Huntley village board sets moratorium for tobacco, smoke shops
The Huntley Village Board has authorized a moratorium on tobacco and smoke shops, citing concerns over their proliferation and how much control the village exerts on such retailers.
The village will not issue an occupancy permit or grant any other development approval or building permit for any tobacco specialty retail businesses, including cigarette, cigar, smoke and vape shops, through Jan. 24.
The board has authorized village staff to research the issue and determine appropriate regulations for these uses, Assistant Village Manager Lisa Armour said.
Such uses currently are permitted in the B-1 (neighborhood convenience), B-2 (highway service), B-3 (shopping center business district), C-1 (neighborhood retail) and C-2 (regional retail) zoning districts. Village staff and the plan commission will review existing uses and determine proper zoning classification and regulations for such establishments, as well as the review process for locating such establishments in the village.
At the Sept. 27 village board meeting, Trustee Niko Kanakaris expressed concern about the number of such businesses that recently have opened in town, adding he would like to see more control over signage. Trustees also were concerned about such uses being detrimental to other development within the village.
Presently, there are three smoke shops within a mile of each other north of Main Street in the downtown area -- Tobacco Hut, 10716 Route 47, Route 47 Smoke Shop, 10876 Route 47, and Best Price Tobacco and Gifts, 11717 Main St.
"There's at least five tobacco shops in town right now ... three of them have opened within the last year," said Armour, who added officials are more concerned about vape shops proliferating. "These things seem to be getting more prevalent. It just gives us some time to work on bringing something back to the board early next year."
Officials have used the same approach for video gambling establishments, setting a limited moratorium to allow for new regulations to be drafted, Armour said.