Golden Valley Approves One-Year Moratorium on New Pawnshops
The city of Golden Valley is hitting the pause button on pawnshops, payday lenders and precious metal dealers from potentially moving into the city. The Golden Valley City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved a one-year moratorium on those types of businesses from opening. The moratorium does not affect existing businesses.
The decision comes at a time when the city is envisioning what its future downtown may look like. The city’s downtown is defined as the area near Winnetka Avenue and Golden Valley Road.
“The added extra layer of scrutiny of our downtown makes it all that more important that we dial in the right kind of regulation,” said Jason Zimmerman, Golden Valley’s planning manager.
Zimmerman says the city has had an informal inquiry of a pawnshop potentially locating in Golden Valley. The city’s current zoning ordinance would not restrict such a business from locating in the city’s commercial zoning districts.
Other Cities Have Previously Approved Pawnshop Moratoriums
Zimmerman says the city of Hopkins approved a moratorium three years ago to explore its regulations around pawnshops. Eden Prairie and St. Louis Park did so as well.
“There’s a lot of impressions of what a pawnshop locating in your city might mean and what it might indicate around crime statistics,” said Zimmerman. “I think all those cities took the time to do some study, research to find out how much is valid, how much is hearsay.”
Zimmerman said those cities came back with some type of regulation to restrict the concentration of those kinds of businesses. Regulations range from how close pawnshops can locate next to each other to buffer restrictions from other types of uses.
“We’ve updated our massage regulations. We’ve looked at, we’ve created rules about where firearms dealers can be in our city, and again also looking at tobacco sales,” said Golden Valley City Council member Gillian Rosenquist. “This is not out of line with the city looking at very holistically at all of these kinds of ordinances.”
Golden Valley has moved to phase III in its downtown planning. Phase III includes discussion on design standards and basic site planning principles, said Zimmerman. City leaders believe the moratorium will help with the outcome.
“I think this is a prudent action,” said Larry Fonnest, Golden Valley City Council member. “It’s certainly not punitive. We’re going to take a look at our zoning and make sure everything comes together in the way we would like to see it.”