City passes 6-month ban on new drive-thrus

In an effort to gather data on what kind of drive-thru operations are best suited for neighborhoods, the Long Beach City Council on Tuesday passed an ordinance banning new drive-thrus in the city for the next six months.

The council approved the ordinance with a 7-0 vote, with Councilmembers Al Austin and Suzie Price absent. The decision came after the panel in April voted 8-1 in favor of the moratorium. Councilman Daryl Supernaw, whose district has seen an influx of drive-thrus, was the lone dissent after stating that the moratorium could send an anti-business message.

The city has opted to study new guidelines for pedestrian safety, traffic impacts and noise levels at the behest of community groups who argue that drive-thrus cause pollution and traffic in neighborhoods.

Mayor Robert Garcia has also publicly supported the idea in a tweet posted in late February.

Long Beach Director of Development Services Linda Tatum has said the moratorium would impact few businesses as the city processes about five drive-thru operations per year. The city had originally requested a 12-month moratorium.

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Kelly Puente is a general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. Her prolific reporting has taken her all over Southern California—even to the small Catalina Island town of Two Harbors. She is a Tiki mug collector and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].