Owner of Pismo's, Westwoods BBQ sues City of Fresno for 'discriminatory' treatment

In response, the City's attorney said Pismo's has never been cited or fined for any emergency order violations. Code enforcement officer had instead given written warnings and 'verbally educated' the restaurant.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Two Valley business owners struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic are taking matters into their own hands.

On one side, it's a legal battle now between the owner of Pismo's and Westwoods and the City of Fresno.

On the other side, one of the largest gyms in town is now defying stay-at-home orders and reopening for business on Saturday.

RELATED: GB3 to reopen all Fresno, Clovis gyms

On Friday, Dave Fansler, owner of the three Fresno restaurants, filed a lawsuit claiming unfair treatment by the City of Fresno as his three prominent restaurants stay quiet.

In the 14-page lawsuit, Fansler claims his businesses were singled out and not approved for outdoor dining.

He says he went above and beyond other restaurants to provide protection and social distancing, but says the city did not agree.

Instead, Fansler says, he's been issued several code violations and fines for his outdoor dining.

In response, the City says code enforcement officers have issued written 'warnings' on two occasions and verbal notices in regards to the emergency order on five different occasions, but Pismo's has never been cited or fines for any emergency order violations.
Meanwhile, the owner of the Valley's largest fitness center chain gym is also taking matters into his own hands.

GB3 will reopen all locations on Saturday and Sunday.

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One of the largest gyms in the Central Valley will reopen to customers on Saturday despite the fact that ICU beds remain full and Fresno County is still in the most restrictive 'pu



Fresno County Interim Health Officer Rais Vohra says reopening is a risk for transmission, so he's asking for even more patience.

"I know it's a hardship, I know it's a drag. I know that this is just a really hard time, but please remember it's not permanent. We are really just trying to protect our hospitals at a time when they are extremely stressed," says Vohra.

Code enforcement has fined other businesses including fitness centers in the past, for violations.

But officials say their approach is to first use education and awareness about health and safety practices before issuing citations.
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