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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Supervisors to consider zoning limits on car title lenders

Fast Auto Loans, 7345 Little River Turnpike, Annandale.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is considering a zoning ordinance to prevent new car title and  payday lenders from opening up branches in commercial revitalization districts, such as Annandale, Bailey’s Crossroads, and the Route 1 corridor.

The proposed ordinance, developed by Fairfax County zoning staff at the request of supervisors Jeff McKay (Lee) and Gerry Hyland (Mount Vernon), says title and payday lenders would only be allowed as by-right projects in commercial areas zoned C-7 and C-8 and would have to be in a shopping center as opposed to a stand-alone building.

Zoning staff recommends these so-called “alternative lending institutions” not be permitted in commercial revitalization districts because they would have “negative economic impacts on revitalization efforts.”

The measure has strong support among the supervisors and could be approved by the end of the year.

Predatory lenders target poor and desperate people, who often don’t understand what they are signing. Some charge interest rates as high as 268 percent. According to a report on WUSA 9, more than 38,000 people in Virginia defaulted on title loans last year and more than 19,000 of them had their car repossessed.

“Virginia has become the predatory lending capital of the United States,” charges the state’s attorney general, Mark Herring. Maryland and the District of Columbia have tougher laws, and Virginia allows out-of-state people to get title loans here.

The proposed Fairfax County zoning ordinance also would prohibit car title and payday lenders in shopping centers adjacent to or across from land developed with any public use, place of worship, child care center, private school, or athletic fields. These lenders would not be permitted within 5,280 feet from another title or payday lender, and their operating hours would be limited to 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

The ordinance would not affect existing lenders, however, as the county cannot legally force a business to shut down.

Herring and Del. Scott Surovell (D-44th District) have called for state action to curb predatory lending. The two spoke at a news conference Sept. 11 where they suggested several steps that can be taken at the state level, including capping interest rates at 36 percent and prohibiting these lenders “within a certain radius of their targets, such as military bases or casinos.”

24 comments:

  1. This is really a good first step and we should all support it, but the cat is already out of the bag and it is about three years too late. Also, I don't know why they can't include a prohibition on more than 2 car title lenders per business district.

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    1. cat out of bag...horse out of the barn..ship has sailed...train has left the station.
      all thanks to lackey saslaw.

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  2. Virginia can and should, enact strict usury laws. A state law that would specify the maximum legal interest rate would clean up this blight.

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    1. That won't happen because these predatory lenders are underwritten by so-called legitimate banks who fund the politicians. This is why we can't do anything about litter. The litter "Board" is made of lobbyists for the bottle & can industry so we have to live in our own filth because no one can do anything in Virginia. The best government money can buy.

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  3. This is great. I'm pretty sure that everyone agrees that a rash of title loan businesses in one area is not a good thing.

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  4. Supervisor Gross is no where to be found even though this effects her district. Typical.

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  5. Honestly -- will you stop with the anti-Gross messaging. Getting very tedious

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    1. no reason to when she isn't improving our community

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    2. A good way to stop the anti-Gross messaging is to vote her out of office. I believe what that what the 2:53 post was stating is that she should be proposing things like this, since Mason District has several revitalization districts. Why did she not request this together with her fellow Lee and Mt. Vernon District supervisors? People are tired of her inaction. I do not want to believe the claims that she is purposefully allowing Mason District to decline so that the property values decline and are more attractive to developers, but she has yet to show that this is not what is happening.

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    3. Blame State Senator Saslaw who advocated the legislation for such businesses.

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  6. You can thank our very own Northern Virginia Senator Saslaw for these predatory lending laws.....he promoted them and was a major factor in their passage. He was rewarded by no electoral opposition time after time and
    being elected minority leader in the Senate where he "cooperated" reliably with the other party.
    The main reason he no opposition is because he is more than adequately funded by special interests who just jump to support him.
    PS After all these predatory laws were passed , he explained to his electorate-who finally caught on-
    that he was no longer representing predatory lenders. He's our boy!! He did this to us...

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  7. I have a perfect solution for Title Companies. Put them in a dumpster and ship it out Syria.......they would appreciate them there.

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    1. No, just break them up and put them in the 'Donation Boxes." This is easier that putting them in a dumpster because Donation Boxes and dumpsters are closer to the road so are more convenient for the usual once a month or whenever pickup.
      Speaking of Donation Boxes and dumpsters, they are both community blight machines that have festered for years apparently invisible to our Supervisor, Planning Commissioner, Mason District Land Use Committee, Annandale Commercial Business District Planning Commission, Bailey's Cross Road Revitalization, Chamber of Commerce and Department of Code Compliance, invisible that is until an election year.
      What has not been mentioned is that the proposals for the boxes and payday loans are not needed. There already exists the means to get rid of them but the will to get rid of them has been lacking in our leadership. And even if we had the means, we only have one fifth of the Commonwealth Attorneys (the good guys) we need to enforce existing laws. Let me repeat that, Fairfax County has only one fifth as many Commonwealth Attorneys as compared to similar jurisdictions in Virginia. As a consequence only one fifth of violations are prosecuted and disincentivize, which is not sufficient to reduce real crime. Notice I used the term real crime as opposed to reported crime and bad behavior.
      So here is the Plan from the County Attorney’s Office (the bad guys): you ignore extremely obvious, obnoxious and disgraceful things like payday lending and Donation Boxes for years until a huge inventory is built up to community destroying levels. Then when the market is saturated and you have enough to ensure blight, you grandfather those existing edifices in to protect them from enforcement of preexisting laws and finally, you write additional language to sort of maybe discourage their further proliferation. EMBRACE CHANGE.

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  8. Good luck getting this done. Kaye Kory voted to increase the customer base to out of state customers for these lenders.
    https://votesmart.org/bill/votes/33576#.VfjIL-m3Qb5

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    1. I'm sure Saslaw asked her to vote for it and being a good democrat she did it. I'm tired of people voting for democrat or republican just because that's what they think they are supposed to do. I'm a democrat but I'm tired of this Board of Supervisors not listening to the residents and writing laws (zoing ordinance) that will fast track developers and give the BoS massive powers to decide what is best for a community, and so they (BoS) can get a higher tax base, Please take time to investigate who has done or not done anything for your district and community. Please don't just blindly pull the lever for a political party.

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  9. Thanks for the link citation. You got to wonder where her head was when she cast that vote.m

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  10. If you are talking about Kaye Korey, she never has opposition, so she pretty much does what she wants.
    Since this area pretty much always votes Democratic, it would be nice if they has a primary now and then. Give Penny credit, she survived a very difficult primary.

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  11. Kaye Kory is a do noting joke. I hear this will be her last term. Good riddance to a useless, soon to be forgotten Lake Barcroft-centric politician.

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    1. Last term?
      That raises the question of what she plans on doing next.

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  12. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/bosclerk/summary/2015/15-03-24.pdf

    "In a joint Board Matter with Supervisor Gross and Supervisor Hyland, Supervisor
    McKay said that his request in 2013, this Board directed staff to begin studying
    the possible regulatory and land-use options the County has to regulate car title
    lenders......"

    Why can't we have an honest account on this Blog? Why must it always be slanted against Penny? Does it sell better ads that way? Who was the ad manager of this blog previously....oh right....It was Mollie (former Ad Manager for Annandale Blog).

    Let's see if Mollie and co. let this post go up....

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    1. See quote from Penny Gross in 2013 blog post on this topic:
      http://annandaleva.blogspot.com/2013/11/fairfax-county-supervisors-consider.html

      Mollie Loeffler never had any editorial control over the Annandale Blog.

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    2. For heaven's sakes, you, 9/17, 12:02, start telling the truth about Penny and the county. Penny had nothing to do with the request for controlling title companies. She said oh yes please do something about them to Supervisor McKay and Hyland. Maybe you have not dealt with Penny before in the past 20 years to see how she treats people and does nothing for her district. Better wake up so we can start trying to catch up with the other better run districts in Fairfax.

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  13. Thank you, Ellie, for the facts which do not always agree with Penny and her supporters version.

    The crucial point of this discussion is the dismal state of Mason District, due in part to the lack of enforcement of current ordinances and regulations.

    This is the direct result of a lack of leadership and political will.

    I appreciate the Annandale Blog's keeping us up to date on actions that directly impact our community.

    Keep up the good work!

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