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Fast food ban in South LA becomes permanent

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The Los Angeles City Council is trying to address health and obesity in South L.A. with new city planning guidelines for fast food restaurants. The council has unanimously approved new steps to limit stand-alone fast food chain restaurants.

In the 30-square-mile area that includes West Adams, Baldwin Village and Leimert Park, L.A. City Councilman Bernard Parks says 70 percent of current restaurants are fast food outlets.

“The rest of the city is somewhere in the neighborhood of about 40 percent," says Parks. "So, we think we need to give other options if we’re really concerned about the health of our community. Particularly a community where about 60 percent of the people have no health care.”

Parks and Councilwoman Jan Perry backed a two-year ban on fast food establishments in their districts. It expired in September. The new city planning procedures would restrict new stand-alone fast food eateries from opening within a half-mile radius of another.

Parks says he hopes the regulations will promote better public health and more wholesome food options in South L.A.

Officials with the California Restaurant Association object; they say the restrictions on fast food chains amount to social control.