Money Mart zoning variance approved to allow for security fence

The Pine Bluff Board of Zoning Adjustment voted Tuesday to grant a zoning variance for Money Mart Inc. that will allow the pawn shop to install a new six-foot-high security fence across the front of the business on East Harding Avenue.

Tonya Richmond spoke on behalf of Money Mart owner Don Edwards, who was not present.

“This new fencing will connect with our existing fences to completely enclose the property providing us with additional security,” Richmond said. “The fencing will have barbed wire across the top, which is the same type of fencing that already exists on the east, north and west sides of our building.”

Richmond said that the business has been broken into numerous times in the past several years.

“Our insurance provider will no longer cover theft because of the number of times our business has been broken into,” Richmond said.

Commissioner Stephen Huselton, who is also an employee of Money Mart, recused himself from voting on the measure but took part in the discussion.

“This new fence is our last attempt because we don’t know what else we can do,” Huselton said. “We already have numerous cameras, motion sensors, flood lights, steel reinforced security doors and railroad iron set into the ground around the perimeter of the property.”

Huselton recounted a burglary from Nov. 30, 2011, in which thieves drove a stolen truck through the side of the building and made off with a number of firearms.

“We are doing everything we can to keep our inventory safe and keep criminals out,” Huselton said.

Upon the conclusion of the Zoning Adjustment meeting, the body reconvened as the Pine Bluff Planning Commission.

The commission approved a request from Jeffrey Pulliam to re-establish an event center in Suite 6A of the Jefferson Square Shopping Center.

“My landlord moved me to a different space in Jefferson Square to accommodate a new tenant but that tenant is gone now,” Pulliam said. “So this is a great opportunity for me to get the space back. I continually receive calls from people wanting to rent out the space for birthday parties, college dances, weddings, wedding receptions and corporate events as well as lots of other gatherings.”

City Planner Alex Koenig recommended the approval of Pulliam’s request.

“Mr. Pulliam operates a good business and we have an interest in keeping Jefferson Square vibrant,” Koenig said.