The Bloomberg administration, in its ever-expanding campaign to make New Yorkers eat better, has already clamped down on trans fats, deployed fruit vendors to produce-poor neighborhoods and prodded corner bodegas to sell leafy green vegetables and low-fat milk.
Now, in a city known more for hot dogs and egg creams than the apple of its nickname, officials want to establish an even bigger beachhead for healthy food new supermarkets in areas where fresh produce is scarce and where poverty, obesity and diabetes run high
Under a proposal the City Planning Commission unanimously approved on Wednesday, the city would offer zoning and tax incentives to spur the development of full-service grocery stores that devote a certain amount of space to fresh produce, meats, dairy and other perishables
The plan which has broad support among food policy experts, supermarket executives and City Council members, whose approval is needed would permit developers to construct larger buildings than existing zoning would ordinarily allow, and give tax abatements and exemptions for approved stores in large swaths of northern Manhattan, central Brooklyn and the South Bronx, as well as downtown Jamaica in Queens
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