CITY: Owner Threatened Code Enforcement Officer.
Details Revealed After Weeks Of Public Record Requests, Citizen Complaints About Noise, Parking, COVID Compliance.
BY ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC
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BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Boca Raton’s “Aloha Food Shack” on Federal Highway is the subject of multiple citizen complaints, concerns over social distancing, loud music, parking violations and alleged COVID-19 business violations. The owner, according to a city report, threatened a code enforcement officer in front of a City of Boca Raton police officer.
After weeks of asking the City of Boca Raton for its enforcement records and a current policy statement, the City finally provided information that shows code enforcement officers have spent considerable time visiting, observing and at least twice citing Aloha Food Shack.
Photos provided to BocaNewsNow.com over several months show a routinely packed patio for “Sunday Morning Brunch.” Very few people appear to be wearing masks. The patio appears to be extremely crowded. The photos suggest it’s an ongoing issue.
After we published the latest photo, Aloha apparently installed a bamboo fence to prevent people from seeing what’s going on. That was enough for code enforcement officers to move in.
On January 25, 2021, Boca Raton Code Enforcement logged this report:
“Business has installed bamboo fence around the front portion of the patio. (Boca Raton) Code Enforcement (told the owner) that a fence permit is needed for the structure. Additionally, the outdoor seating plan was discussed. It was determined that the property does not have sufficient parking for the amount of customers served at the business.”
Later that day, this entry was logged:
“Spoke with the business owner, Theresa, and advised her of the violation for the fence installed without a permit. She stated she understood and would submit the fence permit application as soon as possible.”
This entry was also recorded:
“Immediately upon receipt of this notice of violation, comply off street parking requirements of one parking space for each 35 square feet of gross floor area excluding food preparation areas, drink preparation areas, storage areas and other areas not directly utilized by the public in patronizing such establishments, plus one motor vehicle parking space for each two liner feet of bar, per this ordinance and maintain property in compliance thereafter.”
The fine was just $100. But it suggests the City of Boca Raton is building a case. To be clear: not every visit resulted in a violation. Aloha was in compliance multiple times. We have left messages for Aloha management over several weeks but have received no response. BocaNewsNow.com welcomes an official statement.
These notes were also logged from other visits:
January 10th: “Received police dispatch in regards to over occupancy and no masks or social distancing. Upon arrival, the outdoor patio observed filled with a DJ performing. Made contact with manager Theresa. She explained they hold brunch from 11-3 on Sundays and that their occupancy is 50 indoor and an additional 200 for the outdoor. Based on this they are within occupancy, however, further research is needed to verify if that occupancy is accurate based upon their seating plan. The State of Florida has suspended any fines or citations for individuals not wearing mask or social distancing, all star were observed to be wearing masks, no other observations to note.”
While the Code Enforcement Officer’s narrative is correct in terms of individual mask compliance fines, businesses can be fined if managers are not enforcing mask use or social distancing. We have asked the City of Boca Raton for clarity on why the business was not cited or warned for apparent COVID social distancing violations.
On December 20th, 2020: “Received Boca PD referred complaint: noise, disturbing the peace. Drove behind the property (between 2160 and 2170 NE 5th Circle) and clearly heard bass coming from the establishment. (The officer) drove and parked across the street (5th Avenue Shops) and clearly heard a DJ playing loud/excessive music. It appears that they saw the City vehicle(s) and decided to lower the volume down. However, they were in violation of code sec. 10-55: noise from buildings or premises. Requested PD as backup. Met with business owner, Howard, and manager on Duty, Therese, and both were advised of the complaint, violation, and direct citation that was going to be issued. Both of them disagreed with the direct citation and stated that they are being harassed. Direct citation was issued at 2:35 pm. Note; business owner made verbal threat to code officer in front of responding police officer.”
City officials visited Aloha Food Shack or logged activity in its database on September 30th, October 8th, October 29th, November 19th, December 3rd, December 8th, December 10th, December 11th, December 12th, December 13th, December 15th, December 17th, December 18th, December 19th, December 20th, December 22nd, December 23rd, December 24th, December 27th, December 30th, January 1st, January 3rd, January 8th, January 9th, January 10th, January 16th, January 17th, January 23rd, January 25th, January 26th.
This article will be updated if Aloha responds.
Several Aloha “fans” contacted BocaNewsNow.com after we published the most recent photos to remind us that “COVID isn’t real,” “more people die from the flu,” “Democrats want to impose martial law,” “Governor DeSantis is a God and is the only person correctly managing COVID,” and, “you’re probably not bad people at BocaNewsNow.com, you should join us for a beer so you can see that you can drink in a crowd and not catch COVID. We’ll even buy.”
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