DeKalb County

Decatur looks to modify regulations for vape, smoke and tobacco shops

DECATUR, Ga. — At a Tuesday Planning Commission meeting, Decatur officials reviewed proposals to modify how the city regulates smoke, tobacco and vape stores and shops.

According to documents from the May 14 meeting, the proposed amendments to the city’s ordinances would require new or updated definitions for how smoke, vape and tobacco stores are defined, set distances for zoning, and add new commercial use definitions regarding amount of product and how smoke-related items are displayed.

The proposed amendments would define a retail establishment as a smoke, vape or tobacco store if 50% or more of its display and/or shelf area is for the retail sale of tobacco, tobacco products or tobacco paraphernalia.

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During the commission meeting, members of the planning commission discussed new permitting standards for stores to sell products for smoking, vaping and tobacco.

Among the zoning change proposals, more than one smoke, vape or tobacco store would not be allowed within 1,000 feet of each other, and there must be at least 300 feet between a smoke shop and a day care center, city or county recreation center, park, nature preserve, garden or privately-owned public space.

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The 300-foot rule would also apply to hospitals, public libraries, MARTA stations and public or private K-12 schools within the Decatur city limits.

Stores would also be limited to a maximum size of 2,000 square feet and must be on ground floors, operating between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. only, if the amendments pass. The time limit per day is also applied to delivery activities of smoke, tobacco and vaping products.

Commissioners voted to implement the changes unanimously. Channel 2 Action News has reached out to the City of Decatur for more details on when the changes may take effect and if there are other steps necessary before the changes are implemented

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