CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – One group on Charleston’s East End wants to see certain businesses banned from their neighborhood.
Charleston’s historic East End is no stranger to change. Over the past ten years, new life has been blown into the district and new businesses have opened and flourished.
"We're trying to be as proactive as possible to make sure that revitalization continues," Ric Cavender, Executive Director, Charleston East End Main Street said.
To do that, officials with Charleston’s East End Main Street said they want to see certain businesses banned from the area.
"Some of those prohibited uses would include pawn shops, bail bondsmen, check cashing services, adult businesses, gambling establishments,” Cavender said. “Businesses that historically in other cities we've researched have created less than desirable neighborhoods and deterred economic development."
Cavender said he studied other cities and found by keeping these businesses out, crime rates dropped, economic development spurred and people wanted to move to the area. He said he believes more businesses will also want to move to the East End, filling up empty buildings.
Neighbors told wsaz.com they also don’t want to see these places popping up either.
"I think that's a good thing because I know they’re a lot of kids around here and to bring an environment like that around here, it'll bring a lot of turmoil,” Randall Jones, neighbor said. “Negative situations for the kids."
Leaders believe by putting the ban in place, they’re taking a step in the right direction and making the East End a desirable place to call home.
East End board members are trying to add the business ban to the current East End Urban Renewal Plan. That request will go before the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority next month.
Cavender said any businesses in place now that would fall under the ban would be grandfathered in.