The next city council meeting in Caldwell, Idaho, may involve a decision to move payday loan businesses away from the city's commercial zones, according to planning and zoning director Brian Billingsley. Although the council met on Oct. 7, it needs more time to make a decision.
Billingsley estimated that about 20 people testified at Monday’s public hearing, with half in favor of restricting the lending institutions to industrial zones. The Idaho Community Action Network favors such an ordinance on the grounds that payday lending businesses target minorities, the elderly, and low-income consumers with high interest rates that keep borrowers in debt even after using the service.
The proposed ordinance would not apply to existing payday loan businesses but would require new ones to open outside of commercial zones. “It’s tough to control businesses, so that’s problematic,” council president Jim Blacker said. “It’s a difficult business to be in, because of people that could easily be taken advantage of, so to speak.”