The Los Angeles City Council has banned new stand-alone fast food restaurants from opening within half a mile of each other* in South L.A., citing rising health concerns and the need for more food choices in the area.
"This is not an attempt to control people as to what they can put into their mouths. This is an attempt to diversify their food options," councilmember Jan Perry told KABC in a seemingly contradictory statement.
New stand-alone fast food restaurants have been banned from setting up shop in South Los Angeles, due to rising health concerns by the city council.
How many fast food eateries does one area really need? The Los Angeles City Council thinks South Los Angeles and South East Los Angeles need new choices as these regions face an over-concentration of such restaurants.
"This is not an attempt to control people as to what they can put into their mouths. This is an attempt to diversify their food options," said councilmember Jan Perry.
Perry's new plan bans new so-called "stand alone" fast food restaurants opening within half a mile of existing restaurants.
Such stand-alone establishments are on their own property, but those same restaurants are OK if they're a part of a strip mall, according to the new rules.
"Give a grocery store and a housing combination a chance to come in," Perry said.
The city says around 72 percent of restaurants in South L.A. are fast food establishments, which is much higher than West L.A. and countywide averages which range in the 40s.
Hot Air's Ed Morrissey offers an explanation for the lack of fine cuisine in the area, and why a government ban may not be the answer:
What, there aren’t any high-priced French restaurants in South LA? Sacre bleu! That might have something to do with the high unemployment and low incomes in the area. Perry complains that 72% of the restaurants in the area are fast food compared to West LA’s concentration being in the mid-40s, but the obvious explanation is that higher income areas can support higher-priced restaurants. If Olive Garden could make a profit in South LA, they’d already be there. The issue isn’t that fast-food restaurants are hogging the commercial space, but that other establishments aren’t moving into the area.
(H/T: Hot Air)
*The half-mile designation was added to match the information already contained in the story.