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Apopka may see ban of new fast-food restaurants

Mayor seeks temporary ban

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APOPKA, Fla. – One of the first things you notice about Apopka is the abundance of fast-food restaurants.

To some, it's an eyesore. Locals call it the "Fast-Food Capitol of Central Florida" -- a nickname not everybody enjoys.

"It's a common complaint that Apopka seems to have only fast-food restaurants," said Mayor Joe Kilsheimer, who wants a temporary ban on new fast-food restaurants for the rest of the year.

He said right now, some restaurants are so popular cars back up into the street.

"That is a safety issue," he said. "We're not banning fast-food restaurants. We're putting temporary pause on the development of new fast-food restaurants."

That pause comes as the city works on a new vision plan for the future.

But opponents think singling out one type of business is unfair.

Roger Meyer has lived in Apopka six decades and said, "They've already threatened to do something about dollar stores. It's just not a reasonable thing to ban things totally."

As Gisell Cardena waited in her car outside a Wendy's restaurant, she said, "They won't have any jobs. There's no work. I have my son who works here. What's he going to do? He's a part-time college student and he works here part time."

Some commissioners are also against the idea, but the mayor said most of the public response he's heard has been positive.

A final vote on the idea is coming up next week.