Cedar Rapids Wrestles With Limits on Payday Lenders

April 30, 2013
KCRG (Cedar Rapids, IA)  
payday lending news

In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, city officials are considering a new ordinance that would limit the locations of payday lending businesses. The city council’s Development Committee advanced the proposal to the full council for a May hearing. Council members Pat Shey and Scott Olson questioned whether an attempt to place this type of restriction on payday lenders was an overreaching City Hall policy of "social engineering." He said payday lenders often operate in difficult-to-fill commercial storefronts, and Shey pointed out that payday lenders can provide a service for consumers who do not qualify for bank accounts. Committee chairwoman Monica Vernon, however, countered that the proposal would support city neighborhoods by limiting the concentration of payday lenders and reducing their visibility in high-traffic areas. The ordinance, as written, stipulates that payday lenders would have to obtain a conditional use permit and would not be allowed to locate within 1,000 feet of similar stores, child-care centers, schools, parks, or churches.
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