Anti-Snack Ordinance Killing LA Newsstands

Running a newsstand must be an extremely tough business these days, what with the dawn of the digital era. But, according to the LA Times, an LA ordinance makes life even tougher for newsstand proprietors–they’re not allowed to sell snacks or drinks. The Times spoke with Los Feliz newsstand owner Robert Kelly, who said city enforcers only recently began cracking down on the obscure code.

For years, [Kelly] made up for the lost revenue by hawking soda, bottled water, chips and other sundries. That is, until a code enforcement officer halted that practice over a year ago.

Kelly said he had no idea he was violating an old city ordinance that restricts newsstands to selling only periodicals.

“I was shocked,” said Kelly, who grew up near San Francisco and lives in an apartment above his newsstand. “The ordinance was never enforced.”

If any of you journos out there enjoy seeing your byline in print, you may want to contact your city council member and get her to change the ordinance. Tom LaBonge is apparently already considering the matter.