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The Los Angeles Business Journal reports that the LA City Council seems to be on the verge of making permanent strict limitations on the building of new fast food restaurants in South Los Angeles. The virtual moratorium was originally put into place two years ago because of concerns about high obesity rates in the financially challenged neighborhood; it was originally supposed to expire later this month, but the Council is moving in the direction of making it permanent.

According to the story, “The moratorium has served as an effective ban on new restaurants, as its severe restrictions have blocked construction of any new stand-alone restaurants in South Los Angeles since its adoption. While fast-food outlets are technically allowed to open in certain cases, city officials also want to add another hurdle – distance requirements of either a quarter-mile or even a mile between them. The ban faces renewed opposition from major fast-food chains that want to expand in the area. They say market forces should determine whether franchise outlets should be built in the area, not government mandates.”
KC's View:
And yet, if you read the story about New York’s experience that follows, there is at least some evidence that, to paraphrase Woody Allen, “the stomach wants what the stomach wants.”