Authorities will allow celebrity chef José Andrés to circumvent ban on gas stoves at his new restaurant

Celebrity chef José Andrés will be allowed to use gas stoves in his new restaurant despite California ban, because otherwise he would have to redo his menu.

The California Building Code change, effective from January, means all new buildings must be all-electric to reduce the state’s nitrogen oxide emissions.

Lawyers for the real estate group that will house the restaurant have threatened legal action if Andrés’ project, Zaytina, cannot have a gas stove.

Anna Shimko, a lawyer for The Simon Property Group, wrote in a letter threatening legal action that Zaytinya relies on “traditional cooking methods that require gas appliances to achieve its complex and characteristic flavors.”

“Without a gas connection or appliances, Zaytinya would be forced to alter her signature five-star menu, which she doesn’t want to do,” she wrote to the city in April.

Lawyers for the real estate group that will house the restaurant have threatened legal action if José Andrés' Zaytina project cannot have a gas stove

Lawyers for the real estate group that will house the restaurant have threatened legal action if José Andrés’ Zaytina project cannot have a gas stove

Arguing for the exemption, she claimed that the Stanford Mall, where Zaytinya will be located, applied for the project in 2019 and received approvals from the city’s architectural review board, including for a gas line, which was installed in 2021.

“SPG is convinced that the application of the new Reach Code in this context is legally flawed and unconstitutional, and SPG is therefore ready to take all necessary measures to enforce its legal rights to use gas installations in the EE building. “

“The restaurant would likely move its location out of town if forced to compromise the caliber of its cuisine and its reputation,” the attorney said.

“It would be an unfortunate loss for the people of Palo Alto, as well as a compensable loss for which SPG would be obligated to seek redress.”

Faced with the legal dispute, Palo Alto administrators capitulated and granted the restaurant permission to use natural gas.

The building is “in a unique situation, where portions of the project were built or under construction when the city’s new all-electric building rule went into effect,” so “the city and the mall have agreed that this project unique should be able to continue with gas service consistent with long-established project plans,” city staff said in a May 16 statement.

It comes after the United States recently considered banning all gas stoves on health and safety grounds.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission announced earlier this month that it plans to take action to tackle pollution emitted by gas stoves, which has been linked to higher cases of asthma.

In a statement to Bloomberg News, Richard Trumka Jr., an agency commissioner, called gas stoves a “hidden risk.”

California is on track to phase out new natural gas furnaces and heaters by 2030 after the adoption of a California Air Resources Board (CARB) proposal, making it the first U.S. state to take such a step.

The proposal, included in the 2022 State Implementation Plan (SIP) strategy, is to address nitrogen oxide pollution in the state – homes and buildings generate four times more ozone than all gas-fired power plants in California combined.

The plan, however, will cost around $96.2 billion to apply and new owners will have to pay for expensive electric options in the future.

The report comes just a month after California announced a ban on the sale of new gas-powered cars.

CARB Chair Liane Randolph said in a statement, “While this strategy will clean the air for all Californians, it will also result in reduced emissions in the many low-income and disadvantaged communities that are experiencing higher levels. persistent air pollution.

“But to truly meet the ozone standard, California needs more federal action to clean up harmful diesel pollution coming primarily from federally controlled sources, from locomotives and ocean-going ships to airplanes, all of which are concentrated. in communities that continue to bear the brunt of poor air quality.

“We simply cannot provide clean air to Californians without the federal government doing its part.”

The new ban is part of California government Gavin Newson’s climate campaign and aims to meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations to limit ozone in the atmosphere to 70 parts per billion – 21 million people living in the state exceed this standard.

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