by Kelsey Keener
Cluett’s concern was that his business is now seen by the city as a tobacco specialty business because more than 35 percent of his profits are from tobacco products and the word “vapor” is in the business name, but he is out of compliance with the recently amended ordinance due to his location.
The ordinance dictates that a tobacco specialty business cannot be within 600 feet of property that is zoned or used for residential purposes, and that the city will classify a business as a tobacco specialty business when over 35 percent of the business’s profits come from tobacco products.
Cluett’s current location is less than 600 feet from a residential area and he says he has looked for other places to run his business without success.
“We either need to find another location, which has been very hard to do, we haven’t seen it, or we would like to be reconsidered where we’re at,” Cluett said. “We would like to at least be able to finish out our lease.”
Cluett also said he doesn’t know what other options he has and that all of his resources have been put into this business.
The difficulty the council faced in responding to Cluett was that the regulations in place are from state statute, so the council can’t change them.
“(The 600 foot distance requirement) is a state statute so that’s out of our purview to even discuss,” Councilman Fred Rowley said.
After much discussion and clarification, it was determined that Cluett’s only options are to take the word “vapor” out of the name of his business and keep the profit from tobacco products under 35 percent or to find a location that meets the separation requirements.