According to Northport Retail Development Director Alan Harper, the extended time is needed so that a joint study can be completed on the impact of select businesses in the city.
In November, the City Council voted to move ahead with the study, which will also examine the impact on the city of Tuscaloosa. The study is being done by Cooper Consulting Co. for $40,540, and the cost is being split evenly between the two cities.
The study will examine what impact pawn shops, payday advance businesses, tattoo parlors, title loan stores and similar businesses might have on the cities.
We’d like to extend (the moratorium) until June 17, which will give us ample time to study the results, Harper said.
There will be no change otherwise to the moratorium, he said. The original moratorium banned the opening of any new tattoo and piercing parlors, pawnshops, title loan shops, payday loan operations, cash-and-go businesses, check-cashing stores, tobacco shops, adult bookstores, sex item shops and hand car wash businesses. The city permanently banned fireworks stands within city limits last month.
The joint study is currently underway and started in January and should be done by the end of March or early April, Harper said. But, one thing is clear — Northport has more of its fair share of those certain types of businesses, Harper said.
There are roughly 40 businesses in the group in Northport, Harper said, adding that there are about the same number of those types of businesses in Tuscaloosa, even though the population of Tuscaloosa is more than triple that of Northport.
Northport’s original moratorium was in response to Tuscaloosa City Councilman Kip Tyner’s proposal to ban similar businesses within the city of Tuscaloosa’s mixed-use zones, which already limit the number of businesses that can operate as check-cashing operations, pawnshops, payday loan services, sexually oriented or adult-based entertainment stores, tattoo or body piercing parlors, title loan businesses, tobacco shops or vehicle repair services.
Once Northport took action, the Tuscaloosa City Council considered banning the same types of businesses out of concern that Northport’s ban would push them across the river. However, the Tuscaloosa City Council opted not to pursue the ban on Oct. 9, and instead decided conduct a study on the effects of these businesses.
The Northport City Council will vote on the moratorium extension at its next meeting on Feb. 18.
Reach Lydia Seabol Avant at 205-722-0222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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