In Oct. 2004 property owner Mr Venturi wanted to change zoning on his 2.9 acres from residental to business. Initially this was not popular as it was next to a 54 home subdivision.
An agreement was reached between homeowners in the area, the City of Kennesaw and Mr. Venturi that some business usage would be prohibited from that property. Pawn Shops were one of these types of businesses that it was agreed woud be banned from what turned out to be Mack Dobbs Point strip mall.
In Sept 2011 an application was put in for a business in this strip mall and it was called Cruchelow's Jewelry and Loan, LLC. The 20+ page application went through with this name on all pages, sometimes twice per page. Only one small mention was made on one document that it was to be used as a 'pawn shop'.
Even the property owner was under the impression that it was to be a jewelry store. [continued below]....
Once the shop opened not only was the wording Pawn Shop put up but people were hired to walk in front of the mall in costume and carrying yellow signs reading: "We Buy Gold / Pawn Shop"
Initially it was thought that this was simple error on the part of the City of Kennesaw and the Planning and Zoning Administrator Simmons was blamed for letting this shop obtain a license. Community residents were unhappy to now have a Pawn Shop on the property 8 years after the zoning change and residents complained to the City. CBS, ABC, the local Marietta Daily Journal and 2 internet newspapers ran stories, interviewed residents and the Mayor of Kennesaw. For a small Georgia city it was a big deal and made the City look inept.
It seemed to initially be 50% the fault of the City and 50% the fault of the strip mall Owner Mr. Venturi that this shop was opened. There was some initial sympathy for the owner of the shop Mr. John Ross Cruchelow (AKA: John Ross Salazar).
Unfortunately for John and Serena Cruchelow, they were telling residents of the community that they had in effect found a way to circumvent the zoning restriction for pawn shops and they had put one over on the City. This came to the attention of residents who had been involved in the 2004 agreement and the matter was brought up both in emails and in person at a 3/19/12 City Commission meeting. 2 local residents testified under oath, subject to the penalties of perjury, to the above information.
Any sympathy for the Pawn Shop and any interest in granting a variance due to the City having made the error dried up and the City Attorney is taking the matter in hand to see that the pawn shop is removed from that strip mall.
Additionally, it was discovered that Georgia Code - Property - Title 44, Section 44-12-138 says at:
(a)(1) Any pawnbroker as defined in paragraph (2) of Code Section 44-12-130 shall include most prominently in any and all types of advertisements the word 'pawn' or the words 'pawn transaction.' A pawnbroker shall not use the term 'loan' in any advertisements or in connection with any advertising of the business of the pawnbroker. . ."
So it turns out that the clever idea to disguise the Pawn Shop as a Jewelry and Loan business, while initially successful, turns out to be a fatal flaw and that alone, even without the usage deception, would be ample reason to shut down the Pawn Shop.
Other information about this situation can be found at: kennesawpawnproblems.blogspot.com and also at: jcruchelow.blogspot.com.