The Fayetteville City Council has again delayed a vote on new restrictions on tobacco shops in the city, this time until a work session on Jan. 5.
The topic has been in discussion since at least May of this year, with a vote scheduled for mid-July delayed so that city staff members could make changes to the proposal and resolve issues that its implementation would cause.
At Monday’s meeting, council members described the ordinance as “not ready for adoption,” according to the Fayetteville Observer, adding that they need more input from city planners, shop owners and community watch coordinators before making a decision. The ordinance stems from an attempt to crack down on the number of police calls made to tobacco shops, which has been reported at more than 13,000 over a two-year period among approximately 60 shops.
Among the proposals is requiring tobacco shops to be at least 500 feet from schools, parks, churches or other tobacco shops, as well as possibly restricting the hours of operation from 6 am to 10 pm. There could also be restrictions on shops in certain neighborhoods, which would lead to a number of stores closing. Under the most recent draft of the ordinance, 10 shops would be forced to close within three years if they don’t comply with the new rules.
Fayetteville is located in the central part of the state. It has a population around 200,000 and is home to the U.S. military installation Fort Bragg.