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South Boston council: Three’s a crowd for pawnshops

Only three pawnshops will be allowed to operate in the Town of South Boston after council, in a roll call vote, unanimously approved an amendment adding the states’ definition of pawnshops to the town code and limiting the number allowed to three.

Adopting the amendment will create a new business category to include pawnshops, with pawnshops required to pay a licensing fee.

The South Boston Planning Commission will work with council to change the town’s zoning ordinances to accommodate pawnshops, South Boston Town Manager Ted Daniel told council.

Currently, a person wishing to operate a pawnshop must initiate the license process by applying to the circuit court.  If the court authorizes the license, the locality may issue a local license.

The police department investigates the applicant to determine if he has been convicted of a felony before the court grants approval for operation of a pawnshop.

The town attorney recommended Chapter 82 of town code be amended to add the state definition of pawnshops, and Chapter 114 (zoning) be amended to say where and under what conditions pawnshops are allowed.

The town also will establish a business license fee for operation of a pawnshop.

Pawnshops are currently categorized by code in the “business” category and are taxed at 18 cents per $100 of gross receipts.