January 28, 2005

Chula Vista Councilmember and Planning Commission Chair Propose a Moratorium on Check Cashing/Pay Day Lending Industry

Chula Vista - Chula Vista Councilmember Steve Casta-neda and Planning Commission Chair Marco Cortes proposed a moratorium on the approval of new check cashing and payday lending businesses in the City Of Chula Vista. The officials also requested that the City Attorney and Planning Department to provide language to develop new regulations limiting the number and locations where the operations can be located in the city.

“I am asking that my colleagues on the Planning Commission join me in requesting that the City Council adopt this emergency measure to protect the livability of our community,” said Cortes. “Current city law does not allow us to regulate where these businesses should be located,” he added.

The city is currently considering a host of sweeping changes to its general plan and specific neighborhood plans that are intended to spur revitalization and upgrade areas plagued by blight. The proliferation of check cashing businesses has been seen as a generator of blight in many communities. Legislation regulating check cashing businesses, similar to that proposed by Castaneda and Cortes has been enacted in cities throughout California that have experienced an over-saturation of operations in low income and emerging communities.

“Chula Vista is undertaking a major effort to revitalize our older communities, and regulating these kinds of uses gives us more tools to upgrade our neighborhoods more effectively” Castaneda said. “In addition to limiting areas where check cashing operations can be located, I want the ability to require safeguards, such as the ability to limit the hours of operation, requirements for added on-site security and rules governing services that are offered to protect customers and surrounding neighborhoods.”

Castaneda is expected to make similar recommendations to the City Council once the Planning Commission has reviewed the matter.

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