In a controversial move, Coquitlam has banned a number of "undesirable businesses" in their community
If you're looking for a pawn shop, methadone clinic, non-registered massage outlet, escort service or exotic dancing joint in Coquitlam, your search may be in vain. That's because Mayor Richard Stewart and his council have taken the bold move of banning all of the above from their quaint sub-urban community in Metro Vancouver.
In addition to the outright ban on the "undesirable businesses" listed above, the Tri-City News is reporting that you will not be able to establish an adult entertainment shop, adult video store, cheque-cashing outlet, scrap metal dealer or tattoo parlour within one-kilometre of any other "undesirable business" in Coquitlam.
One could only imagine the outrage from Downtown Eastside activists if a city like Vancouver attempted such a sweeping policy initiative. However, the reality is that with Coquitlam taking a "tough love" approach on this type of activity, more of it is now likely to end up in Vancouver's downtown core. The decision of council was unanimous.
Mayor Stewart says that his initiative is aimed at making his City's business zones "family-friendly."
Coquitlam resident Lisa Vallister told council that she "regrets" moving out of Vancouver to Coquitlam where she was likely seeking a quieter existence. She told council at a public hearing:
I feel embarrassed as a citizen of this area.
The Mayor is also raising the license fees for existing pawn shop from the current $3,500 to $10,000. By raising the fees, council is likely hoping a number of existing pawn shops will simply fold up and move to other municipalities.
Will other municipalities in the Metro Vancouver follow Coquitlam's lead? Or should they? Will this simply push the problem into a neighbouring municipality? What do you think?