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Pawn shop owner sues Georgia city

Jun 28, 2012 Sean Albert

The popularity of using pawn shops as a form of alternative finance has been on the rise since thanks to multiple reality television shows showing the behind the scenes work of the sector. However, some lawmakers seem to have a problem with the industry. In Georgia, a pawn shop owner recently decided to sue the city of Kennesaw because of allegedly unconstitutional zoning laws. After the ordinance was passed, a pawn shop was forced to close its doors. Zoning laws violate rights According to the Marietta Daily Journal, Mack Dobbs Properties owner Celestino Venturi has levied a lawsuit against the Georgia city. Despite being banned from opening a pawn shop in 2004, the source explained, Venturi was able to secure a business license for Cruchelow Jewelry and Loan in 2011 after an oversight by the city council. However, in early June, council members would not vote for an amendment to the shopping center's zoning laws that provide for a pawn shop. Venturi is claiming the city council of Kennesaw did not prove its denial of the zoning amendment was constitutional, the Marietta Daily Journal reported. "The defendants have delegated their authority to zone property to the citizens at large by basing their decision on whether there is vocal opposition to a zoning request," the lawsuit said, explaining the state constitution was not followed. A pawn shop could provide citizens in the area with a place to shop for new items, as well as a means of obtaining non-traditional short term lending should they face unexpected expenses, despite any possible issues with credit history. Georgia pawn shops shed in good light recently Regardless of any issues in Kennesaw, Georgia pawn shops have received positive advertising in the media lately. When a celebrity's name is linked with a pawn shop, the industry often receives a boost in revenue. The latest winner of American Idol, Phillip Phillips, was hailed as coming from a family of pawn owners. The show provided a forum for Phillips to talk about his work in the industry prior to auditioning for the reality show. After Phillips began gaining traction as one of the competition's frontrunners, WALB-TV reported, many customers called and visited the store to show support for the young singer. "We're getting calls from all over the world," shop manager Les Sherwood told WALB, explaining that the show and media coverage provided positive advertisement for the business.