The city will hold two public meetings this month in regards to a controversial pawn shop that opened in the Mack Dobbs Point strip mall this year despite a 2004 agreement prohibiting such businesses from the property.
The Kennesaw City Council was unable to make a final decision during a public hearing April 3, which saw attendance from Cruchelow Jewelry & Loan owners John and Serena Cruchelow, along with their attorney Michael Pryor.
"The Cruchelows believe they have done everything they needed to do to obtain a business license," said Pryor, who acknowledged that the property landlord, Celestino Venturi, applied for rezoning that would allow the pawn shop to operate on his property.
"My clients want to be in compliance with state law and are willing to take down their 'loan' sign as soon as possible," said Pryor in addressing the council. "They don't have a problem with that." According to Bill Harris, a Kennesaw resident who attended the initial agreements prohibiting pawn shops from the property in 2004 and who has brought the issue to light in his blog, the loan sign remained unchanged as of April 27.
A copy of the lease between Venturi and the Cruchelows obtained by Harris states that the tenants shall use the premises "for the retail sale repair, and loan of jewelry; for a gold buying operation, for the purchase, loan and sale of firearms (but Tenant may not sell ammunition); and for pawn brokering services and for no other purpose whatsoever."
Venturi was in attendance during the 2004 agreement between himself, residents and the city in which he was granted rezoning for the property from residential to commercial on condition that certain types of businesses, including pawn shops, would not be allowed.
The first of two hearings on another rezoning request that would allow the pawn shop to stay will take place at City Hall Thursday, May 3, at 7 p.m. followed by another meeting on Wednesday, May 16, at 6 p.m. The City Council also has a scheduled work session on Wednesday, May 2, at 6 p.m.
What do you think? Should the pawn shop stay, or should it go? Tell us in the comments.