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Commissioners discuss zoning for smoke shops

by | Mar 15, 2023 | Latest

Clearing the smoke on certain establishments selling smoking products and alcohol were the subjects of a recent work session for the Wylie Planning and Zoning Commission. 

Director of Community Services Jasen Haskins said he brought the item before commissioners during their Tuesday, March 7, meeting because city staff are looking for direction on potential changes to the city’s zoning requirements with concern to smoke shops, smoking establishments and alcohol-related businesses. 

“We would like to create one section in the zoning ordinance that if you open up a store selling beer, wine or alcohol, you go to that section and there are all the rules,” Haskins said. 

Currently, the city classifies a brewery as a light industrial use or a hookah lounge as a restaurant with a smoking section, said Haskins. In the event of changes, such uses could appear in the city’s code of ordinances so long as there is a legal way to regulate.

Existing businesses operating under these guidelines would see the status quo maintained; however, they could have to reapply for zoning or a special-use permit if a change in ownership occurred, Haskins said.

Senior City Planner Kevin Molina said nearby Murphy has imposed restrictions on smoke shops that they have to be a freestanding building detached from any other retail establishment, adding that Wylie could do something similar. The city would be able to act using its regulation power in the name of public welfare.

Commissioners indicated contentment with allowing development by right for a brewery or distillery under the light industrial or commercial corridor uses that could end a special-use permit requirement. Smoke shops and smoking establishments will likely be different based on comments made by the commission. 

Haskins said staff may also conduct pre-emptive work on allowing marijuana dispensaries in the city, although it would not take effect until a policy shift at the state or federal level occurred. Next steps will involve consultations with the city attorney on discussed regulations.

For the full story, see the March 15 issue of The Wylie News.

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