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Outdoor Dining Expansion Closer To Becoming Permanent In Los Angeles County

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Los Angeles County Outdoor Dining COVID19

Outdoor dining expansions in Los Angeles County are closer to becoming permanent after the Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to establish new guidelines and support state legislation.

The motion, co-sponsored by Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn, calls upon staff to establish permanent Countywide guidelines for expanded outdoor dining spaces in sidewalks, alleys and parking facilities.  

“We should make every effort to ensure this program becomes a permanent option for eateries throughout the region,” Barger said. “This is a valuable resource for the restaurant and hospitality industry, which was devastatingly impacted by the COVID-19 closures.”

The supervisors also requested staff to develop a plan to transition all temporary outdoor dining participants into the permanent outdoor dining program, including assisting the

restaurant owners with identifying suitable locations.

“Outdoor dining should be one of the things we hold on to after the pandemic is over,” Hahn said. “Restaurants have appreciated it, diners have embraced it, and we have the beautiful weather to make it enjoyable all year long.”

In a separate motion, Barger and Hahn instructed County officials to support two bills aimed at streamlining outdoor operations for restaurants.

Senate Bill 314 would help streamline alcohol sales by allowing current licensees under Alcoholic Beverage Control’s (ABC) emergency relief order a grace period of one year after the emergency order is lifted to apply for a permanent expansion of their license.

This bill would also allow bars and restaurants to share commercial space with other bars and restaurants, or with non-alcohol-serving businesses, by permitting the use of a shared location within a single licensed building, according to the motion.

Assembly Bill 61 is expected to assist restaurants in continuing to expand their outdoor dining options.

One of the key features of this bill would be to temporarily waive certain requirements and allow restaurants to utilize their own parking spaces for outdoor dining, as well as extending relief from certain ABC requirements. Specifically, this bill would provide ABC with the flexibility to make temporary changes to existing alcohol licenses and develop a policy for third-party delivery of alcohol, according to the County. 

“Restaurants are a vital part of every community. Sharing a meal gives people a chance to get together and build stronger relationships,” the motion reads. “After over a year of displacement from normal life, we as a county should support restaurants in order to help rebuild our personal connections.”

To read the full motions, visit here

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Tinhorn Flats Evicted From Burbank Property After Repeated Violations

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Tinhorn Flats

Tinhorn Flats, a Burbank bar that repeatedly deified orders to close during the pandemic, has been evicted from its Magnolia Park building. 

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department turned over possession of the Tinhorn Flats’ location to the property owner, Isabelle Lepejian, as the last step in the eviction process she initiated against the establishment, according to the City of Burbank.

The eviction proceeding is a separate legal action from the recent temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction issued by the Los Angeles County Superior Court in the City’s civil suit against Tinhorn Flats for continuing to operate after revocation of its public health permit and Conditional Use Permit.  

The permanent permit was revoked by the Burbank City Council on Feb. 22, citing Tinhorn Flats’ “flagrant disregard for life safety and violations” of the Los Angeles County Health Officer Orders, which endangered the public health, safety and welfare, along with creating a public nuisance, according to the City.

In March, the building was “red-tagged” as part of multiple attempts to prevent the establishment from operating after COVID-19 violations.

Tinhorn Flats co-owner, Lucas Lepejian, 20, was later arrested after removing sandbags placed by the City of Burbank in front of the establishment to prevent anyone from entering, due to the unsafe conditions, according to the Burbank Police Department (BPD).

Isabelle Lepejian is the mother of Lucas and ex-wife of Baret Lepejian, who is the other co-owner of the establishment.

The Tinhorn Flats owners said they are raising money for a legal defense fund to reopen the restaurant. 

“We will not comply with tyrannical rules and closures,” the owners said. 

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$5 Hazard Pay For Frontline Workers Approved By City Of Burbank For 60 Days

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Grocery Store Worker COVID-19 Hero Pay

A $5 per hour hazard pay has been approved by the Burbank City Council for essential frontline grocery and drug store workers. 

On Tuesday, May 18, the City Council adopted a hazard pay ordinance that temporarily requires grocery and drug store employers to provide an additional $5 per hour hazard pay to certain employees working frontline positions, as compensation for the hazards they face during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The new ordinance is set to take effect on June 18 and will last 60 days, according to the ordinance. 

Employees working for Burbank grocery stores, drug stores, or large retailers that sell groceries or drug products may be entitled to the hazard pay. The store must employ more than 10 people, is a publicly traded company, and/or employs 300 or more workers nationwide, according to the City. 

Through this ordinance, the City of Burbank seeks to sustain the stability of the food, medicine, and other necessities supply chains by supporting the essential workers who continue to work during the pandemic, and thereby safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the public. 

This move comes at the heels of similar measures enacted by the County and City of Los Angeles. 

On Feb. 27, a County of Los Angeles “hero pay” took effect and lasted 120 days in unincorporated areas of the County. 

The City of L.A. followed with their own “hero pay” for grocery and drug store workers on March 2, and is set to expire on June 2.

This new hazard pay for the City of Burbank is expected to take effect on June 18 and will last 60 days.

More information on the Burbank hazard pay can be found here.

For questions about the ordinance and the City’s Economic Recovery Plan, contact the City of Burbank Economic Development at (818) 238-5180. 

To file a complaint against a business that is noncompliant with this ordinance, contact the City of Burbank Code Enforcement at (818) 238-5225. 

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Canyon Country Movie Theater Now Open After Over Yearlong Closure

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Canyon Country Movie Theater Regal Edwards
Photo Courtesy of Yelp

The Canyon Country Regal Edwards movie theater opened on Friday after an over yearlong closure due to the pandemic. 

All three movie theaters in the Santa Clarita Valley are now open, following the reopening of the Regal location in the Valencia Town Center and the grand opening of the Laemmle Theatre in Newhall.  

Movie theaters were closed on March 15, 2020, and were first allowed to reopen as Los Angeles County entered the “red” tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy in March 2021.

On Thursday, new guidelines under the least-restrictive “yellow” tier of the blueprint were implemented under a modified health officer order.  

Theaters are able to operate at 50% capacity, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

Reserved seating only where each group is seated with at least six feet of distance between any other groups in all directions.

Seating sections can be established for fully vaccinated people without six feet distancing requirements provided there is three feet of distance between these sections and other seats in the theater.

Regal employees are expected to undergo daily health screenings including temperature checks where mandated and will be required to wash hands at minimum every 30 to 60 minutes, dependent on job role, according to the company.

Guests are required to wear a face mask at all times while in the theatre lobby and auditoriums. This includes face shields with masks or appropriate nose and mouth coverings.

“We will provide masks to guests who arrive at the theatre without one,” Regal officials said. “Masks can be removed only while eating and drinking while seated in an auditorium.”

Regal’s reservation system is expected to maintain two empty seats between groups, or one seat at recliner locations, to maintain proper social distancing throughout the movie theater.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit here.

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