West Hollywood City Council Presses Pause on Ordinance to Ban Fur Apparel Due to Public Outcry

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Tuesday October 4, 2011 West Hollywood, CA –Recognizing the concerns of the businesses community and residents the West Hollywood City Council voted on Monday night to table discussion of the proposed fur ban ordinance for 30 days.

According to Keith Kaplan, Executive Director of the Fur Information Council of America, based in West Hollywood, and a 26 year West Hollywood resident, “Amidst growing opposition to the proposal to ban the sale of fur apparel in West Hollywood the City Council has taken a fair and intelligent step and asked for additional time to meet with local businesses and residents. They also expressed concern over mounting potential legal issues surrounding the ban.” Kaplan went on to add, “In their attempts to meet the demands of animal activists, largely from outside the community, and balance these against concerns of their own business community they had developed a draft ordinance that allows shoppers to buy any fur product offered in some stores, some fur products offered in others, and only some types of fur in others…are you confused? We are!”

Genevieve Morrill, President of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, comments that “This ordinance is confusing to businesses, intimidating to shoppers and will only hurt businesses in our community in already tough economic times. We hope to work with the City Council to develop more effective programs promoting transparency and allowing honest consumer education so that they can make the best and most informed choice for themselves.”

“We see this move by the City Council as a very positive step,” notes Mr. Kaplan. “This recent decision is moving slowly away from their original positioning as anti-business and anti-freedom of choice; which is in stark contrast to the image of West Hollywood as a free-choice city.

Perhaps the words that sum up what is truly at stake in all of this were said best by John D’Amico, the very councilman who brought forth the ordinance in the first place, “With over 500,000 square feet of empty storefront space in West Hollywood, there is clearly much room for improvement. Owners of small businesses in our town often say that the problem is not only the high cost for rents, but the number of rules and regulations that act as downward pressure on the small business community and hinder their ability to prosper here.” John D’Amico, 2011