Cedartown commissioners got to provide input on a new ordinance coming soon to the city’s code book that will allow for the potential for a business to sell cigars and more.
The goal is to regulate retail cigar stores that also allow for sales of alcohol by the drink, with the language of the proposed ordinance set to go before the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission later this month before city commissioners will get a chance to vote on it themselves.
A public hearing in the Planning and Zoning Commission’s forthcoming August 26 meeting at 10 a.m. is the next step after city officials have drafted the ordinance based on those from surrounding areas.
Assistant City Manager Edward Guzman said the ordinance was sought after an investor inquired about opening a cigar store in Cedartown and through a specific request made by Commissioner Jessica Payton.
“After doing some research from surrounding cities, we’re basically calling this the ‘Old Havana’ ordinance, because it basically follows the same requirements that the City of Rome has on Old Havana. Same for the City of Cartersville too,” Guzman said. “This ordinance is written out where they don’t have to sell food like our restaurants to sell alcohol, but the requirement is through cigar sales.”
The new ordinance will require a 51 to 49 % split between tobacco and alcohol sales, with the larger share going toward tobacco sales. That includes hand rolled cigars, pipe tobacco, pipes, cigar cutters and other accessories in the sales — but not cigarettes.
Cigar shops under the ordinance would be allowed in either C-1 or C-2 zoning within the city, which would fall either in the historic downtown corridor or along North Main Street, South Main Street and East Avenue.
“We’re hoping to try and attract someone to come downtown,” Guzman said.
Guzman said the ordinance will allow for stores that open under the regulations to sell beer, wine and liquor by the drink but that it can’t make up the majority of the sales. He brought the new ordinance before the commission during their August work session for discussion and review.
“Because there’s a zoning decision involved in it, it will have to go before the Planning and Zoning Commission,” he explained. “A second public hearing will be at the Commission meeting for September 9.”
Currently the draft ordinance is under review and might see some minor changes before it is approved, Guzman said.