Recently the City of Glendale approved yet another pawn shop, Go Daddy Pawn, in south Glendale at 67th Avenue and Bethany Home Road, specifically in zip code 85301. Now USA Pawn wants to plant itself a mere 300 to 500 feet away from Go Daddy Pawn. Not another pawn shop! Give south Glendale a break. There are more than a half dozen pawn shops within shouting distance of one another in the area.
Not all residents, but many who live in zip code 85301 are poor. It is a socio-demographic area under stress. There are, at a minimum, 15 apartment complexes. Housing can and often will sell for less than $100,000. An obscene number of pawn shops, liquor stores, title loan shops and we buy gold & silver shops dot the landscape – far more than in any other part of Glendale. I won’t even get into the number of south Glendale billboards (ala the north Glendale situation that has residents currently fighting their placement along Bell Road).
85301 is a ripe and juicy target area for the non-profits of the world. Many wish to locate in 85301 to be close to their client base. After a while it becomes a “chicken and egg” situation. The non-profits are drawn there to do good. That in turn, attracts more people in need to the area which, in turn, attracts even more non-profits. It becomes a never ending cycle that drags down property values. These types of commercial/retail seek out areas such as 85301.
Pawn shops are not healthy for any community. In a University of Michigan Law School study (here is the link: https://www.law.umich.edu/centersandprograms/lawandeconomics/workshops/Documents/Winter2008/miles.pdf ) “…estimates indicate that a 10% increase in the rate of pawn shops raises the rate of robberies, burglaries, and larcenies in urban counties by between 0.8 and 1.1 percentage points.” It found that, “pawn shops increase the rates of robbery, burglary, and larceny…”
On Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 6 PM the Glendale citizen Planning Commission will decide whether to grant a Conditional Use Permit for USA Pawn Shop. The meeting will be in the council chambers of Glendale City Hall.
Whether you live in zip code 85301 or not, please plan to attend and to ask the Planning Commission to deny USA’s request. You don’t have to live in that zip code, or in Glendale for that matter, to have an opinion and to speak. The Planning Commission, similar to a city council, can be swayed by the numbers of people in attendance opposing or supporting an issue. Your neighbors need your help and your support more than ever. It starts with just one person who does not assume that others will do the job. Be part of the solution.
Why bother? Because negative zoning requests such as this know no bounds. They are like sludge, silently expanding their boundaries. While they are predominately located south of Glendale Avenue now, look for a future that moves these indicators of decline further north in Glendale – first to Northern Avenue and then beyond as they relentlessly move northward in our city.
© Joyce Clark, 2014
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