Pelham leaders push for permanent moratorium on certain businesses

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The city of Pelham wants to make a moratorium on certain businesses permanent.

Monday night, council will discuss outlawing new business licenses for payday lenders, tattoo parlors, pawn and vape shops as well as used car dealerships in city limits.

A similar moratorium has been in place since 2014, but required annual renewal to keep it in place.

Councilman Ron Scott tells ABC 33/40 he's had a lot of people telling him there are enough of these businesses. He says they take away from the aesthetics of the city and make it harder to recruit higher end retail.

Betty Austin lived in the city 35 years.

“I think we have enough pawn shops, enough tattoo parlors and enough payday lending loan shops,” Austin said.

Austin supports council's plan to permanently stop issuing new business licenses to those types of stores.

“It does make it harder to recruit top end retailers,” said Austin. “Why do they want to come some place where they have that type of business? We can't get them to come here. We need to clear them out.”

Scott says existing businesses will be grandfathered in.

But Glenn Wills is still worried. He owns G' Day Vape. His store's lease expires in June.

“If I can't move, this will be financially devastating to my family,” said Wills. “This is most of my savings tied up in this place.”

Scott says the businesses grandfathered into the ordinance will not be able to open second locations or move to another location.

Scott says since the moratorium was implemented in 2014, the number of these stores has gone down.

He says that was the goal.

Wills doesn't understand.

“I'm a clean, honest, ethical business,” said Scott. “We practice good business standards here. We have 1400 customers in our data base.”

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