Missouri City, Texas, is exploring stricter zoning rules and other measures for payday lenders and pawn shops.
In the first of two readings, city councilors voted to approve amendments for two separate ordinances dealing with the alternative financial businesses, which Missouri City planning and zoning officials had already given a green light. The amended ordinances would prohibit pawn shops and payday lenders in residential retail areas and would require payday lenders to obtain special-use permits. Payday lenders also would not be allowed within 1,000 feet of another payday outlet. Payday lenders and pawn shops will be limited to areas zoned LC-3, along major thoroughfares, which also allows for payday lenders and pawn shops to be zoned for LC-4, Business Park and Industrial.
According to City Manager Edward Broussard, other Texas cities have taken more aggressive approaches toward payday lenders and have been subjected to lawsuits. "While these issues are being challenged in the court system, our perspective is to try and regulate zoning first and then see how the court action comes out," he explained. "If bigger cities win, then we will be able to follow their models."