"The county shouldn't be doing this, they've got better things to do," he told one customer who stopped to sign the petition.
The Smith family, which has owned the market for 33 years, has already gathered more than 5,000 signatures and aims to have at least 6,000 for an appeals hearing Oct. 2. Signatures show the overwhelming support from the community, but the real deciding factor could be a grandfather clause noting that businesses set up before 1985 don't have to adhere to present day standards.
"These people can't afford this," Houston said. "I think this is an outrageous use of county authority."
The hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Contra Costa County Health Services office, 2120 Diamond Blvd. in Concord.