Last week, the Bountiful city attorney informed four electronic cigarette shop owners they were in violation of a state zoning law and had five days to close up shop. Now city officials say the stores can stay open for another year—with one caveat.
As of 2012, it is a violation of state law for cities in Utah to issue a license to a retail tobacco store that’s within 1,000 feet of a community meeting place or 600 feet of a private residence.
Bountiful City Manager Gary Hill says in order to comply with state law, Bountiful will not issue new licenses to the four businesses that sell electronic cigarettes—but will, instead allow them to operate without a business license through 2014.
“The state law is pretty clear about what we can’t do,” Hill says. But we feel like under the circumstances and in light of the fact that these are local businesses and they’ve put a fair commitment into their shops, we want to find a way to give them more time to either have the law changed or relocate to a legal location.”
Hill says giving these business owners an extra year will allow them to challenge the zoning law or move to a new location that complies with the law.
“Whether or not something is available in Bountiful, I honestly don’t know, but we hope that the businesses can be successful if they choose to go that route,” Hill says.
Hill says city officials were unaware of the law change until the Davis County Health Department brought it to their attention.