City committee punts on Goodman pawnshop plan

Members of a City Council committee on Tuesday postponed a decision on a proposal by Mayor Carolyn Goodman to lift restrictions on pawnshops on Las Vegas Boulevard between Charleston and Sahara avenues.

The City Council Recommending Committee consisting of council members Lois Tarkanian and Bob Coffin said the proposal needs more work before they will consider advancing it to the whole council and voted to delay a decision until Jan. 31.

Tarkanian said she didn’t agree with Goodman’s suggestion that lifting a ban on pawn stores on the stretch of the boulevard just north of the Strip would result in "Pawn Stars"-style attention for the area, a reference to the reality television show that attracts thousands of tourists to Gold and Silver Pawn, which is outside the restricted area.

"Carolyn is talking about that one pawnshop that has a whole lot of attention," Tarkanian said. "I don’t think if we have six pawnshops, they are going to have a whole lot of attention. (Tourists) are going to go to the one on TV. TV is not going to have all of them on. I didn’t feel that was valid."

Coffin said the proposal needs to maintain the ban on auto pawn businesses and be changed to keep pawn stores from moving to parts of the boulevard that are close to residential neighborhoods.

"There might be places on the boulevard where this could go but not near the residences," Coffin said.

Goodman said she disagreed that allowing pawnshops on that particular stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard would be an affront to residents.

"When you go from Sahara all the way down to Charleston, we have tattoo parlors, we have a gentlemen’s club, we have massage parlors," Goodman said. "Here is an opportunity for revitalizing that whole area."

Residents from nearby neighborhoods, however, have rejected the idea.

In an email to committee members, Southridge Neighborhood Association President Michael Hanratty said he is "vehemently opposed" to lifting the restriction.

Hart Fleischhauer, a resident on Ninth Street, said he was "strongly opposed" to lifting the existing ban.

"There are plenty of pawnshops just north of Charleston," said Fleischhauer, who contrasted the neighborhood with more suburban communities in the Las Vegas area. "Would we want it in Summerlin or Aliante or Green Valley? Heck no. Do we want it in our neighborhood? Heck no."

Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at bspillman@reviewjournal.com or 702-229-6435.

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