I recently attended a local community meeting and they asked a new businnes owner make some remaks.I was happy to hear that we have new businesses come to the community. The he describe his business and thats when the sarcastic side of me came out. WTF? Another beauty salon., here we go again.
In the 6th ward and more specifically Chatham a moratorium was put in place on our major streets (75th,79th,83rd, and 87th). In the late 90's, there was a prolifitration of hair salons and barber shops opening on these streets.There were reports that some of these shops were being used as fronts for drug dealers to launder money as at that time these businesses were primarily cash businesses. Also, because of ambiguity in the law, whereas someone with a felony conviction cannot obtain a state issues cosmetology license, they can own a hair salon.
Why did the sarcastic side of me come out? Hypocrisy plain and simple. Under the former aldermandic administration a business that required a zoning variance had to obtain a letter from the local community organization before the alderman would consider signing off on the variance. Under the current administration, the alderman reviews the proposal before they are sent to the local community organization.
My understanding of NO is NO means NO. So when you say no more hair salons it doesn't make a differece who your parents are, who you are friends with, what organazation you make a donation of time or money to or how much money you claim you are going to place in the business. Unfortunately, it seems that if an individual does the above they can get an exception. So after seeing this happen several times, I now have to ask what's the point?
In other parts of the city they have moratoriums on liquor sales, outdoor cafes and even the opening of religious facilities. In some of these communities some have stated that these moratoriums have had a negative impact on the community resulting in empty storefronts along major business strips.
So should there be a city wide guideline or should it be left up to community interpretation?