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Outdoor dining for me, but not for thee: Beverly Hills unanimously rejects LA County order to shutter dine-in restaurants

Outdoor dining for me, but not for thee: Beverly Hills unanimously rejects LA County order to shutter dine-in restaurants
Upscale California community Beverly Hills’ city council has unilaterally rejected a county-wide order to shut down outdoor dining at restaurants, demanding the order be repealed and threatening legal action against LA County.

Council members in the tony enclave voted unanimously on Tuesday to oppose LA County’s outdoor dining ban, demanding the county instead “focus on implementing restrictions based on data and localized to the area of the outbreak” – which many have interpreted as blaming the county’s less-wealthy residents for spreading the coronavirus. 

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The existing restrictions have a “detrimental impact on local businesses” despite a “lack of scientific evidence,” the council stated in the resolution. They have called for a motion to repeal the ban to be placed on the agenda for next week’s LA County Board of Supervisors meeting and have also ordered the city’s attorney to look into legal action against the county. 

The council also asked staffers to explore the idea of creating a city health department specifically for Beverly Hills, which would allow the area’s wealthy inhabitants to escape from under the thumb of the LA County Health Department. Such a move would be following the example of Pasadena – the one city in the county that has managed to remain open despite the county-wide closure order. 

While some criticized Beverly Hills for being a “cesspool of the self-obsessed” in trying to keep restaurants open for its wealthy inhabitants, requesting restrictions be based on “actual data related to a particular industry, sector or area and not be applied unilaterally to every jurisdiction” sounded quite sane to others.

It may be a moot point soon enough, however. LA County reported more than 7,500 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, leading Governor Gavin Newsom to threaten to impose a sweeping stay-at-home order on the area.

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