Monday, September 24, 2012
Girard sets rules for selling smoking paraphernalia
A new city ordinance establishes new guidelines for selling smoking paraphernalia.
City council unanimously approved a resolution Monday that establishes license and location requirements for vendors who sell, manufacture, or distribute recreational smoking paraphernalia.
According to the ordinance, the business must obtain a $500 license from the mayor and the safety services director to sell smoking paraphernalia. The law also states that any business engaged in selling recreational paraphernalia will not be granted a license if it is within 1,000 feet of a school, church, day care facility, public library, or a senior citizen center.
Girard Law Director Brian Kren said violators could pay an additional $500 a day if they fail to abide. He said each day in violation constitutes a separate offense.
“The city of Girard has a legitimate interest in upholding and preserving its community standards,” he said.
Larry Steiner, 2nd Ward councilman and safety committee chairman, echoed Kren’s sentiments.
“Girard is a mom and pop town,” he said. “It’s not a large city, but a small family town.”
Currently only one business, the Glass House, 16 N. State St. would be in violation of the ordinance. The store, which sells glass pipes and other smoking paraphernalia, is within 1,000 feet of St. Rose Church. Because the business was established before the law was passed, Kren said the Glass House will be “grandfathered” in to the new policy. However, the business will still have to pay a licensing fee to the city if it continues to sell smoking paraphernalia.
Kren said a deadline for the license requirements is not set, but approvals must come from the city fire department, health department and the police chief, before the mayor or safety Services director can issue the license.
“It’s not a huge problem now, but we are trying to be proactive about it,” Kren said.
The law director said he is also researching zoning laws for adult book stores in the city.