment in sustainable housing. In the future, I will ensure that I do my due diligence with regard to all city and neighborhood regulations. Flat Top Hill is a gem of Los Angeles, and I intend to make only positive contributions to the neighborhood and community going forward.

Despite the removal of the container, Rhinehart is still due in court in September. "While we still encourage compliance, the filing of criminal charges comes as a result of the repeated failure to do so," Los Angeles City Attorney spokesman Frank Mateljan told LAist.