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Avondale Estates City Commission extends moratorium on smoke and vape shops

Avondale Estates Business Decatur

Avondale Estates City Commission extends moratorium on smoke and vape shops

Photo obtained via the city of Avondale Estates website.

Avondale Estates, GA — The Avondale Estates City Commission, at its May 26 regular meeting, unanimously approved an extension to the moratorium on new vape shops. The moratorium goes into effect immediately and ends on July 31.

The resolution prohibits the city manager to issue any new business licenses to a smoke/vape retailer.

The City Commission first adopted the moratorium on Nov. 25, 2020. The temporary moratorium lasted for six months and prevented smoke and vape shops from opening.

The action followed the approval of a conditional use permit for a tobacco and vape shop. The permit was approved at the regular meeting on Nov. 23, 2020, by a 3-2 vote.

Fardeen Sayani plans to open the tobacco and vape shop at 2760 E. College Ave., between Jax Package and Stitch and Sew. He plans to sell CBD products, vape products and tobacco products like cigarillos and raw products. Signs for the new shop have gone up at the location.

At the Nov. 23 meeting, the board members raised concerns about the shop opening and all acknowledged that it wasn’t their ideal small business to be opening in Avondale.

At the Nov. 18 work session, City Attorney Stephen Quinn said that moratoriums are allowed. He said they can be issued due to an over saturation of a particular type of business or while a city is developing a new zoning and comprehensive plan and don’t want any development during that time.

City Manager Patrick Bryant said at the Nov. 18 work session that the City Commission cannot deny a conditional use permit based on desirability.

— In other business, the city plans to have a Fourth of July parade this year. The board previously discussed doing a reverse parade where residents would stay in their driveways and the parade would come around to them. But as the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is changing regarding COVID-19, the city wants to have a normal parade.

The grand marshals of the parade will be essential workers. Details have not quite been finalized but the city is working it out, Mayor Jonathan Elmore said.

“This is primarily going to be a citizens parade. We are just now trying to figure this out but this will be a volunteer effort but we really want to do the parade,” Elmore said. “We were going to do a reverse parade but now that the CDC guidelines have changed we really want to go for it and do a parade.”

— Elmore was also appointed to the John Lewis Memorial Task Force by DeKalb County Commissioner Steve Bradshaw. The group is working to put up a statue memorializing Lewis on the Decatur Square where the Confederate monument once stood, Elmore said.

The donation portal for the memorial is open on the Legacy Decatur website and the group will be choosing a finalist for the project soon.

— The City Commission meetings will soon resume in person at City Hall beginning in June. The board currently does not plan to continue Zoom meetings or livestream the in person meetings.

“We have not allocated resources to that effect so unless the board wants us to do otherwise, and it’ll probably be pretty difficult to get that in place by June 9. We intend just to resume regular in person meetings with no broadcast,” City Manager Patrick Bryant.

Elmore said broadcasting is a great idea and the city will have to figure out a feasible way to do so.

The City Commission will meet again on Wednesday, June 9, at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, 21 N. Avondale Plaza.

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