LOS ANGELES — The City Council here passed an ordinance Friday that will impose a moratorium on opening retail stores larger than 20,000 square feet in the Chinatown section of downtown Los Angeles.
However, Wal-Mart received construction permits Thursday to renovate an existing building where it plans to open a Neighborhood Market, and that project will move forward despite the ordinance, city officials said.
According to Steve Restivo, senior director of community affairs for Wal-Mart, "Now that our [store] has received all necessary approvals, we look forward to serving downtown customers soon."
The council approved the moratorium — aimed at protecting Chinatown's character and allowing the city to address traffic concerns in the area — by a vote of 13-0. The ordinance, which will be forwarded to the city attorney, will come back to the council for final approval in the next few months.