Huntington Beach’s Corner Market Continually Penalized by Code Enforcement

By Drew Van Voorhis
Drew Van Voorhis
Drew Van Voorhis
Drew Van Voorhis is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. He has been a journalist for four years, during which time he has broken several viral national news stories and has been interviewed for his work on both radio and internet shows.
December 7, 2021 Updated: December 8, 2021

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.—A local Huntington Beach eatery claimed that it’s been unfairly harassed by the city’s code enforcement for over five years, for which a petition has been created online last month and is now supported by almost 4,000 people.

HB Corner Market, located on the corner of 11th Street and Acacia Avenue, has been “plagued with multiple code enforcement citations that are egregious and debilitating,” according to a change.org petition with close to 4,000 signatures to get the city to stop the citations.

In late October, the restaurant was fined $3,000 for having bistro tables in the easement area in front of the building, though they had been operating this way for three years. After the owner removed the tables and spoke at a community development meeting, the restaurant was still fined, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page.

“I have tried to comply to items they have asked me to do but I am always promised if I do one thing I will be left alone and then they find something else. … The laundry list of demands will never end,” an Oct. 25 Facebook post reads. “So now they are fining me to death which I suppose they believe will eventually force me out. They are not only fining the business, they fine me personally and they are fining the landlord!”

The restaurant was also fined $6,000 around the same time for cleaning a table located on the patio area, of which the ownership is still disputed, according to the business owner.

“I am a small business owner trying to promote the same community that is trying so desperately to shut my doors,” the post reads.

On most days, according to the Facebook page, a code enforcement officer will be watching from outside the restaurant, waiting for something citable, including if the patio gets stepped on.

At a Huntington Beach City Council meeting in November, City Manager Oliver Chi said the city met and was working with the owner and proprietor of the restaurant to resolve the disputes.

“What I’m happy to report is that based on current discussions that we’ve had with the Corner Market, it does feel like we’re on a pathway to reaching an amicable resolution related to the code-enforcement-related issues,” Chi said.

Given “the progress that’s been made recently,” Chi said, the case was ultimately removed from the formal meeting agenda by the city council and was no longer an item for further discussion.

One of the landlords of the building, Ashley Schrimpf, was not physically in the council meeting but had a text message read aloud by a public commenter, refuting Chi’s earlier remarks in the meeting.

“Based on the comments that were made by our city manager, we have not spoken to anyone from the city, and there has not been a resolution as was stated tonight during the council meeting. They did try to make a deal and wanted a signature [on the day of the meeting] so they could say they are working with us. Nothing was signed, nothing has been agreed upon. It’s all lies.”

Angered by the city’s removing the case, many supporters of the restaurant publicly spoke up, recounting the “small-town feel” the restaurant has been giving to the Huntington Beach community.

The city of Huntington Beach didn’t respond to an inquiry from The Epoch Times for comment.

Drew Van Voorhis is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. He has been a journalist for four years, during which time he has broken several viral national news stories and has been interviewed for his work on both radio and internet shows.