Council Restricts New Fast-Food Restaurants in South LA

The City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to address the over-concentration of fast-food restaurants in South Los Angeles by banning new establishments from opening within a half-mile radius of existing eateries.

The approval of the ordinance comes in the wake of the September expiration of a two-year moratorium on the opening of new fast-food establishments in the same area.

The effected areas include West Adams, Baldwin Hills, Leimert, South Los Angeles and Southeast Los Angeles.

"For a community to thrive, it is important to have balance; a full variety of food, retail and service providers," said Councilman Bernard Parks, who represents part of South Los Angeles.

"When you're dealing with a finite amount of land, proper planning and design guidelines are essential to ensuring a high quality of life that all residents of Los Angeles deserve," he said.

Councilwoman Jan Perry said the community clamored for more food choices in their neighborhoods.

"When we talk to our community members and the people that we were elected to represent, the one thing that we hear over and over and over again is: 'We need more grocery stores, we need more restaurants, we need more choices, we are tired of the choices that have been given to this community," she said.


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Under the new guidelines, new stand-alone fast food establishments will no longer be able to obtain permits and other approvals by right, but by meeting several criteria, including staying at least a half-mile away from existing establishments.

Their operators will also have to comply with aesthetic requirements on landscaping, provide rear parking, and meet other requirements aimed at ensuring the compatibility of the project with the surrounding community.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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