New zoning rules for payday loan companies and car titles
According to Fairfax County, new zoning rules are now in place to restrict where car and payday title lenders can locate.
It is a problem that Senator Scott Surovell (D-36th) defended, pushing for legislation that allows local governments to control the location of businesses.
The supervisory board unanimously approved new rules on Tuesday. Concerns were first raised in 2013 about the location of these businesses, and over the past three years these businesses have doubled from around 16 to around 31.
Two-thirds are located in revitalization neighborhoods
Officials have long believed that these lenders are not suitable for revitalization neighborhoods where nearly two-thirds, or about 19, are found today. According to academic studies reviewed by county planners, these businesses signal the decline of a community and deter other stores, restaurants, and small businesses from locating in these areas.
Zoning provisions, among other things, limit the locations where future businesses can open, the county noted. However, legally in business lenders would now be allowed to stay in their current locations.
Under the old zoning rules, payday lenders and auto lenders were allowed to operate as of right in the same locations as commercial banks, that is, in most commercial and industrial zoning districts.
Under the new rules, however, these businesses would only be legally allowed in two commercial zoning districts, known as C-7 and C-8, the county said. These are the more traditional shopping areas located near major roads or highways, such as Arlington Boulevard, the Little River Turnpike, and the Richmond Highway.