LA City Council OKs restrictions on fast food eateries in South LA

The L.A. City Council voted unanimously today 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 newly approved ordinance will alter the neighborhood design guidelines for the area – defined specifically as West Adams, Baldwin Hills, Leimert, South Los Angeles and Southeast Los Angeles – upon being signed by the mayor.

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.

Councilwoman Jan Perry said the community clamored for more food choices in their neighborhoods. In its report to the City Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee, the Planning Commission noted that "limited service or fast-food establishments compromise 71.8 percent of the establishments in South Los Angeles, compared to 40.8 percent of West Los Angeles establishments and 47.7 percent of Los Angeles County establishments."

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.

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