Berkeley BBQ Business Being Harassed
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KC's BBQ, a reputable Berkeley business has been issued an unreasonable violation by the Berkeley city planning department due to complaints from the neighbors about smoke and BBQ odor.
KC's BBQ has been opened for a little under one year with all the proper permits and licenses. When KC's BBQ initially moved in at 1235 San Pablo Ave, (Berkeley), a neighbor wrote a letter to the city opposing the restaurant transfer and insinuated that the neighborhood did not need any more restaurants. One of KC's BBQ owners expressed they thought that complaint was odd, due to the fact that a previous restaurant had just moved out and KC's BBQ would replaced them. Turns out the neighbor seems to have complained previously about another BBQ restaurant (T-REX) and even the local McDonalds.
About two months into getting settled, KC's BBQ received its first complaint from neighbors. A neighbor wrote KC's BBQ via email and inquired about the smoke from coming from their fully permitted FEC750 smoker. KC's BBQ Owners instantly responded and advised the neighbors that the smoker had been previously approved by the city before the doors opened to the public. The owners also reassured the neighbors that they we burning clean fuel (wood pellets).
KC's BBQ owners took additional steps to work with the neighbors through this dispute. Although not required by the City of Berkeley, KC's BBQ owners purchased and installed additional equipment, an additional smoke stack and an additional filter, to further reduce the smoke out put. The FEC750 is a top of the line smoker that tends to produce about as much smoke as your average outdoor weber grill.
Even, after the installation of the additional smoke stack and filters, KC's BBQ noticed that the city departments were making inspections more frequently than they have ever experienced in 50 years of doing business in Berkeley. Over the course of the two months, they counted between 6-8 inspections. They were visited by several City of Berkeley departments including fire, health, environmental, planning, development, and state of California Air Quality Control. Normal health inspections occur quarterly and the other departments once a year or only before getting your initial business license. After each of these inspections, KC's BBQ was cleared for regular business and NO violations were found/issued.
Since KC's BBQ opened their doors with all their proper permits and licenses, they have never once been in violation or cited.
On December 7th, the City of Berkeley planning department served KC's BBQ with a Notice of Violation stating that we are in violation of their use permit and a nuisance ordinance. This violation instructed KC's BBQ to cease and desist the operation of their smoker immediately. Basically telling them to shut down their business, the smoker is essentially their only way to BBQ.
The owners are Berkeley natives and have had this business in the city of Berkeley 50 years. KC's BBQ a now 3rd generation business is seeking support from all City Council members and the community at large to undercover the details of this matter for timely resolve.
This matter has put a huge damper on KC BBQ's holiday and the beginning of 2019. We insist on resolving of this matter. Local businesses are important engines that fuel our economy.
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