In a unanimous vote, Dallas' city council voted for a land use zoning ordinance which regulates density aimed at breaking up the density and slowing down the proliferation of payday and auto-title lenders. The highlights of the ordinance are:
Short term lending institutions must be at least 1500 ft apart
They must be in free standing buildings
They must have a special use permit
The must be at least 300 ft from highways
There is still another ordinance that will be designed to address disclosure and some of their lending practices. But, the 200 people who showed up in support of this ordinance and the nearly 4000 people who signed petitions calling for the city to enact strong regulation have had their voices heard as they demanded relief for themselves, their communities, their fellow church members and the rest of the city.
These are not earth shattering in themselves.We're not naive. This will not end payday lending. This will inconvenience some lenders, not put them out of business (complaints to the contrary, that never has been a goal). And, yes, existing businesses are 'grandfathered' in. But this sets the stage for further and more meaningful action going forward.
The predatory loan industry was served notice on today that Dallas is willing to take action against exploitation masquerading as commerce!
Thanks to all the members of the Anti-Poverty Coalition: CitySquare, Friendship West Baptist Church, Inspirational Body of Christ, Concord Church, Antioch Fellowship Baptist Church, the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, the Jewish Community Relations Council, AARP, Catholic Charities and the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, the Urban League, as well as faith and community based organizations who made this victory possible. This is a great step in right direction!