Downtown pawnshop OK with conditions

Downtown pawnshop OK with conditions
Oceanside Jewelers was granted a pawnshop license with the understanding that it would not operate as a typical pawnshop. Restrictions limit the license to buying and selling jewelry. Photo by Promise Yee

OCEANSIDE — After years of working to clean up its city’s image, Oceanside City Council approved a second downtown pawnshop in a 4-1 vote in which Councilman Jack Feller voted no. 

Council granted approval of a Conditional Use Permit and Regular Coastal Permit to Oceanside Jewelers on Oct. 17 with the understanding that the store would not operate as a typical pawnshop.

The jewelry business located at 222 N. Coast Highway will have restrictions on its pawnshop license that will limit it to collateral loans on jewelry. No small electronics can be pawned.

There is also a restriction attached to the license that does not allow the word “pawn” to be used in the store’s business title or advertising.

“There will be no change to the interior or exterior or day to day operations,” Chad Coogan, owner of Oceanside Jewelers, said.

Council approval came after numerous downtown business owners and members of MainStreet Oceanside stepped up to support Oceanside Jewelers and its request to add a limited pawnshop license to its operations in order to be on an even playing field with the pawnshop across the street that also sells jewelry.

Fellow business owners said granting the pawn license would allow “fair play” between the two businesses.

“The license will be used for collateral lending,” Ruth Jameson, an Oceanside resident, said. “Give him a chance to stay there.”

There are notable differences between the two businesses that have been granted pawnshop licenses. Coast Jewelry does not have restrictions on using the word “pawn” in advertising and can buy and sell small electronics.

Several council members were concerned that giving an OK to a second pawnshop opened a Pandora’s box for more pawnshops to put in requests for business licenses. Pawnshops are typically known for increasing local property crimes and the need for additional police surveillance.

“I’m happy with the requirements and happy a lot of business people are supporting it,” Mayor Jim Wood said. “I hope we don’t have problems down the road with a third and fourth request.”

Council majority agreed the restrictions allow the license to be granted and still keep the business in harmony with the city’s upgraded image.

Feller was the only council member who said he would not support the license.

“Massage parlors are now spas,” Feller said. “Cash for Gold are all up and down Coast Highway. There’s already an application for a tattoo parlor in the downtown area. I wish you luck, but I will be going against my principles and what I believe is a different vision for downtown. We’ve got to rein it in or we’re going to be looking just like we did in 1968.”

Findings and conditions on the item will be brought back to council in a following meeting.

 

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