The Glen Rose City Council spent much of Monday night debating on whether to allow smoke and tattoo shops to set up in commercial zones without any restrictions.
Tom Heap, the city's building inspector, and Stephanie Ritchie, code enforcement assistant, presented the council with documentation from the state showing that certain restrictions are allowed, protecting the city from any liability pertaining to discrimination accusations.
“It’s like the sexual oriented businesses. We can’t keep it out of the city, but we can place restrictions so that they can’t just set up anywhere,” said Ritchie.
Ritchie and Heap recommended that the city council take it a step further and restrict those types of businesses to an industrial zone only.
“We have smoke shops set up in commercial zones now, but if they were to close their shop and try to reopen, it would have to be in an industrial zone," Ritchie said. “We cannot prevent these businesses from coming in, but we can restrict the areas and regulations for setting up shop.”
Heap showed the council diagrams of industrial zones in Stephenville and Glen Rose.
“Stephenville restricts smoke shops to just the industrial zone only. They have quite a few of them and many in places where you don’t want them. That’s why Stephanie did all of this research was to find a way to keep them from the downtown area,” said Heap.
The council voted and approved that smoke, vape and tattoo shops would be restricted to industrial areas and would have to stay 1,000 feet away from churches, schools, daycares, parks or residential zones.
“There is crime and a certain clientele that follow these types of businesses," Heap said. "This will keep certain areas protected and free from that.”