Parish Council to vote on pawn shop permit

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 8, 2021

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LAPLACE — On Tuesday, the St. John the Baptist Parish Council will vote on an ordinance concerning a conditional use permit to place a pawnshop at 509 W. Airline Highway, the former site of Quick Stop Car Wash.

The Parish Council has established interim regulations requiring all alternative financial institutions, including pawnshops, check cashing and pay day loan stores, to obtain a conditional use permit before construction can begin.

Interim regulations in Commercial District 3 (where the site is currently zoned) require pawn shops to meet additional locational criteria and approval by the Parish Council.

According to St. John Parish Planning and Zoning Director Rene Pastorek, pawnshops and other alternative financial institutions should not be placed within 300 feet of any parcel used or zoned for residential use. Pastorek said the site at 509 W. Airline Highway is located 96 feet from the nearest residentially zoned lot.

Additional criteria established by interim regulations states that alternative financial institutions should not be within 1,000 feet of any existing alternative financial institutions.

“The planning department found that within a 1,000-foot radius of the subject property, there are five existing alternative financial institutions clustered within this area,” Pastorek said. “The Planning Department finds that the request is not consistent with the interim regulations nor the intent of the Comprehensive Plan.”

The Planning Commission convened on April 19 and voted three for and three against the ordinance, with one commission member absent.

“The conditional uses always go to the Parish Council. In this situation, it was just a split vote on a recommendation,” Pastorek said.

A pawnshop as a store where individuals can leave their possessions in order to borrow money or buy items that others have left there that are now for sale.

The next St. John Parish Council meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 11 at the Rudolph Sorapuru Chambers at the Edgard Courthouse.