In an attempt to control crowds and noise, the city will require an extended-hours permit for fast-food restaurants that remain open after midnight and are within 300 feet of residences.
The ordinance, approved by the City Council by a 4-1 vote Monday, becomes effective Oct. 9. Business owners will have 30 days after that date to obtain the annual permit, which carries no fee, from the city.
The ordinance, which requires a permit for restaurants that are open any time between midnight and 6 a.m., says that the permit may be revoked if restaurant owners fail to take actions, such as calling the police, to control crowds at their establishments.
The measure was prompted by complaints about crowds of young people loitering and making noise in parking lots or on streets next to restaurants, city officials said. Most of the complaints, they said, focused on two Whittier Boulevard fast-food restaurants, Arry's Famous Burgers and the Golden Ox.
Councilman William Nighswonger opposed the ordinance, saying that the situation could be addressed without "hanging everyone on the gallows" and that he 'didn't want the police department going around town acting as a judge" of what is acceptable at businesses. Ted Stavropoulos, owner of Arry's, told the council he felt the ordinance was unfair.