The Los Angeles City Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee has approved an interim control ordinance (ICO) that would prevent new fast-food restaurants from opening in South Los Angeles, Southeast Los Angeles, West Adams, Baldwin Hills and Leimert Park.
The ICO proposes a 1-year moratorium that will give city planners an opportunity to study the economic and environmental effects of the overproliferation of fast-food restaurants in these communities.
“This ordinance is in no way attempting to tell people what to eat, but rather responding to the need to attract sit-down restaurants, full-service grocery stores and healthy food alternatives,” says Councilwoman Jan Perry, who spearheaded the initiative. “Ultimately, this ordinance is about providing choices—something that is currently lacking in our community. South Los Angeles represents a mere 32 square miles of a city that is 468 square miles in size, and yet it is home to the largest percentage of fast-food establishments."
“The overconcentration of fast-food restaurants, in conjunction with the lack of grocery stores, places these communities in a poor situation to locate a variety of food and fresh food,” adds Councilman Bernard Parks.
The ICO will also give Perry and Parks time to actively attract grocery stores and sit-down restaurants to these areas. The city is distributing a targeted brochure and package to developers and retailers.
“South Los Angeles is ripe for development,” Perry says. “Studies have shown that there is a large and growing residential population that is in need of important amenities like grocery stores and sit-down restaurants for the entire family to enjoy. The people of our community deserve choices. As a city, we can create policies to encourage these businesses to open their doors in South Los Angeles.”
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