Northport tightens rules for certain businesses - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Northport tightens rules for certain businesses

Source: WBRC video Source: WBRC video

The Northport City Council has decided to regulate where certain businesses can set up inside city limits. This comes after a six month moratorium to investigate the matter.

The new city ordinance only effects six types of businesses: payday and title loan businesses, pawn shops, tattoo parlors and gold buying or check cashing companies.

City administrator Scott Collins says they weren't hurting Northport business-wise.

But developers expressed concerns that some of the businesses gave their surrounding community an image problem with so many of them so close together in certain areas.

The city council voted to change zoning laws. Those six types of businesses can only operate on parts of Lurleen Wallace Boulevard or Highway 82 and McFarland.

Current businesses are grandfathered in, but going forward, 1,500 feet would have to separate most of those businesses. The regulation is double for tattoo parlors—3,000 feet must separate them.

Collins spoke about the negative perception some have with those businesses inside the city.

"The question became the condition of the neighborhood itself, where the perception, not necessarily the reality... would be that if you had a high concentration of title loans, for example or payday loans, things of that nature, you may be in an area of town where incomes are less of the demographics don't lend themselves to family incomes of things of that nature and that's not the case with the city of Northport," Collins said.

The zoning restrictions go into effect immediately.

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