On Monday, February 22, 2021 the Burbank City Council held a four and a half hour long public hearing in consideration to revoke, suspend, or modify the Conditional Use Permit for Tinhorn Flats Saloon & Grill located at 2623 W Magnolia Blvd. Staff recommended to adopt a resolution to revoke the permit for violating the conditions of approvals numbers 31 and 32, violating the Burbank Municipal Code, and creating a public nuisance.
The Community Development Department presented on the recommendation from staff announcing the following timeline of events:
-Between December 7-10, 52 complaints were received.
-LA County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) Staff investigated the allegations on Dec 10, 2020.
-Between December 10-12, staff received 72 additional complaints
-On December 12, 2020 LACDPH suspended Tinhorn Flats public health permit for violating health officer orders
-On January 12, 2021 the county issued a cease and desist order.
-On January 27, 2021 LACDPH revoked Tinhorn Flats’ public health permit
-From December 30, 2020 to February 9, 2021, LACDPH issued 38 citations.
Staff noted that Tinhorn Flats has violated the Burbank Municipal Code Section 10-1-1952(2) in Violation of Health Order and Local Law, and 10-1-1952(3) Public Nuisance. Options presented to the council consisted of revocation, suspension, or modification.
Following the staff presentation, a representative for Tinhorn Flats, Criminal Defense Attorney Alexandra Kazarian, spoke on behalf of the business, stating that Tinhorn Flats has always been in compliance, does not provide indoor dining and that the wait staff does not serve anyone in their outdoor patio. One of the owners, Lucas Lepejian, also spoke on behalf of his father’s business stating that the costs of operating for takeout only are too high and they continued to comply by placing food in to-go containers and disposable cups, while keeping the restaurant sanitized and staff masked.
Public comment was opened up following both presentations and due to the number of callers, the normal three minutes allotted was decreased to two minutes. Community members, small business owners, customers, and neighbors called in and spoke on behalf of both sides, some supporting the restaurant and some asking council to revoke their permit. After public comment, Council Members opened up for questions to city staff and representatives to Tinhorn Flats for more clarification.
The Community Development Department shared evidence regarding the violations presented including declarations from health officers, and photos and videos of Tinhorn Flats not in compliance. A 15 minute rebuttal was offered to Tinhorn Flats in which Kazarian announced that their position they would like the Council to take would be to not take any action or to modify the permit saying that they would abide by the order once a decision has been made in appellate court.
Each council member spoke their thoughts and opinions on the topic based off the evidence provided, the presentations through the night, and the information provided by the public callers. All five Council Members stated that they would be choosing revocation out of the options recommended by staff. Council Member Schultz made a motion to adopt a resolution to revoke the Conditional Use Permit for Tinhorn Flats, Vice Mayor Talamantes seconded the motion, and there was a unanimous vote in favor.
According to Burbank City Attorney Amy Albano, now that council has voted to revoke the permit, Tinhorn Flats must close their business. If they do not comply a civil suit will be filed and an order from the court will be given to close the establishment. She urged the public to be patient, as they may have to wait a little longer to see action being taken. The meeting closed and the next City Council meeting will be on Tuesday, February 23, 2021.