Blue Springs Limits Payday Loan Shops and Tobacco Shops – News – The Examiner of East Jackson County
Without a population boom, there could be fewer short-term credit and tobacco shops in Blue Springs in the future.
The city council has decided to limit the number of short-term loan shops, commonly called payday loan shops, and “tobacco shops” – shops that mainly sell tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
Specifically, the city will allow one for every 12,000 inhabitants. With a current population of around 55,000, these are four companies each.
Existing stores will be carried over to the inventory as the city currently has nine payday loan stores and five tobacco shops. Previously, the population limit was one in 4,500 for payday loan businesses and every 8,000 for tobacco shops.
The changes were part of a bill, but the council backed Mayor Carson Ross’s proposal to separate it, then unanimously approved the tobacco shop change and approved the 6-1 payday loan change.
Previously, the Development Advisory Commission had voted 2: 1 for the tobacco shop change, but 2: 1 against the payday loan.
Councilor Ron Fowler said his no was in large part due to the disparate vote by the commission and because the planning commission voted 6-4 against the recommendation of the changes.
Fowler said majority opinions with the planning commission centered on an argument in favor of free businesses, but Blue Springs’ earlier demographic standards left it open to potentially attracting businesses that couldn’t be nearby, he said. The previous standards allowed up to 12 payday loan shops and six tobacco shops.
Independence, for example, has increased its population to 15,000 in recent years.
Councilor Susan Culpepper, speaking with Community Services League CEO / President Doug Cowan, said regulating payday loans is not an issue or discourages free enterprise.
But “their concern is rather that these places exploit the most vulnerable people”.
Also, with the approved changes to the buffer zone in payday loan transactions between another such business, a pawn shop, or the edge of city limits, the city added 1,000 feet and pushed the buffer down to 2,500 feet. Payday loan shops are already at least 60 meters from residential areas and 1,500 meters from schools or parks.
Tobacco shops already have a 500-foot buffer limit of residential areas, churches, schools, or parks, according to regulations added last year.
Mike Mallon, assistant director of community development, said this has resulted in businesses grouping along Missouri 7 and some would not meet current buffer standards if they had not become grandfathers.
“It was our most limiting factor,” Mallon said of the 500-foot buffer.
The population limit for payday loan transactions is determined based on the annual census estimates, while the threshold for tobacco shops is based on the most recent 10-year census.