LB COUNCIL EXEMPTS 3 LENDERS IN 1-YEAR MORATORIUM ON HIGH-INTEREST LOANSBy LBReport.com
LONG BEACH — The City Council on Tuesday night approved a substitute motion by Councilman Patrick O’Donnell to exempt three applications “in the pipeline” — applicants have paid their fees — from a one-year moratorium on payday lending, car title loan lending and short term consumer finance lending land uses.
The 8-1 vote (Schipske dissenting) effectively lets an application for a title loan lending firm (South Wrigley, PCH/Pacific, 6th district) and a consumer finance lending firm (ELB 2000 block Ximeno, 4th district) advance to the City Council on appeals and a third (title loan firm in the 8th district) to proceed to the Planning Commission where they can be approved or disapproved “on their merits.”
Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske had proposed the moratorium and Vice Mayor Robert Garcia and Councilmembers Al Austin and Steven Neal joined in agendizing the item…but Schipske’s three co-agendizers ultimately voted to exempt from the moratorium three pending applications “in the pipeline” (applications as filed complete, fees paid)…including the applications that spawned the proposed moratorium in the first place.
During public testimony, an attorney representing the PCH/Pacific applicant (Pennbrooke Financial Services) indicated that 6th district Councilman Dee Andrews’ office has been working on “29 conditions” for the South Wrigley location. This revelation [it's the first we've heard of it] strongly suggests that Councilman Andrews plans to support the operation with conditions when it reaches the Council…a stance that would put him at loggerheads with a number of veteran community advocates (including members of the Long Beach Central Project Area Council, established when the Central Redevelopment Project Area Committee disappeared with Sacramento’s dissolution of Redevelopment) who oppose the proposed PCH/Pacific title loan location.
A week earlier, Garcia and O’Donnell were the only two Councilmembers to vote against a motion by Schipske to “continue” a hearing on the 4th district consumer finance lending location. (Continuing the hearing gave Schipske time to agendize the moratorium.)