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Proposed Chinatown Chain Ban Not Popular in Planning Dept.

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A helpful Walmart elf points out to us that the LA planning department has recommended the city reject a ban that would keep large (more than 20,000 square feet) chain stores from opening in Chinatown. Back in March, City Councilmember Ed Reyes proposed the creation of a ban (in the form of an interim control ordinance) that was totally not at all aimed at keeping Walmart from opening up at Grand and Caesar Chavez. Meanwhile, the store managed to nab permits the very day before the Council voted to go ahead and have the planning department draft up the ban. The draft is now set to go in front of the City Planning Commission this week, but the staff report (pdf) on the matter suggests the CPC reject the ordinance and recommend that the City Council do the same: "Staff has not observed a proliferation of new Formula Retail uses [i.e. chains] in the area, and limited Staff research has indicated this issue does not appear to have the urgency that would call for such a temporary suspension of new permits ... This is not to dispute the unique and historic character of Chinatown and its diverse, small business community, which is appropriately recognized and supported by the City's existing land use policies." Chinatown is also identified as one of the City's Regional Centers, which should have a "diversity of uses." The CPC will hear the matter on Thursday.
· Proposed Ordinance Could Block the Chinatown Walmart [Curbed LA]
· Chinatown Walmart Nabs Permits Before Vote to Ban Chains [Curbed LA]