Rules okayed for smoke shops, body art studios

May 24, 2019

A proposed Bloomfield Township ordinance to place special use requirements on tobacco stores, smoke shops and body art and tattoo studios was recommended for approval on Monday, May 20, by the township's planning commission.

The commission voted unanimously to send the proposed ordinance to the township's board of trustees for consideration.

If approved, the ordinance amendment would require those places of business to be at least 750 feet from schools, places of worship, public parks, residential neighborhoods and other youth-orientated activities. The proposed amendment also would require a 1,000-foot setback between properties requiring special use approval in order to prevent an overabundance or concentration of the businesses in one area.

The township already regulates similar uses, including massage parlors, pawnshops, secondhand dealers, precious metal and gem dealers, as well as other types of shops and stores.

Bloomfield Township Deputy Director of Planning, Building and Ordinances Andrea Bibby said it had been recognized that such uses may have negative impacts on abutting properties, as well as the public's health, safety and welfare.

The proposed amendment defines smoke shops and tobacco stores as those dedicated to the sale, distribution, delivery, offering, furnishing or marketing of tobacco, tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, as well as vapor products and tobacco paraphernalia and nicotine products. It doesn't include businesses that offer the sale of tobacco and tobacco-related products as ancillary items.

Body art facilities are those that primarily offer tattooing, body piercing, branding and scarification. The ordinance would exclude from special use regulation procedures that are considered medical by the state medical board or those affiliated with cosmetic surgery, hair or skin implants. The ordinance wouldn't apply to beauty shops or other businesses that offer ear piercing or related services as secondary offerings.

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