Pawn Shop Orlando News — County commissioners approved an ordinance amendment Tuesday limiting the number of pawn shops in an area.
Existing pawn shops are grandfathered in and not affected. However, the location of future pawn shops are limited to one per 21,182 residents. Future shops are also limited to within 1,000 feet of a similar use.
#Pawn shops are only allowed in general commercial, highway commercial and interchange activity center zones.
#The enforcement of this new ordinance will be maintained through the Henry County Business License Department.
#If applications are received which exceed the number of newly-available licences, a lottery should be held by the business license department to determine the order in which applications should be accepted, according to the amendment.
#Commissioner Bruce Holmes, whose district is in Stockbridge, requested the change to the ordinance.
#Holmes said he prompted the changes because with the increase in number of pawn shops comes a decrease in property values.
#“I want to keep out that type of attention in Henry County,” he said.
#Planning and Zoning Director Daunte’ Gibbs said a similar ordinance amendment did not pass in 2014 due to a tie vote from the board.
#There are seven pawn shops in unincorporated Henry County, he said, which already puts the county at the maximum per population.
#Several Stockbridge residents spoke during the public hearing in support of the amendment to the ordinance.
#Mindy Mayers said she has been robbed in the past and has had her stolen items end up for sale in pawn shops. As a social worker, she said she feels that pawn shops serve as an easy avenue for drug users and unsafe behaviors and crime.
#“I know the other side of pawn shops and what they do,” she said. “There isn’t always a good side to what they’re used for.”
#Toye Powell said she first moved to the area because of growth and the appeal of the county. She said there needs to be a limit on “unappealing businesses” and does not want more pawn shops because they would provide access to more guns, which would cause her and family to fear for their safety.
#Kathy Gilbert, a former Stockbridge city councilwoman, said she and councilmembers had approved a similar ordinance for the city and that pawn shops “are not the best type of business we want to keep seeing.”
#“We don’t have a problem with what we currently have,” said resident Elton Alexander to commissioners. “You need to set the grounds that Henry County is not going to be a dumping ground for these businesses.”
#The amendment passed 4-1, with Chairman Tommy Smith voting against.
#“As far as selectively picking a business that can come into Henry County, that is totally unacceptable,” said Smith.
#Commissioner Blake Prince abstained from the voting because one of his clients owns a pawn sho