Pelham council OKs first biz licenses under revised ordinance

PELHAM – The Pelham City Council, with guidance from the Commercial Development Authority, recently approved its first two business licenses for businesses that fall under the city’s amended zoning ordinance that was approved in May and took effect June 1.

At a meeting on Monday, July 10, the City Council approved business licenses for Hoffman Auto and Legacy Motors.

The ordinance restricts the issuance of business licenses for payday loan, car title loan, check cashing, gold and silver brokers, tattoo parlors, pawn shop, vape shop, tobacco shop, massage parlors and used automobile sales businesses. Businesses that fall into any of these categories must seek approval from the city for a business license.

The ordinance includes a two-tiered structure that includes the Commercial Development Authority as an advisory body for certain businesses seeking a business license.

Businesses asking for an exception are reviewed by the CDA board first and the CDA board will present their findings and make a recommendation to the City Council, which will make the final decision on whether to approve a business license.

CDA board president Lenny Glynn said the first two CDA board public hearings involved some growing pains as the board had to figure out what questions to ask to ensure that they gathered all of the information needed to make a sound decision.

“We had to ask ourselves, ‘Does this business license request meet all of the guidelines of the ordinance and will this be a benefit to the city and business?’” Glynn said.

Glynn said Legacy Motors is currently located in Pelham and is looking to relocate because their current landlord is selling the property where the business is located.

Hoffman Auto is also an existing Pelham business, but is not looking to relocate. Its owner wanted to obtain a business license that allows him to sell vehicles to the public. Glynn said Hoffman Auto was only allowed to sell vehicles to car dealerships, which then sold the vehicle to the public. The new business license will allow Hoffman Auto to sell directly to the public.

“Both of these businesses met the requirements of the ordinance,” Glynn said. “Hoffman will generate new sales tax revenue for the city and with Legacy Motors, that’s existing sales tax revenue that will stay in the city. Moving also puts the business closer to other car repair shops and dealerships.”

Glynn said he thinks the process went well.

“Everyone on the CDA board is comfortable with how it’s being done, but as we go on I’m sure we will find ways to fine tune it,” Glynn said. “I believe this works in the business’s best interest because it gives multiple sets of eyes looking at the business, but we won’t arbitrarily let everyone through. We will do our due diligence and if we ever reject a request for a business license, we will explain why.”

In other business, the council:

-Approved an application for a $2,500 Alabama Bicentennial Commission Foundation Grant to be applied toward the replacement of the historical marker located near Pelham City Hall.

-Accepted the dedication of certain public streets and rights-of-way in the city of Pelham.

-Accepted the lowest bid of $1,799 per set of protective clothing from Sunbelt Fire for the Pelham Fire Department.

-Authorized the Pelham Fire Department to renew mutual aid agreements with surrounding fire departments.

-Declared certain items, which are no longer needed for public or municipal purposed, as surplus personal property and authorized its disposal.