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Peddlers, pawn shops, adult store applicants now required to do FBI fingerprint checks

The Conyers city council approved housekeeping changes to city laws to now require national criminal background checks on top of state background checks currently required for certain business licenses: taxicabs, pawn shops, adult entertainment establishments, peddlers, precious metals dealers, and billiards halls.

Assistant City Attorney Carrie Bootcheck said there would be no additional fees for these licenses.

The regulations for taxicab drivers would change slightly, however, to prohibit "piggyback" drivers from operating without also being fully licensed and checked. Bootcheck explained sometimes taxicab drivers bring an extra person with them in the vehicle when they are called by a customer at a bar. That extra person drives the customer's car, following the taxicab, so the customer can have their vehicle at home.

The new regulations would require the "piggyback" driver to be licensed and have a national criminal background check as well as the taxicab driver.   

The changes were approved unanimously by the five present city council members and the second reading waived. Mayor Randy Mills was not in attendance.

In other city council business:

- Changes to the special events ordinance, requiring 30-40 days advanced notice for events that would shut down city streets and property, was approved unanimously by the council members present in its second reading. Constitutionally protected activities, such as protests and freedom of expression, were exempted from the ordinance as long as it did not shut down city property.

- A special use permit for an automotive parts and accessory store on Ga. Highway 20 south, near the Target, was denied in a 4-1 vote. Councilman Marty Jones voted to grant the permit and Councilmen Vince Evans, Cleveland Stroud, Gerald Hinesley, and Chris Bowen voted against granting the permit.

The Planning and Zoning Commission for Conyers/Rockdale had recommended it be denied in a March 10 meeting.

Marvin Flanigan, director of planning for the city, said "It is inconsistent with other retail uses. We felt it would not fit in with what's there." The shopping center nearby holds retail stores such as Jim N' Nick's andTarget. The land proposed for the automotive parts store is across from the entrance of Irwin Place subdivision and other neighborhoods.

- Two speed breakers on Roesser Street were also approved by the city council in a 4-1 vote, with Jones voting against. Public Works Director Brad Sutton said nearly 75 percent of the street residents had signed a petition to receive the speed breakers.