08/22/2012 06:05 pm ET

LA Walmart Chinatown: Planning Committee Approves Ban On Large Retail Stores

It's been a back-and-forth battle over the Walmart proposed for downtown Los Angeles' Chinatown.

Even though Walmart obtained the building permits it needs, labor groups and community advocates opposing the proposed store are prepared for a long fight.

Part one of their fight is to see through Councilman Ed Reyes' proposed ban on large retail chain stores in historic Chinatown. In this effort, the Walmart fighters scored a recent victory. A city planning committee Tuesday approved the temporary ban on large chains in Chinatown. The ban still has to be approved by City Council.

However, to the dismay of Walmart opponents, the ban won't affect the Chinatown Walmart because the store obtained the building permits it needed the night before City Council initially voted to approve Reyes' ban in March.

For this reason, part two of the Walmart opponents' fight is appealing the store's building permits. Labor groups and community advocates who filed the appeal claim that Walmart received favorable treatment when it obtained permits the night before the City Council vote.

Walmart will only be prevented from moving into Chinatown if its opponents are successful in that effort to appeal the store's permits.

In June, thousands of Angelenos protested against the Chinatown Walmart, citing labor practice concerns and concerns that Chinatown's small businesses will be forced to close.

Check out photos of the LA Walmart protest:
Photos by Kathleen Miles

LA Walmart protest