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What business owners can learn from the Sriracha hot sauce controversy

Irwindale's council members will vote Wednesday, May 14 if hot sauce maker Sriracha is a public nuisance or not. The council meeting begins at 6:30pm.

Many cities and counties have ordinances in addition to California state law, says Anthony. Business owners are responsible to know their local nuisance ordinances.
Anthony Marinaccio

If the council votes the claimed noxious odors have been a problem for some of the 1,466 residents and have made them sick the company will have 90 days to address the problem.

Attorney Anthony Marinaccio of Glendale has this advice for business owners in LA County: "It's important for local property and business owners to be aware what their communities consider a public nuisance, and if currently cited by a city or local government to quickly defend their position."

Irwindale is home to about 700 businesses. Sriracha is located on the eastern side of Azusa Canyon Road and south of Arrow Highway, placing it about one block from a residential neighborhood.

"A nuisance affects an entire neighborhood at the same time," Anthony told me. "Each person, however, may be affected differently."

He said the California Civil Code Section 3479 defines a public nuisance as "one that is injurious to the health, is indecent or offensive to the senses, or an obstruction to the free use of property."

Cities and counties have ordinances with more details on what makes a public nuisance.

The City of Irwindale has pursued Hong Fong Foods through a civil action in Los Angeles County Superior Court and through an administrative procedure at its City Council meeting.

Further information is available through the Marinaccio Law website.

Council chambers are at 5050 N. Irwindale Ave. in Irwindale.