By Miriam Raftery
October 10, 2021 (El Cajon) – On Tuesday, October 12, the El Cajon Metropolis Council will contemplate a city staff proposal to ask County Supervisors to choose out of the state’s Microenterprise House Kitchen Operations (MEHKO) program. The proposal earlier than the Metropolis Council, merchandise 12 on the agenda, comes after Supervisors Joel Anderson and Nora Vargas launched a MEHKO measure in September that was permitted in idea by Supervisors, as ECM reported.
The county measure requested employees to draft an ordinance by January 12 to legalize residence kitchen operations to arrange, promote and serve as much as 30 meals per day, or 60 meals per week and earn a most annual income of $50,000. Meals could be restricted to meals which might be consumed the identical day that they’re ready.
Beginning in January 2019, the California Home made Meals Act (AB 626) took impact, giving county legislators authority to undertake ordinances to implement the brand new state regulation to provide home-based cooks an entry into restricted catering or restaurant-type operations. A followup invoice, AB 377, prohibited third social gathering supply providers.
A MEHKO enterprise could be topic to an annual registration and inspection by the County Division of Environmental Well being, and is eligible for an alcohol license from the Alcoholic Beverage Management board. However aside from requiring a enterprise license, no different permits or approvals may very well be required by the town of El Cajon.
Arguments in favor
These in favor of permitting MEHKO companies say it will present extra alternatives to new enterprise house owners together with immigrants and others with out important sources to take a position but in opening a restaurant. Supervisor Anderson has mentioned that seven different California counties or cities have approved MEHKOs and had “super success” although the fashions differ barely.
Anthony Shute, director of neighborhood growth for El Cajon, objects to cities not having a capability to control use. He raises issues over potential impacts on neighbors reminiscent of parking and site visitors, disposal of cooking fat and oils, and offering an “unfair enterprise benefit” over companies that obtained permits and invested into “correctly commercially zoned areas.”
Shute mentioned the county’s Division of Environmental Well being instructed metropolis employees that enforcement of the ordinance’s limitations could be “difficult if not utterly impractical, resulting from a scarcity of staffing.”
El Cajon’s employees proposes that the Metropolis Council vote Tuesday to direct employees to jot down a letter to county officers urging that the county choose out of the state’s MEHKO program.
If the County does transfer ahead to permit MEHKO companies, Shute means that the town should still enable enforcement of nuisance legal guidelines via El Cajon’s municipal code, reminiscent of if a home-based cooking enterprise attracts rodents, generates smoke or creates site visitors issues.