City councilors serving Long Beach, Calif., voted last month to approve an ordinance that establishes new definitions and regulations for financial services providers that include check-cashing businesses, payday lenders, and auto title lenders. The measure prohibits new short-term lenders from locating within 1,320 feet of any other such business in neighborhood-commercial, pedestrian-oriented, planned-development, and industrial-zoning districts.
It also requires that windows not be obscured by signs, dark tint, shelving, racks, or similar obstructions. Exterior phones, security bars, and roll-up doors are also prohibited. All fees and regulations must be displayed near the cashier stand and provided to customers upon checkout. The ordinance applies only to new businesses.
There currently are 53 such businesses in Long Beach, including 35 check-cashing outlets, 15 payday lenders, and three consumer-finance businesses. City staff said they would look into the suggestion by some residents that the ordinance require the businesses to be located at least 500 feet away from residential areas.