Building size proposed for payday lenders

The Columbia Planning Commission on Monday voted 5-4 to recommend payday lenders be located only in buildings that are 30,000 square feet or larger.

The recommendation to City Council mirrors similar requirements in Rock Hill, Greenville and Camden - the only other cities in the state to have ordinances regulating the industry.

The lenders would not have to occupy all 30,000 square feet, but commissioners were told by staff that larger buildings in theory are better managed.

City Council members have already agreed to ban new payday lenders from operating within a half mile of existing payday lenders. However, they had asked the commission to review the 30,000-square-feet requirement.

- Jeff Wilkinson