The Prince George's County Council is considering giving itself and the public the chance to weigh in before a business owner decides to open a fast-food restaurant, nightclub or liquor store.
The council is examining a bill that would force businesses that acquire property to notify the county if they intend to change its use, the Washington Examiner reported. Currently, property owners don't have to notify anyone.
The bill aims to promote availability of healthy food and beverages and reduce “detrimental” dining options. Fast-food restaurants and liquor stores have proliferated in parts of the county, Council member Karen Toles said.
The bill is an attack on free enterprise, some critics say. Justin Wilson, of the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom, calls the proposal “government paternalism.”