Spring Lake Park establishes hookah lounge moratorium

The Spring Lake Park City Council has set a six-month moratorium on issuing permits or certificates of occupancy for commercial smoke or hookah shops.

Currently, there’s no application on file at city hall for a hooka lounge, said City Attorney Jeff Carson.

Councilmembers approved an ordinance to established the moratorium.

A hookah, also known as a waterpipe, is a single or multi-stemmed instrument for smoking Middle Eastern-style or flavored tobacco products called shisha.

By passing ordinance establishing the moratorium, councilmembers set the review clock ticking.

“You have six months to decide what you are going to do,” Carson said during the council’s June 7 meeting. “You can extend [the moratorium], but I think you can make a decision well within the six-month period.”

Allowing individuals to smoke within commercial buildings that are open and accessible to the public initially was addressed at a May 21 council meeting.

City Administrator Barbara Nelson said earlier this week the smoke shop issue will be discussed further at a July 9 council workshop.

Tim Hennagir is at [email protected]