Chesterfield considers new zoning for payday lenders and pawnshops

Posted at 6:13 PM, Jan 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-04 19:59:55-05

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WTVR)--Chesterfield officials  are considering efforts that could restrict pawnshops, along with alternative financiers that offer cash advances.

The cash advance businesses and payday centers are located all over the Richmond area.

And although some residents don’t mind that such businesses exist, it could soon  be a challenge to find such institutions in Chesterfield County.

The county's planning commission is considering new zoning rules that would apply to pawnshops and payday lenders.

County leaders conducted a study suggesting that such businesses have more than high interest rates. 

Carl Shlaudt, Chesterfield planning manager, said “it is a legitimate concern” that such places could lead to an increase in crime for the county.

 The restrictions call for such businesses to be at least 2000 feet away from another one. 

And since the planning commission came up with the proposal at least four businesses have requested to move into the county, which is not a surprise to county leaders.

"It's just a reflection of the business climate and the market,” Shlaudt said. “This is an emerging class of businesses."

Randy Hall owns an insurance agency next door to this vacant building that could be considered for a payday location in Chesterfield.

 "I just don't think their businesses encourage healthy behavior,” said Hall. "I think that it encourages people to go into debt where they probably aren't prepared to go into debt.”

 And while some may feel these businesses should be banned from the county, Marco Brumfield believes they're definitely needed.

"If you need some quick cash and they have whatever you need and they can help you, as long as it's a legitimate business, I don't see it to be a problem,” said Marco Brumfield, a Chesterfield resident. 

CBS 6 spoke with Bobby Radcliffe, who owns two Pawnshops in the county.  He says he went through the same process in 2009 and didn’t have a problem with the restrictions.

Chesterfield County’s planning Commission will present their recommendations to the Board of Supervisors at its meeting on January 15th.  Then, the public will have chance to sound off before the board makes its final decision.

Stay with CBS 6 for updates.