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Thread: Hookah bar proposal

  1. #1
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    Hookah bar proposal

    How would you classify a hookah bar? I have a proposal for one and I'm trying to figure out if it falls under our zoning classifications. Its not straight retail because of onsite consumption and its not food/beverage. Anyone else come across this? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I think this just recently came up in Avon, Indiana. You might want to give them a call there.

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Closest thing I would relate a hookah bar to is a coffeehouse if they don't serve alcohol, and a bar/restaurant if they do. When in doubt, find the closest use; IMHO it's either a bar with hookahs, a restaurant with hookahs or a coffee house with hookahs.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    I agree with Dan. If no alcohol then close to coffee house. There are a couple in town and they are very much like coffee houses. Would fit a district that allows restaurants and/or bars.

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    Cyburbian fringe's avatar
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    In our area it wouldn't meet anti-smoking ordinances.

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    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Any place that allows smoking. Period.

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    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Have this issue on our plate right now and there are two ways for us to look at it:
    • If they intend to prepare and sell small food items and drinks (aka coffee etc), we would classify it as a restaurant, which in our muni requires a special use.
    • If they are just selling the tobacco/smoking substances and the paraphernalia, we could classify them as a retail store or tobacco store which are permitted in most of the commercial zoning districts. But the State smoking ban requires that a tobacco store be in a freestanding building not an inline store front in a shopping center.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

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    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    No indoor smoking around here, so its a theoretical issue to me.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    I would class it as a tobacco shop. They sell and consume tobacco. If they add food service, then look at restaurant. I like the coffeehouse idea too.
    For Arizona, they usually don't risk food. Part of the state smoking law allows smoking in retail stores that sell primarily tobacco. Food may change that.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hullcorey View post
    I think this just recently came up in Avon, Indiana. You might want to give them a call there.
    Excellent memory hull , the issue in Avon was the concern that it ran afoul of our smoking ordinance. The request for a hooka bar went quiet, but we were looking at classifying it similar to a retail tobacco store. The hooka bar would have been selling its wares as well. We looked at no different than a cigar shop with chairs to smoke their product in-store. They were looking at selling some food, but it would have been incedential to the overall use.

    Disclaimer: Since the request went dormant, we never tested our theory with our Town attorney, so it may have been shot down.

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