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Council Nixes Pawnshop Proposal

“Grander vision” seen for Virginia Street; Crystal Lake City Council vote is unanimous in rejection.

The City Council turned down a proposal to bring the first pawn shop to town.

A pawnshop, which had been proposed for 457 W. Virginia St., would be a convenience for a person visiting a nearby food pantry, said Michelle J. Rozovics, a Crystal Lake attorney. That person, she argued, may want to hock a personal possession.

“People need short-term cash,” she said.

But Mayor Aaron Shepley cut short her argument. Rozovics was representing Peter Kozysa, the pawnshop petitioner. 

Kozysa said he was formerly employed as a pit boss at casinos in Las Vegas and Elgin over the past few years. Kozysa said he was transitioning into the pawnshop business.

Kozysa told the City Council that a pawnshop would bring rare and interesting items to town.

“It’s not a good fit for our community,” Shepley said. “The business preys on people of little means who are down on their luck. …What we’re really talking about is the character of our community.”

Shepley said because the pawn business is so highly regulated—to monitor whether it is trafficking stolen merchandise—that in itself was an indicator that the city would be inviting trouble.

Council member Carolyn Schofield said the city recently invested millions in streetscapes and decorative crosswalks along Virginia Street.

“We have a grander vision,” she said.

todd April 20, 2012 at 02:56 PM
OMG, The people running CL are even more narrow minded than I thought. The lack of serious big world real corporate experience shows. Most of the members werer born and raised here and are not open to new ideas. What do they think of the "we buy gold shop"? Geez, I hope the pawn shop takes his business to neighbor town and they get the tax revenue. I am also sure those who have jewlery shops in town were also crying to the board not to allow this as well. you folks allowed a HOOTERs into our community, a We buy Gold shop!? Prey on people of low financial means? Clearly Mr. Mayor you are not in touch with the voters and what is going on in this world and has changed for good. And stolen good? give me a break, pawn shops have a way of checking some of the items and are now really good about contacting law enforcement if they suspect stolen items as they want to be part of the community and provide jobs, pay taxes. Pawn guy you will get to open your business in another very close village and people from Crystal Lake will still come to you for business. I wish you success. I apoligize for for the lack of vision and leadership from Crystal Lake in denying your well intended efforts.
Grace Honor April 20, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Get over yourself Carolyn Schofield! (and the rest of you voting against this) This is not an elete community. It's a mix of 'classes'. Many middle class citizens are desperate to hang on to their homes and trying to sell off their things for a reasonable rate and a Pawn shop would help them. Does part of that "vision" include keeping building owners from renting those spaces out & staying afloat in this terrible economy? How about some insight into this "Grander Vision." CL has lost a lot of business to Algonquin - you missed the boat. There isn't enough revenue in CL to fit a "Grander Vision". Todd is right, how can you say that these businesses attract seedy characters on one hand but allow places like a tattoo parlor, Liquer stores & places that sell guns, hunting knives and other 'weapons'?? Are you saying that places like "we buy Gold", unethical used car dealers and title loan companies DON'T prey on the needy? You are splitting hairs. With so many vacant shops in CL, you should rethink this decision. You are threatening the livelyhood of small business owners in CL. Allowing the pawn shop will bring revenue to the City & the building owner.
Scott M April 20, 2012 at 10:29 PM
I agree with the decision made by the CL City Council. While some believe that the city should desperately sell itself to the lowest common denominators I direct your attention to high quality vendors that have joined the Crystal Lake community during this "terrible economy" including Five Guys and Chic-Fil-A as well as the longstanding businesses of the community which have invested in gorgeous new locations including Kyoto, Colonial, and King Wok. Frankly, the visions of those that disagree with the Council in this scenario are short-sighting and self-limiting. I agree with the Council: We deserve better. Well done.
Scott B April 26, 2012 at 07:07 PM
I understand both sides of the issue but the thing I do not understand was that the city has allowed the Gold Max shop and their was also a Hooters. Seems like they are talking out of both sides of their mouth. I think the term "Pawn Shop" has a negative connotation to it. What if it was called a Used Trade In Emporium would the city allow it then? It's not like Crystal Lake is full of criminals and thugs this is a nice town and I would say about 95 percent of people who would use the store would be trading in old things they do not use or need anymore but need the money. If it was stolen items the employees are trained to not take any of those items. I guess what I am saying is that I think its ok for a Pawn Shop to come to town.
Rick O August 26, 2012 at 11:44 AM
I support the Council not to allow the pawn shop. It is unfortunate that We Buy Gold and the tattoo parlors were allowed to open. I would be happy if they picked up their business and moved to Algonquin, or further. We DO deserve better.

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