Sunday, December 5, 2021

Los Angeles County agrees with Agoura Hills restaurant that defies outdoor dining restrictions

Los Angeles County has settled its lawsuit with Agoura Hills, which has repeatedly violated health authorities’ outdoor dining ban.

Last week’s settlement ended a months-long standoff that resulted in Cronies Sports Grill operating without public health approval for most of 2021.

According to the settlement agreement, the friends must pay $ 9,999 in compensation for the costs of combating environmental pollution. An additional $ 25,000 in civil fines will be suspended unless the restaurant violates county codes or current county health ordinance.

Friends located on Kanan Road continued to serve visitors outdoors, ignoring the county health ordinance issued in November 2020 due to the rise in COVID-19 cases. David Folds, co-owner of the restaurant, said breaking the order was both a matter of survival and a fight against “excessive government influence.”

County health officials cited the restaurant several times before they suspended and eventually revoked the restaurant’s operating permit in December. The county also sent a termination and abstinence letter to the restaurant.

The ban on outdoor dining was lifted at the end of January. But the bosom friends continued to work without a medical permit, and the county filed a lawsuit later that month.

The city of Agoura Hills also filed a criminal case against the restaurant earlier this year for operating without a business license or medical permit, Foldes said.

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“The only reason he and his partners have settled in the area is because of pressure from the city,” Foldes said.

“The only way they [the city] would have abandoned or postponed this case if we had reached an agreement with the county, ”Folds said Wednesday. He added that the restaurant has passed inspection and is expected to receive a medical permit.

The seeming completion of the Cronies lawsuit is in direct contrast to the situation surrounding Tinhorn Flats in Burbank, which has also repeatedly violated COVID dining restrictions.

As with the Cronies, the county issued several references to Tinhorn Flats and withdrew medical clearance.

The city of Burbank also took action against the restaurant, revoking its conditional use, installing sandbags, a fence and padlock to block the entrance, and getting a judge’s permission to shut down the restaurant.

Lucas Lepejian, the son of the restaurant owner, was arrested several times during the restaurant’s battle with the city, once for removing the city’s sandbags.

This summer, the restaurant was finally evicted from its store.

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