Avondale Estates to end moratorium on smoke, vape shops after code rewrite

May 12, 2021 Decatur - Puff Smoke Shop is located between the liquor store and clothing alteration store on E. College Ave. in Decatur on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

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May 12, 2021 Decatur - Puff Smoke Shop is located between the liquor store and clothing alteration store on E. College Ave. in Decatur on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

It’s possible again for more smoke or vape shops to open in Avondale Estates, but the requirements are much stricter following a zoning code rewrite by the city.

Avondale Estates has had a moratorium in place since last November to stop businesses that sell vape, tobacco and CBD products from opening in the city. There were already four businesses in the city limits that sold those products, and elected officials said more vape and smoke shops would detract from the city’s balance of business types.

“One of the major goals of the zoning rewrite is the diversity of use type,” City Manager Patrick Bryant previously told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Anytime you get a saturation of any one use, you might as a body consider putting a moratorium on that use.”

ExploreAvondale Estates poised to continue moratorium on smoke, vape shops

On Wednesday, the City Commission unanimously approved a full rewrite of the city’s zoning code, an effort that had been in the works since 2017. In the new code, vape and smoke shops won’t be allowed within 500 feet of another similar business. They also can’t be within 300 feet of several other locations, such as schools, places of worship or gathering areas for children.

The commission does not plan to renew the moratorium, which is set to expire at the end of July, Bryant said. He added that smoke and vape shops were the only business type the commission thought was saturated in Avondale Estates.

The updated zoning code and a zoning map of the city is available at avondaleestates.org/shapeavondaleestates.