News

Stanford Shopping Center was a hot spot of violations when public health inspectors came calling

Nearly 20 stores were hit with fines up to $1,000 over Black Friday weekend for not following county health officer orders

Shoppers stroll past the many stores and restaurants at Stanford Shopping Center, pre-pandemic. Embarcadero Media file photo by Veronica Weber.

Eighteen stores in the Stanford Shopping Center were fined for violating Santa Clara County COVID-19 health orders over the Black Friday weekend, according to county documents obtained by the Weekly.

Violators included various types of businesses at the major shopping hub on El Camino Real, including the California Pizza Kitchen restaurant and Pinkberry, a frozen yogurt shop. But most stores that were fined in late November were retailers, such as Crate & Barrel, Peloton, Bath & Body Works and Tesla's showroom.

A representative for Stanford Shopping Center declined to comment for this story, and the county's public health inspector did not respond to interview requests. The violation documents were requested by the Palo Alto Weekly in early December and received from the county in early January.

The violation notices came after the county had already warned in a press release that enforcement would increase during the holiday shopping season.

"From Thursday through Sunday of this week, fines issued will not have a grace period and additional compliance staff will be visiting high traffic shopping areas to look out for the public’s safety," the Nov. 24 press release statement said.

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In addition to the countywide warning, the Stanford Shopping Center management team had given heads-up to stores about the increased enforcement efforts, according to a store supervisor of Frette, a bedding and bath linen retail store at the mall, who asked to remain anonymous.

"We were told literally the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, from mall management, that the health department was going to be here that weekend," she said. Frette was not found to have any violations.

Shoppers stroll past the many stores and restaurants at Stanford Shopping Center, pre-pandemic. Embarcadero Media file photo.

Most businesses were handed $250 fines for failing to submit a Social Distancing Protocol document, which outlines how proprietors have made sure to adjust their operation to comply with the county health officer's orders. Others failed to post "revised social distancing protocol signage," which is another $250 dollar fine.

Some stores faced up to $1,000 fines for violating multiple parts of the health order.

Marimekko, a Finnish clothing and furnishing store, for example, was required to pay at least $1,000 for not submitting the social distancing protocol document, posting appropriate signage and putting up capacity signage that shows the maximum number of people allowed in the vicinity, which is a $500 fine.

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The fines double in amount each day the violations are not corrected and can go up to $5,000 per violation each day.

All the notices of violation were issued on Nov. 27, or Black Friday, when visits to the shopping center spiked. The mall became the fourth most-visited spot in the county during the holiday shopping day.

According to foot-traffic data from SafeGraph, which was presented in a Dec. 8 county Board of Supervisor meeting, about 18,000 people visited the shopping center, representing an increase of visitors when compared to the previous four-week average.

Stores that violated county health orders include:

• Marimekko for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document, post protocol signage, and put up required capacity signage. $1,000.

• Peloton for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document, post protocol signage, and put up capacity signage. $1,000.

• QD Gallery for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document, post protocol signage, and put up capacity signage. $1,000.

• Wilkes Bashford for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document, post protocol signage, and put up capacity signage. $1,000.

'We were told literally the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, from mall management, that the health department was going to be here that weekend.'

-Store supervisor, Stanford Shopping Center tenant

• Bath and Body Works for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document and post the protocol signage. $500.

• Brighton for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document and post the protocol signage. $500.

• California Pizza Kitchen for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document and post the protocol signage. $500.

• Crate and Barrel for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document and post the protocol signage. $500.

• Drybar for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document and post the protocol signage. $500.

• Flexa for failing to post capacity signage. $500.

• Jamba Juice for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document and post the protocol signage. $500.

• L'Occitane en Provence for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document and post the protocol signage. $500.

• Lucky Brand Dungarees for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document and post the protocol signage. $500.

• Pinkberry for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document and post the protocol signage. $500.

• Tesla for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document and post the protocol signage. $500.

• Tonal for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document and post the protocol signage. $500.

• Brooks Brothers for failing to post protocol signage. $250.

• Yucca De Lac Restaurant for failing to post protocol signage. $250.

Costco Wholesale in Mountain View was another retailer fined for violating health orders that weekend.

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Stanford Shopping Center was a hot spot of violations when public health inspectors came calling

Nearly 20 stores were hit with fines up to $1,000 over Black Friday weekend for not following county health officer orders

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 3:14 pm

Eighteen stores in the Stanford Shopping Center were fined for violating Santa Clara County COVID-19 health orders over the Black Friday weekend, according to county documents obtained by the Weekly.

Violators included various types of businesses at the major shopping hub on El Camino Real, including the California Pizza Kitchen restaurant and Pinkberry, a frozen yogurt shop. But most stores that were fined in late November were retailers, such as Crate & Barrel, Peloton, Bath & Body Works and Tesla's showroom.

A representative for Stanford Shopping Center declined to comment for this story, and the county's public health inspector did not respond to interview requests. The violation documents were requested by the Palo Alto Weekly in early December and received from the county in early January.

The violation notices came after the county had already warned in a press release that enforcement would increase during the holiday shopping season.

"From Thursday through Sunday of this week, fines issued will not have a grace period and additional compliance staff will be visiting high traffic shopping areas to look out for the public’s safety," the Nov. 24 press release statement said.

In addition to the countywide warning, the Stanford Shopping Center management team had given heads-up to stores about the increased enforcement efforts, according to a store supervisor of Frette, a bedding and bath linen retail store at the mall, who asked to remain anonymous.

"We were told literally the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, from mall management, that the health department was going to be here that weekend," she said. Frette was not found to have any violations.

Most businesses were handed $250 fines for failing to submit a Social Distancing Protocol document, which outlines how proprietors have made sure to adjust their operation to comply with the county health officer's orders. Others failed to post "revised social distancing protocol signage," which is another $250 dollar fine.

Some stores faced up to $1,000 fines for violating multiple parts of the health order.

Marimekko, a Finnish clothing and furnishing store, for example, was required to pay at least $1,000 for not submitting the social distancing protocol document, posting appropriate signage and putting up capacity signage that shows the maximum number of people allowed in the vicinity, which is a $500 fine.

The fines double in amount each day the violations are not corrected and can go up to $5,000 per violation each day.

All the notices of violation were issued on Nov. 27, or Black Friday, when visits to the shopping center spiked. The mall became the fourth most-visited spot in the county during the holiday shopping day.

According to foot-traffic data from SafeGraph, which was presented in a Dec. 8 county Board of Supervisor meeting, about 18,000 people visited the shopping center, representing an increase of visitors when compared to the previous four-week average.

Stores that violated county health orders include:

• Marimekko for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document, post protocol signage, and put up required capacity signage. $1,000.

• Peloton for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document, post protocol signage, and put up capacity signage. $1,000.

• QD Gallery for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document, post protocol signage, and put up capacity signage. $1,000.

• Wilkes Bashford for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document, post protocol signage, and put up capacity signage. $1,000.

• Bath and Body Works for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document and post the protocol signage. $500.

• Brighton for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document and post the protocol signage. $500.

• California Pizza Kitchen for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document and post the protocol signage. $500.

• Crate and Barrel for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document and post the protocol signage. $500.

• Drybar for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document and post the protocol signage. $500.

• Flexa for failing to post capacity signage. $500.

• Jamba Juice for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document and post the protocol signage. $500.

• L'Occitane en Provence for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document and post the protocol signage. $500.

• Lucky Brand Dungarees for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document and post the protocol signage. $500.

• Pinkberry for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document and post the protocol signage. $500.

• Tesla for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document and post the protocol signage. $500.

• Tonal for failing to submit a social distancing protocol document and post the protocol signage. $500.

• Brooks Brothers for failing to post protocol signage. $250.

• Yucca De Lac Restaurant for failing to post protocol signage. $250.

Costco Wholesale in Mountain View was another retailer fined for violating health orders that weekend.

Comments

Joseph E. Davis
Registered user
Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jan 12, 2021 at 4:56 pm
Joseph E. Davis, Woodside: Emerald Hills
Registered user
on Jan 12, 2021 at 4:56 pm
4 people like this

Is there any actual value in the "social distancing protocol document" and the "protocol signage", or is it just more bureaucratic hoop-jumping?


new guy
Registered user
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 13, 2021 at 12:27 pm
new guy, Menlo Park: Downtown
Registered user
on Jan 13, 2021 at 12:27 pm
4 people like this

Please remember that this is your government.

What could have taken place is that our sacred government "health" officials could have assisted each of these stores in complying with what was missing, which was in most cases a piece of paper taped to a window.

Good job!


[email protected]
Registered user
Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jan 13, 2021 at 12:31 pm
[email protected], Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
Registered user
on Jan 13, 2021 at 12:31 pm
4 people like this

Which government agency wrote the laws including the fines for these social offenses?
Thanks.


ln
Registered user
Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jan 13, 2021 at 11:11 pm
ln, Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
Registered user
on Jan 13, 2021 at 11:11 pm
Like this comment

So, instead of helping our suffering local small businesses, our wonderful government agencies are adding to the damage by issuing fines. Way to go, Palo Alto and Santa Clara County! Line your pockets! But, then again, the government workers never missed a paycheck during the pandemic. Would anyone miss anything if we laid off half the PA and SC County government “workers” for the next 6 months? Would anyone notice?


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