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Chinatown's big-box ban headed to LA City Council committee

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Frank Stoltze/KPCC

L.A. City Councilman Ed Reyes will present his ban on big-box retailers to the Planning Committee, even though the lower Planning Commission rejected it.

A proposal to ban major retailers in the Chinatown area may have been rejected by the Planning Commission, but today its author said he will push the issue to the Los Angeles City Council’s planning committee. 

Councilman Ed Reyes, who represents the Chinatown area, will bring his proposed interim control ordinance to the Planning and Land Use Management Committee. Both the Planning Commission and departmental staffers rejected the ban, which was introduced when Walmart announced plans to open a neighborhood grocery store at Cesar Chavez and Grand avenues.

“We should always strive to preserve and to protect the qualities of our city that make our neighborhoods unique,” said Reyes, who also chairs the Planning and Land Use Management Committee.

“Chinatown is deserving of such protections. Chinatown is a community of unique historical significance to the city of Los Angeles. It is our intent to continue to work with the community to preserve its historic nature, and the balance and diversity of services there, while working closely with the local businesses.”

The councilman’s proposal would block major retailers that have 11 or more locations and standardized merchandise or facades. The ordinance would only apply to stores 20,000 square feet or larger. 

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