Chesterfield wants to regulate check cashing institutions - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Chesterfield wants to regulate check cashing institutions

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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

People who need fast cash might turn to a payday loan center or a precious metal dealer but Chesterfield County officials want stiff regulations on where these businesses can operate. The county prides itself on being business friendly but say alternative financial institutions aren't the kind of business it wants in excess.

Alternative Financial Institutions (or AFI's) are on the rise and have set their sights on Chesterfield County.

"We're seeing more and more of these businesses pop up," said Chesterfield's Director of Planning Kirk Turner. 

Turner wants to regulate where these businesses can set up shop through a new ordinance.

The proposed ordinance keeps AFI's away from residential areas and areas designated for revitalization. With the ordinance, the stores couldn't display neon signs and each store would have to be at least 2,000 feet apart.

"These facilities tend to congregate together," said Turner. "It creates this appearance that the area is in decline."

Turner says that appearance is bad when attracting new businesses.

David Muller owns a cash for gold business in Chesterfield and says he's okay with the ordinance but wants the planning commission to know the precious metals business, which would be included in the ordinance, is different than payday lenders.

"People have to have money to have gold and silver," Muller tells NBC12. "So these businesses are not feeding off the poor."

Muller says that can't be said for other lending businesses, who may have trouble in Chesterfield.

The Chesterfield Planning Commission will include a new ordinance in its finalized comprehensive plan but will have a public hearing on the ordinance August 21 before passing a final plan.

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