Pelham City Council passes moratorium on certain new businesses

The Pelham City Council approved a one-year moratorium on certain businesses within Pelham city limits during a June 16 meeting. (Contributed)

The Pelham City Council approved a one-year moratorium on certain businesses within Pelham city limits during a June 16 meeting. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—The Pelham City Council confirmed their commitment to developing the commercial future of the city during a June 16 meeting. The Council approved the establishment of the Commercial Development Authority and a one-year moratorium on certain businesses within the city limits.

The moratorium halts the issuance of business licenses for payday loan, car title loan, check cashing, gold and silver brokers, tattoo parlors, pawn shops, vape shops, tobacco shops and used automobile sales businesses.

This period allows the city a “one-year breather” and an opportunity to analyze Pelham’s current commercial situation as well as possibilities for the future, focusing largely on the U.S. 31 commercial area, Scott explained.

In addition, City Council President Rick Hayes said the Council will use the time to create a “master plan” for Pelham’s future.

“This will be an opportunity for us to step back… make sure we’re doing the right thing,” Hayes said. “We need to do long term planning for the city so we can move forward.”

The June 16 approval of the moratorium was also in response to concerns raised by Pelham residents, both Scott and Councilman Maurice Mercer said.

“I think this is a good move for Pelham,” Mercer said, noting the types of businesses under the moratorium are “not inviting to families (or those) who want to raise families in Pelham.”

Although the moratorium does halt the issuance of specific business licenses, Scott explained it will not adversely impact the city’s revenue, nor currently operating businesses.

“(The moratorium) is not affecting the city’s revenue stream in anyway,” Councilman Ron Scott said during a June 16 work session, adding businesses of this type “currently in business” are “not being targeted.”

Along with the moratorium, the City Council once again approved the formation of the CDA. Although the City Council approved the CDA during an April 8 meeting, the previously existing Industrial Development Board was not officially dissolved until June 4.

“This is an opportunity to cross the t’s and dot the i’s one more time,” Hayes said of the June 16 Council approval of the CDA.

The CDA will analyze Pelham’s retail gaps and work with retailers, developers and landowners to cultivate Pelham’s commercial retail.

“What we’re excited for is the number of opportunities for businesses on (Highway) 31,” Hayes said.