NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Florida. — The New Smyrna Beach City Commission is considering restricting certain types of businesses in mixed-use areas such as Flagler Avenue and Canal Street, city officials said Thursday.
The city said in a statement that the issue was raised in April by Site 2 Commissioner Lisa Martin.
“The backstory to this is that there are businesses like a tobacco shop on Flagler Avenue that I don’t think we need, and instead of waiting for 17 more to come up, I would like to ask the staff to consider expanding.” The list includes pawnshops, tattoo parlors, tobacconists, gun shops and packaging stores,” Martin said.
The release shows that other commissioners supported the city planners’ proposal to present options that would “help preserve the character of popular neighborhoods while calling for careful discussion.”
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“I understand where you are from. I know there are people on Flagler who have contacted me with some concerns about some of the smoke shops,” said Site 3 Commissioner Jason McGuirk. “It’s more of a long-term process because you can’t just start banning things. There is a process to it.”
Although city planners have put forward several ideas, none of them provide for the closure of already existing enterprises. Instead, ideas include the following:
Take no action and keep the current list of permitted uses
Remove unwanted or add desired permitted uses that are legally permitted without any approval.
Classify certain uses as special exemptions, which may be approved by the Planning and Zoning Board and the City Commission on a case-by-case basis.
Place buffers between similar uses to prevent clustering; for example, businesses that sell alcohol but not food on Flagler Avenue are currently required to maintain a buffer zone of at least 1,000 feet.
Allow certain uses with conditions; for example, tattoo parlors are currently allowed in mixed-use business districts but cannot be across from Flagler Avenue or Canal Street.
City planners are expected to present their findings to the City Planning and Zoning Board at the next scheduled meeting on July 17 at 5:30 pm.
Meanwhile, residents are encouraged to share their thoughts with city officials by taking part in a four-question quick survey, which can be found here.
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