By: Emilie St. John
The Inglewood Planning Commission is studying enacting regulations to address the over-proliferation of fast food uses during their March 1 meeting.
According to the city’s Finance Department, there are 200 active fast food/take-out establishments and City Administrators requested the planning commission consider potential amendments to the Inglewood Municipal Code related to fast food regulation.
The City cited the recent COVID-19 pandemic to show that the industry has “evolved through the development of efficient and robust online ordering apps” that incorporate delivery services and curbside pickup that have become the new norm of the fast food industry.
A joint publication of the UC Berkeley Labor Center, the UCLA Labor Center, the UCLA Labor Occupational Health and Safety Program (LOSH), and the UC Berkeley Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP) found over the last decade, fast-food restaurants have proliferated in the United States, with the largest increase in Los Angeles County.
The study found fast food is an integral part of the food sector in Los Angeles, comprising nearly 150,000 restaurant workers. This report investigates working conditions in fast food prior to the pandemic, profiles the industry’s demographics and cost to the public, and examines the impact of COVID-19 on the sector. Even before COVID-19, the fast-food sector was characterized by difficult working conditions and high public costs.
Inglewood found that many of the fast food establishments are located on major city streets and located within freestanding buildings and shopping centers.
Staff surveyed 13 cities within Los Angeles County to determine how other cities regulate the fast food industry and found half of those city’s required Special Use Permits (SUP) for drive-thru’s and one required a SUP and a 500-foot separation from other fast food restaurants.
Between 2002 and 2004, the City modified regulations for beauty salons, barber shops, and other cosmetology services implementing a 300 ft distance requirement between such businesses to address over-concentration. A SUP is required if a new cosmetology business wishes to open within 300 ft of an existing business providing similar services.
Staff was measuring the distance between the establishments by physically measuring the distance from one property line to the other.
On September 13, 2022, the city held a Public Hearing to modify those regulations and changed how the distance was calculated by measuring door-to-door to provide “more convenient access to multiple cosmetology services in the same shopping center or close proximity”.
Similar parameters appear to be on the horizon for fast-food restaurants.
Staff presented a number of options for “Fast-Food Development Standards” that would allow for SUPs for “fast food restaurants in prominent locations” to separate between fast-food uses. The body would also seek to define terms like ghost kitchen, fast-food restaurant, dine-in restaurant, and ghost/cloud kitchens.
Staff anticipates presenting proposed code amendments to the Planning Commission in the 3rd quarter of this year, which should be sometime this summer, as they seek additional input from the public.
Emilie St. John is a contributing writer for 2UrbanGirls.com and the Los Angeles Wave newspaper.
Thank you for letting us know what the folks in the planning department are up to!
Sadly even if residents can find minutes of a planning commission meeting they are woefully less than adequate. There was a time you could read what happened and know who asked what and what answer was given to the question!
But since the “keep them unaware leadership of the ninth floor” came to full control, minutes basic tell us which commissioners asked somekInd of a question and that some staff employee responded- yep that is it —what we know is someone responded . We have no clue what the answer to the question was or if the question was answered we know literally that someone ““responded””..
Of course this is by design since it had been common practice in the pre JTB days to actually have both the question asked and the answer given recorded in such a way that those not in attendance and those in years to come would know what the commissioners heard as an answer to their query.
Read a few of the minutes yourself it is much like the council meeting minutes resident somename spoke about item X- from the minutes you have no clue if they asked a great question, agreed with the proposal, or said in detail for this, that, or another reason this should not pass.
Yes people this is the way the current administration is able to completely misrepresent what public comments are.
By law they must conduct a public hearing but keeping their toe on the line of the illegal there is little more than enough time to say my name is John/Jane Doe even on a multi-Million dollar contract.
Let’s hope Gloria Gray with so many years of experience will insist minutes accurately reflect all that was said in each of the city’s meetings.
Mighty convenient Gloria Gray isn’t taking her seat until after tomorrows public hearing on the displacement of inglewood small businesses for the transit connector.