The City Council will consider an ordinance next month that would temporarily raise wages for grocery and drug store workers. City employees were tasked with providing options for the potential hazard pay, also commonly referred to as “hero pay,” during the council’s Tuesday meeting. Several California cities have enacted such pay increases, usually for grocery store workers, in recognition of the risk they face interacting with the public during the pandemic. Following the council’s 3-2 approval, an ordinance will return to the panel for further discussion and a vote on May 4.
The Burbank City Council sued Tinhorn Flats Saloon and Grill for operating without a permit in February. The restaurant launched a GoFundMe to help afford legal fees. Last week, Burbank Water and Power cut power to the facility. Supporters brought generators. This week, the city padlocked the doors. The eatery cut the latch. The ongoing feud between the city of Burbank and Tinhorn Flats has escalated recently, with the latter circumventing officials’ attempts to enforce local and county rulings made against the restaurant for defying health orders and operating without the required permits.
A local restaurant failed to show this week that it was complying with a ban on in-person dining, a city spokesman said, meaning the City Council could revoke or suspend the business’ permit next month. Tinhorn Flats Saloon and Grill, which has since December operated in open defiance of county and state health orders prohibiting in-person dining, did not provide evidence by a city-imposed Tuesday deadline that it had remedied its violations, public information specialist Jonathan Jones confirmed. A public hearing is scheduled for Feb. 22 at 5 p.m. between the restaurant owner and the City Council, during which the city panel could revoke, suspend or modify Tinhorn Flats’ conditional use permit.
In its last meeting of the year, the City Council was told by municipal staff members that Burbank is required by the state to make room for the construction of 8,751 housing units between 2021 and 2029. As city senior planner Lisa Frank explained to the council on Tuesday, Burbank doesn’t have to actually ensure that its allocation is built within that time frame. In fact, 97% of cities don’t meet their Regional Housing Needs Assessment goals, which are set by the state to address an ongoing lack of affordable housing. Rather, the city must show its housing policies could accommodate that number of units if developers wish to build that many. “It’s not a construction mandate,” Frank said. “A lot of housing that gets produced is sort of dictated by the market. … There [are] a lot of factors that are outside of any jurisdiction’s control.”
After weeks of pressure from some residents — and a bit of backlash from others — the Burbank City Council directed municipal staff members to create a fine enforcing face covering guidelines. The staff still needs to draft an order that the city manager will give, but it will be shaped according to directions the council gave on Tuesday. Notably, the order will not be administered by the Burbank Police Department, something the agency strongly opposed when the matter was raised at previous meetings.