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Compromise close on pawn shop ordinance
Board will hold a third hearing on matter
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Forsyth County News

Other action

Also at their meeting Thursday night, Forsyth County commissioners:

• Held the first public hearing on proposed changes to the alcohol ordinance to allow growler stores to provide free samples in a separate tasting room.

The commission also directed the county attorney to add a provision to expand the types of materials that the draft-beer business can use as containers. The next hearing is scheduled for May 2.

• Amended a zoning condition to allow Ashton Atlanta Residential to use a wider variety of materials on the exterior of homes in the Provence subdivision.

Several neighbors voiced opposition to the use of board and batten. In a compromise, the commission approved the condition to allow board and batten only on the front of homes.

Note: All votes were 5-0 unless otherwise noted.

— Alyssa LaRenzie

Cops and shops appear to have reached a compromise on proposed changes to an ordinance regulating pawn brokers.

Additions to the Forsyth County pawn shop ordinance would ramp up reporting requirements in an effort to deter thieves and recover stolen goods.

Commissioners postponed a vote on the ordinance changes in March to give the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and local pawn shop owners a chance to discuss the details.

On Thursday, the commission decided to hold one more public hearing on the latest draft before taking a vote to adopt the new rules. That hearing was scheduled for May 2.

County Attorney Ken Jarrard said the modifications mostly reduced or deleted new requirements proposed for the owners, which typically wouldn’t require another hearing.

However, Jarrard recommended a third hearing based on additions to the proposed ordinance, such as a requirement that items purchased by a pawn shop be held for at least 15 days.

Some of the other changes included: a reduction in the days a store must keep surveillance tapes from 30 to 12, a new definition of “purchase” and some changes in reporting requirements for photos and fingerprints of people selling items.

Pawn shop owners spoke out against the requirements at the first hearing in February, but agreed to meet with the sheriff’s office, which proposed the changes.

In Hall County, commissioners recently voted down a proposal with the same aim that would have applied to pawnshops, secondhand stores and jewelry dealers.