Tattoo and Nail Shops ‘Undesirable' in ‘Burbs | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Tattoo and Nail Shops ‘Undesirable' in ‘Burbs

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Ridgeland and Flowood recently placed bans on businesses such as tattoo parlors and payday lenders.

In their zeal to protect their growing cities, aldermen in Ridgeland and Flowood have banned "undesirable" businesses, ranging from pawnshops and payday lenders to tattoo parlors and nail salons.

In Ridgeland, alderman unanimously approved a temporary moratorium at the request of Mayor Gene McGee Aug. 3. The moratorium prohibits any new pawn shops, title loan or check-cashing businesses, cash-for-gold businesses, tattoo parlors or nail salons from locating within the city until a public hearing Sept. 15.

McGee said that the moratorium was intended to address businesses that typically depress property values.

"They tend to locate in an area and cause an area to go down in value," McGee said. "There could be others that we've not considered, but those are the ones that came to mind."

McGee's order notes that "certain types of businesses in large concentration tend to have a blighting effect," but some aldermen explained the rationale for the moratorium differently.

Ward 2 Alderman Chuck Gautier, who was absent on the day of the Board's vote but supported earlier efforts at developing a moratorium, said that payday lenders and cash-for-gold businesses were more vulnerable to robbery.

"My main goal was to stem the tide of businesses that tend to be victimized and that carry a lot of cash on hand," Gautier said.

Gautier said he did not see any immediate value in banning nail salons, however.

"I don't really see nail salons as being something that gets knocked over," Gautier said. "I don't really see them as a threat. I'm not necessarily for something that's going to cause a certain demographic to feel slighted."

Ward 5 Alderman Scott Jones suggested that the city simply did not need any more nail salons. "They're on every corner," Jones said. "They're everywhere. A lot of them go in and out of business regularly, so you get turnover of buildings. It just seems like every strip center that pops up, one comes in there. And I don't know if that's a good long-term solution for your empty buildings."

The city will re-evaluate the moratorium after hearing public comments Sept. 15. That decision may be based more on opinion than hard data, Jones said.

"I don't know that you can say it's necessarily all statistics-driven," Jones said. "I think some of it is probably opinion and a feel that this is not what we want to encourage."

Payday lenders and check-cashing businesses, which can charge triple-digit interest rates, can push citizens into a deepening cycle of debt, Jones noted. Jones recognized the possibility that some business types could be removed from a final list but said that residents' vision for Ridgeland would figure heavily in the board's decision. "I don't know if there's really any good statistics out there that say, 'If you have this many nail salons per capita, it does this,'" Jones said. "In some parts it really goes to what does your citizenry want and expect for your city."

Flowood's ban took effect July 7, as an amendment to its existing zoning laws. The amendment limits check-cashing and title-loan businesses, palm readers, coin laundries, pawnshops, psychics, thrift stores and tattoo parlors to the city's industrial zones. The city has two existing payday and title loan businesses.

Flowood Mayor Gary Rhoads did not return multiple calls for comment.

The efforts in Flowood and Ridgeland are not unique to prosperous suburbs. Former Jackson City Councilman Leslie McLemore led an unsuccessful effort to restrict payday lending in Jackson while he served on the council. Current Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes has sponsored an temporary moratorium on new licenses for pawn shops, but that ordinance remains in committee.

"We were inundated with these businesses in certain sections of town, especially in the African American community and in low-income communities," McLemore said. "If we don't monitor them, we will find them on almost any and every corner in these working class communities."

Cities are limited in their options for addressing payday lenders and other predatory financial services, according to Alan Branson, executive vice president of programs for Hope Community Credit Union. States like Arkansas have effectively banned predatory payday lending by capping the interest rate that lenders can charge. Cities have no such power, however.

"If a city has made the decision that payday lending and check cashing and cash for title are not beneficial to their residents, then the only thing they can do is ban them," Branson said. "They're not allowed to modify the product in such a way that it addresses the need."

Branson, whose organization offers affordable financial services to low-income communities, agreed that predatory lending businesses can harm communities.

"You're basically taking folks who have that need at one point in time and you're making their situation worse," Branson said. "You create stress in households; you create stress in communities."

Previous Comments

ID
151027
Comment

Clinton needs one of these badly as well. I don't mind a couple, but when you can count on the first tenant of any new development being a nail parlor, it's time to fine-tune the zoning laws.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-08-19T12:43:14-06:00
ID
151033
Comment

Iron- Clinton has 5 nail salons, my daughters has wasted alot of money in each one,:) and we have a tattoo shop out in the strip mall by Wallyworld, my neighbor owns it.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-08-19T14:22:10-06:00
ID
151044
Comment

There's a tattoo shop there? Egads. :)

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-08-19T20:33:51-06:00
ID
151045
Comment

yep, Bubba. It's next to an AWFUL chinese buffet.

Author
2599
Date
2009-08-19T20:40:28-06:00
ID
151046
Comment

It's not the best but it does seem to better than the others in town to me, but all of them are bad when compared to a Japanese restaurant.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-08-19T20:56:03-06:00
ID
151047
Comment

Are we talking 18 or Clinton? I've only been to one Chinese buffet in Clinton.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-08-19T21:23:38-06:00
ID
151049
Comment

Chopsticks by Wally World, Jade Buffet near Blockbuster, and then the Chinese Restaurant across for Mazzio's has a buffet too or did been a few years since I have been in it. It may be closed down have paid much attention to it. All on Hwy 80. Great Wall by Big Lots has no buffet but ok take out.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-08-19T22:44:46-06:00
ID
151050
Comment

"Ward 5 Alderman Scott Jones suggested that the city simply did not need any more nail salons. 'They're on every corner,' Jones said. 'They're everywhere. A lot of them go in and out of business regularly, so you get turnover of buildings. It just seems like every strip center that pops up, one comes in there. And I don't know if that's a good long-term solution for your empty buildings.'" Okay, lemme see if I understand this right... A city alderman thinks that it's OK to ban a certain kind of business because he doesn't believe commercial real estate developers know how to determine what will or won't make money for them, but his voters are the same people who don't want see a public health care plan because they think it's socialist? Oh, and as far as I'm concerned Erica Flannes raises the property value just by breathing the air here. I'm just saying: there are some BRILLIANT people who do skin work, it's a legitimate form of art for both the artists and the people who commission them, so don't knock tattoo artists. And I'm sure the same is true of nail salons. Payday lenders...feh. They tend to exploit the poor, wouldn't necessarily mind seeing those go. But banning tattoo shops and nail salons is just plain freakish. Makes me glad I live in a more diverse city where we don't do that sort of thing.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2009-08-19T23:40:33-06:00
ID
151052
Comment

Bubba: Oh. The one across from Mazzy's is gone. It's a "Southern Kitchen" or some such. Chopsticks, Jade and Great Wall are all in business. Then there's the new Japanese steak place across 80 from Wally World. I think we've got our quota of Oriental places here. Unless someone opens up a Thai place.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-08-20T08:22:35-06:00
ID
151060
Comment

How arrogant of local government to decide which businesses should operate. Is this not a free country? The claim that payday lenders exploit the poor is also misguided. Lenders have underwriting criteria and do not want to make loans that can't be repaid. This triple-digit interest is a joke, too, because those figures are based on ANNUAL percentage rates. These are two-week, short-term loans! And if folks have enough money to get their nails done, they are not all that poor.

Author
Ryan458
Date
2009-08-20T10:23:36-06:00
ID
151061
Comment

Ryan= No this is not a free country never has been.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-08-20T10:59:31-06:00
ID
151063
Comment

[quote]How arrogant of local government to decide which businesses should operate.[/quote] Yeah, darn those annoying zoning laws! It's what keeps companies from installing a toxic waste dump in your neighborhood.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-08-20T12:02:35-06:00
ID
151064
Comment

Zoning to keep toxic waste out of my neighborhood is fine. I'll give you that. But how does a nail salon, payday loan business or a store that wants to buy my old gold wedding ban hurt anyone?

Author
Ryan458
Date
2009-08-20T12:10:50-06:00
ID
151079
Comment

It's not one that's the problem. It's the fact I can count three Chinese buffets, two nail salons and a couple of check-cashing places all within one mile of my house. That's overkill.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-08-20T17:38:10-06:00
ID
151081
Comment

Would those places be there if they didn't have a market in your neighborhood? Don't get me wrong: I'm not against zoning. It's just remarkable to see the stuff people get snobbish about, even as there is often a big, honkin' Wal-Mart with everything that brings right down the street.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-20T17:42:16-06:00
ID
151085
Comment

"Would those places be there if they didn't have a market in your neighborhood?" brings to mind the old question of which came first, the chicken or the egg? The answer is less important than the resulting symbiotic relationship where one sustains the other. As to Wal-Mart, isn't it interesting how the same local leaders can completely ignore the urban blight created when Wal-Mart vacates one building location to move into a supercenter site? (not to mention how it grates on my nerves that the company has added "supercenter" as a one-word term to the English language, but that's just me.)

Author
chaffeur
Date
2009-08-20T21:43:47-06:00
ID
151086
Comment

"Supercenter" as a general-use word sounds vaguely Orwellian to me. I can't put my finger on why. And really... When Ridgeland and Flowood ban these stores for anything other than moral reasons, they're conceding that free market theory--the essence of capitalism--is not good enough for them. The idea of a city government banning a type of business because they don't expect it to be profitable would make any real fiscal conservative's head spin.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2009-08-20T21:57:42-06:00
ID
151087
Comment

[quote]The idea of a city government banning a type of business because they don't expect it to be profitable would make any real fiscal conservative's head spin.[/quote] I'm not sure that's why they're being banned. I think it's because of the glut of the type of store. If it isn't profitable, it'll close.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-08-20T22:29:21-06:00
ID
151088
Comment

Hey, don't tell me--tell this guy:

Ward 5 Alderman Scott Jones suggested that the city simply did not need any more nail salons. "They're on every corner," Jones said. "They're everywhere. A lot of them go in and out of business regularly, so you get turnover of buildings. It just seems like every strip center that pops up, one comes in there. And I don't know if that's a good long-term solution for your empty buildings."

Author
Tom Head
Date
2009-08-20T23:07:12-06:00
ID
151090
Comment

Ward 2 Alderman Chuck Gautier wants "to stem the tide of businesses that tend to be victimized and that carry a lot of cash on hand." Ridgeland City Hall has 13 "check-cashing" business on record. Of that, only a small handful probably do actual payday lending. The FDIC reports, meanwhile, that 26 bank branches operate in Ridgeland. Who carries more cash? Banks are robbed everyday. Hopefully, Ward Schaefer will balance his reporting in future follow-ups and not just find people to bash payday lending.

Author
Ryan458
Date
2009-08-21T06:13:49-06:00
ID
151091
Comment

Seems like he's close to the point there. Although if there is a glut, lack of business will force the weaker ones to close without governmental help. In theory, anyway. I suppose you could wait for the "invisible hand" pf market forces to shut down some of the 82 nail salons or let the government limit how many open up.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-08-21T06:46:07-06:00
ID
151098
Comment

wait, what is desirable about payday lending? Isn't it 300% interest? I'm not sure that should even be legal.

Author
Izzy
Date
2009-08-21T08:52:24-06:00
ID
151099
Comment

Amen. There definitely need to be some regulations on the interest rates charged by payday lenders. ACORN has been on this for years, and you'd think that given the way unpayable interest has decimated our economy, governments would be cracking down on this sort of thing.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2009-08-21T08:53:58-06:00
ID
151116
Comment

Payday loan sharks do exploit people. Sure, the consumers might not have a gun held to their heads to go to one, but poorer people tend to have less-than-stellar credit histories, which makes them less desirable for loans from traditional banks. Because of that risk factor, the loan sharks can charge triple-digit percentage rates. And guess what happens when you can't pay it back? As far as the percentage rate goes, only the federal government can regulate that, so there's really nothing cities and states can do about that. I know this isn't a topic just on the payday loan shark industry, so I'm gonna steer this back to the original topic at hand. As much as I don't like such businesses, I don't know if banning certain types of businesses is really constitutional.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-08-21T13:27:26-06:00
ID
151127
Comment

[quote]As much as I don't like such businesses, I don't know if banning certain types of businesses is really constitutional. [/quote] Ask yourself this GE: Where are all the strip clubs and how'd they get there? To make this legal, and IANAL, I would imagine all they'd have to do is replace "ban" with "moratorium" and it'd be legal.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-08-21T16:47:24-06:00

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