Ordinance No. 2015-009 would amend the city’s zoning code to allow for the establishment of new vapor lounges. This is a significant development in that a moratorium on the establishment of new vapor lounges has been in effect since October 28th, 2014. This measure (initially 45 days) was shortly followed by a ten-month extension on the moratorium.
This ordinance is scheduled for a hearing on TUESDAY, April 14th at 6:00 PM.
Riverbank City Hall Council Chamber
6707 Third Street
There are, as one might expect, some caveats to this amendment:
- Owners must apply for a conditional use permit from the city
- Minimum Proximity requirements
- 1000 ft from any Hookah or Vapor Lounge
- 500 ft from any residential parcel of land
- 600 ft from “a. Religious facility; b. Courthouse; c. Day nursery; d. Public playground/park/recreation area; e. School; f. Vocational or professional institution; or g. Institution of higher education, including community or junior college, college, or university.”
For comparison, the only proximity restriction for a retail establishment that sells traditional cigarettes is that it is 500 ft from a school or playground.
At this time, given the unfair restrictions in this ordinance we are unable to recommend support. However, we certainly recognize that allowing for the establishment of “vapor lounges” in the city of Riverbank is a step in the right direction.
We would, instead, urge residents to attend the hearing* and offer information to the council so they can make a more informed decision moving forward. Please also take a moment to make phone calls and send emails to council members. We have provided some basic talking points and contact information below.
- Tell them you are a resident of Riverbank
- Share your story about how vaping has helped you quit or significantly reduce smoking.
- Share any benefits you have experienced as a result.
- Inform your councilors that the “lounge” component is a vital part of the customer experience when shopping at a vapor retail establishment.
- Ask for clarification as to why the city council seems intent on protecting access to combustible cigarettes.
Richard D. O'Brien
(Vice Mayor )
Leanne Jones Cruz
Comma delimited email list:
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
* As a sign of respect, please refrain from vaping in the building. Please also dress appropriately -- no t-shirts and sweatpants please. Please arrive early and sign up to speak if required. Even if you don’t intend to testify, your presence is important as it demonstrates the large number of people who are affected by and engaged in this issue.