F’ville: Restaurants, yes; pawn shops, no

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The Fayetteville City Council will hear the first reading June 17 of an amendment to the pawn shop ordinance that would restrict those businesses to the M-1 (Light Industrial) and M-2 (Heavy Industrial) zoning districts. Pawn shops are currently permitted in C-3 (Highway Commercial) districts, which would allow them along the city’s main thoroughfares of Glynn Street and Lanier Avenue.

Senior Planner Linwood Robinson said that while there are currently no pawn shops operating in the city, there have been several recent inquiries.

Robinson said that, as a house-keeping matter and an attempt to make sure pawn shops approved for operation in Fayetteville are placed in appropriate zoning classifications, city staff, the city attorney and Planning & Zoning Commission have conducted research on community impact and which zoning district is best suited for the placement of pawn shops.

The council continues its efforts to attract restaurants to the downtown area. To that end, board members will hear the first reading of a proposal to exempt impact fees and sewer proportionate fees for historic commercial properties around the Courthouse Square.

The idea is to create incentives that will encourage restaurant uses in historic commercial properties in the downtown square, which will in turn boost the local economy, create additional income for the city, and further the city’s goal to create a more active and lively downtown area. Staff has researched different options that might achieve these objectives, Main Street Director Brian Wismer said in a June 2 letter.

The board will also hear the first reading of the Fiscal Year 2011 budget that will take effect in August. The proposed general fund budget totals $9.7 million, down 4.6 percent over the current $10.12 million budget.

City finance staff expect to see an 8.89 percent decrease in property taxes for the coming year, but a 7.44 percent recovery in local option sales taxes.

The hiring freeze, implemented several years ago, will continue, with the loss of four additional positions through attrition. Again next year, the proposal calls for no increase in employee benefits.