Calla Lily Crepes defies indoor ban; 3 other businesses back in operation
While nearly all Nevada County restaurants are now in compliance with last month’s state order prohibiting indoor dining operations, for the last week Calla Lily Crepes has become the latest defiant business, county officials said.
After spending weeks bringing into compliance three other businesses — Sergio’s Caffe, Old Town Cafe, and Friar Tuck’s — the County Environmental Health Department served Calla Lily with a notice of violation last Friday for continuing indoor operations. Since receiving the notice, the business continued both indoor and outdoor operations and asked for clarification about the violation process but otherwise hasn’t communicated with the county, Environmental Health Director Amy Irani said.
Calla Lily owners couldn’t be reached for comment.
“Their permit is suspended, so any operation from the date of suspension constitutes a violation,” Irani said. “The minute your permit gets suspended you’re essentially required to close by law. You can’t do any operation.”
According to Irani, the business could face daily fines for operating indoors, as well as additional penalties up to three times the annual cost of a permit for operating while theirs is suspended.
Fines start at $25 and double each day, to a maximum of $1,000 a day.
The other three businesses had their permits temporarily reinstated Aug. 3 after agreeing to stop serving indoors and working with the county on COVID-19 business plans.
“Recognizing that they are willing to cease the dine-in operations per the state health order, which was the ultimate goal, we were able to reinstate their permit,” she said. “We understand this is a very hard time for everyone, this is not about fines or the county gaining anything from this, it’s all about protecting public health and that’s our only goal.”
The three businesses are working with the County Counsel’s Office in reaching a resolution toward almost $5,000 in fines each, which have been stayed while talks continue.
Calla Lily was previously being monitored by the county for violating indoor operations orders, but came into compliance when reached out to by environmental health. It then fell out of compliance, which led the county to suspend its permit.
The ongoing violation comes as an ordinance that would have allowed local officials to enforce COVID-19-related orders through fines was defeated by the Board of Supervisors this week.
To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4229.
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