Planning department wants restrictions on cash centers in Chesterfield

Posted at 6:35 PM, Oct 16, 2012

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WTVR) -- Chesterfield County's Planning department is recommending that restrictions be put in place on cash advance centers and pawn shops within county limits.

"We're concerned about the impact of these uses on our neighborhoods," Kirk Turner, Chesterfield's planning director said. 

Under the proposal, alternative finance centers or API's would be subject to special zoning requirements and would need to be at least 2,000 feet away from one another.

"It's the perception of many that once you see these uses in a community, its a sign that the community is in decline," Turner said.

Turner and his staff have been working on this recommendation for over a year - a recommendation that is the strictest of any county or city in the Richmond area.

"They found a statistical connection between these businesses and an increase in crime," Carl Schlaudt, Chesterfield's Planning Manager, told CBS 6.

But some residents are upset - including Leon Vandvander who is forced to drive to Richmond to get his cash advanced needs done.

"I disagree with them 100 percent," Vandvander said.

"These are for people who are going to make it from one payday to the next payday and they need to consider the folks who have to use these facilities," Vandvander said.

The recommendations require approval of the county's planning commission as well as board of supervisors.

Presently, Chesterfield does not have any cash advance centers and only two pawn shops.