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Gainesville eases pawnshop restrictions

POSTED: April 16, 2014 12:35 a.m.

Gainesville City Council has given its nod to easing restrictions on where pawnshops can be located after a second reading and final vote Tuesday.

The council voted 4-2 on April 1 to amend an ordinance that had required pawnshops to be separated by 2,500 feet.

The vote came after Title Max had been prohibited from opening a new location at 719 Jesse Jewell Parkway SW because Georgia Auto Pawn already operates directly across the street.

Title Max had finished renovations on the new location before city officials discovered it was in violation of the ordinance.

When Title Max threatened suit, city officials decided to strip the distance requirement from the ordinance.

Councilwomen Ruth Bruner and Myrtle Figueras, who initially voted against the amendment out of concerns about the city being overrun with pawnshops, gave their assent on Tuesday.

Councilmen Sam Couvillon and George Wangemann said they supported the amendment because they hope the free market will play a role in limiting pawnshops.

There are 18 pawnshops in the city, according to City Marshal Debbie Jones.


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