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City tells restaurant bird attraction to make changes

Published On: Mar 27 2014 04:03:29 PM CDT
REDDING, Calif. -

A letter delivered by the City of Redding could mean changes for a local attraction.

Nipa’s Thai Cuisine is being told their bird cage violates several city codes. Ukrit “Dino” Bhavindhu has owned the restaurant for 13 years in their location on Churn Creek Road.

“The birds have been there since we've had the restaurant," he said. "I got no idea at all why [this is happening]. That's why I'm so confused."

Adjustments could be on the way. The tropical bird aviary has caught the eye of the city.

In the note to Bhavindhu, Redding’s Development Services Department said the issue is the location.

The cage is in a planter in the parking lot that is shared with new restaurant, The Chicken Shack, which opened in February. With plenty of parking spaces the issue is more specific. Development Services said the permits only allow for landscaping, and not a bird cage.

“It’s on the planter, yes. That's all we wanted, because it's empty,” Bhavindhu said. “We put something that looks nice, that's beautiful for the city, so that's why we leave it and put it that way. But nobody said anything in the 13 years."

But city officials disagree. They have been getting continuous complaints from residents that the aviary is an eye-sore. The city said the blue tarps need to go, and that the structure's materials need to be "architecturally compatible" with the nearby buildings.

“The birds have been there since we've had the restaurant. I got no idea at all why [this is happening]. That's why I'm so confused."

-Nipa's Thai Cuisine Owner

"The customers are so happy. They never complain. They are happy,” Bhavindhu said. “All of Northern California, when they come down to our Redding, they always remember our birds and they love it."

When it comes to the future of the aviary, the city said it doesn't have to go but it cannot stay there.

"Nothing wrong with happiness, right?" said Bhavindhu.

Despite past problems the City of Redding said the issue has nothing to do with animal cruelty. They said the Haven Humane Society does monthly inspections. Nipa's Thai Cuisine’s owners plan to meet with city officials over the next few weeks to resolve the issue.