ROCK HILL, S.C. -- In an effort to promote a healthy financial image, the City of Rock Hill is voting on new rules for alternative lenders .

At issue is the number of pawn shops clustered together in any given area within the city limits. Cherry Road, one of the main corridors in the city, has the highest number.

We re trying to make sure that no area of the city is overrun, Says Bill Meyer, planning and development director for the city of Rock Hill.

Over the years citizens have expressed concerns, and this is part of a broader strategy, Meyer continued.

Established pawn shops like Rock Hill Pawn will be grandfathered in and not affected by the new rules. Owner Doug Mason believes the city s focus is misplaced.

They think a pawn shop is a bad business. We re crooks. We re not crooks; we re out here legitimately helping people make ends meet. Somebody s got to help working folk out... making their payday, making it through medical issues, the unforeseen circumstances.

The new rules include: no pawn shops 300 feet from churches, homes, schools, or parks. New pawn Shops must open in multi-tenant retail areas. Also, new pawn shops can t open near other pawn shops or payday lenders.

The City Council is expected to pass the rules with ease.

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