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2-week truce for hot sauce maker, California city

Thursday - 4/24/2014, 12:29pm  ET

Sriracha hot sauce founder David Tran, at podium, left, addresses a city council meeting in Irwindale, Calif., Wednesday, April 23, 2014. The city of Irwindale is suing the maker of Sriracha hot sauce and last week the Los Angeles suburb tentatively voted to declare the bottling plant a public nuisance. Irwindale City Attorney Fred Galante says relocating seems extreme and the city only wants to see the smell issue addressed. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A cooling-off period has been called in the fight between the makers of Sriracha hot sauce and the Southern California city that says its air is too spicy to bear.

The Irwindale City Council delayed a decision for two weeks Wednesday night on declaring the Sriracha plant a public nuisance.

About 100 supporters of the hot sauce, including Huy Fong Foods owner David Tran, rallied outside City Hall before the meeting.

Irwindale's city attorney requested the delay, saying he's in settlement talks with attorneys for the company, which has made the popular sauce since 1980. The Irwindale plant was opened two years ago.

Earlier this month, council members tentatively but unanimously voted that the plant was a nuisance.

If the council had finalized its vote Wednesday, Huy Fong would have had 90 days to stop releasing the spicy emanations that neighbors say are burning their eyes and throats.

An attorney for Huy Fong told the council that the company plans to have a filtration system in place by June 1.

"Why do you hate me, why do you want to shut me down?" Tran said to the five-member council.

Mayor Mark Breceda, who brought a half-empty bottle of Sriracha sauce to the meeting, said the city doesn't want to shut the factory down.

"It was never this council's goal," Breceda said. "No one wants you here more, Mr. Tran and Huy Fong Foods, than the City Council."

Breceda said he was confident the city could reach a settlement with Tran before the council's next meeting on May 7, the Pasadena Star-News reported (http://bit.ly/1iiKTHn ).

Tran called the decision disappointing and has opened his factory doors to lawmakers who were interested in having his plant relocate to their region. A delegation from Texas is expected to tour the facility next month.


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