PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Members of the Peoria City Council on Tuesday could vote to approve a new plan for tobacco shops and to continue helping a social service agency house people who are experiencing homelessness.
Council members will consider a new plan to approve stores that City Hall will address concerns that smoke shops and vape stores are springing up all over the city. Three ordinances will change the city code to change the system currently in place to resemble how the city deals with liquor stores.
The commission would also take a look at the location and determine through a site approval process whether it’s appropriate or not. Then, the matter would go to a final vote at a later council meeting.
Joe Dulin, who heads the city’s Community Development department, said the big change comes in the process. Previously, he said, applications for a new tobacco store were treated like any other retail outlet. This, again, puts it more on par with liquor licenses.
The 90-day moratorium on approving new tobacco stores was put into place in mid-July after 2nd District Councilman Chuck Grayeb said he was worried about the explosive growth of tobacco and vape shops within Peoria.
The idea was to give City Hall time to come up with possible measures to regulate the businesses.
At the time, his colleague, John Kelly, voted against the idea of pushing the pause button, saying he believed there wasn’t enough of a problem to merit such action.
The council will hear the proposed changes for the first time on Tuesday. If they like what they hear, then there could be a second reading and a vote to make the measures official at their next meeting on Sept. 26.