by Photo City of Chula Vista

The Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce held a virtual committee meeting this morning to discuss the impacts that a Microenterprise Home Kitchen Ordinance (MEHKO) can have on the city and its residents.

Councilmembers Jill Galvez and John McCann voiced their concerns over the safety and feasability of implementation and enforcement. "We're going to have a vector control issue and that leads to plague, that leads to all kinds of bad things happening that affect all of our health," Galvez stated. " Another concern, there are just so many unintended consequences of this well-meaning legislation to help create equity, where people may be suffering during the pandemic financially. The intention is there to help people become entrepreneurs, but that impacts the rest of us and the environment and the collective good." She added.

Councilmember John McCann added that "Both [Jill Galvez] and I were vehemently opposed to supporting this, and wanted to write a letter in opposition. Unfortunately the rest of the council wanted to look into it more". He also pointed out the unique characteristic of the city,  "Clearly it's a state law that allows the counties to make the decision. Chula Vista is much different than La Jolla, or Poway." In regard to the feasability of the ordinance he pointed out "This is an unfunded liability for the city, the state and the county are saying you need to do this and allow all these restaurants, but ultimately the enforcement and everything that needs to get done are going to be on the city" 

Molly Kirkland Director of Public Affairs for Southern California Rental Housing Association, an organization that represents owners and renters, spoke of the potential impacts of this ordinance. "I remember when this legislation came forward we expressed concern… this was pre-Covid. The idea was to help communities that were food deserts. Nobody would ever call Chula Vista a food desert, there is such a wealth of wonderful options." Kirkland said, adding that there were many concerns raised by this ordinance, "… [under] most leases you can't operate a business out of your rental, not sure if that supercedes this legislation or not.",  She added the logistical concern of residences "There's certainly the concern of fats, oils and greases on older properties and whether their infrastructure can even handle that. Noise, other residents in the community have a right to quiet enjoyment, and there's very little that restricts hours of operation."

On Sept. 28 the council decided to wait on the decision until the end of October, but that did not happen.

Follow this link To learn more about the details of the MEHKO Ordinance

To read our previous report on Chula Vista Council follow this link.

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