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Council approves stiffer penalties for vape shops

Members of the Cumming City Council voted 4-0, with Councilman Lewis Ledbetter absent, to approve an amendment to a recent ordinance regulating vape shops that will impose stiff penalties on those who have their license suspended or revoked.

The amendment prevents the family member of someone who has had their license suspended or revoked from getting the same license. It also prevents a location that has had its license suspended or revoked from being used as a vape shop again.

“This change basically means if somebody’s selling to minors or selling illegal stuff and we choose to revoke their license, they can’t just get their buddy or their wife to turn around and get a license and basically never be out of business,” Mayor Troy Brumbalow said during the work session. “That’s a pretty stiff penalty, so hopefully that would keep or deter somebody from breaking the law.”

The amendment buttresses the previously approved ordinance that will allow the city to inspect shops’ products, require certain permits for businesses and require certain products such as hookahs and rolling papers to be screened off to those under 18. The ordinance takes effect July 1.

Annexation of more than 100 acres ratified

The council officially ratified the annexation of more than 100 acres it had previously approved at a work session in early May.

The council approved the annexation even though its future hinged on whether local voters approved the proposed city of Sharon Springs on May 22. The majority of the land lies between Ga. 400 and Ronald Reagan Boulevard, which would have been in the new city.

But Sharon Springs fell short of incorporation, and so all of the land belongs to the city. 

Most of the property on Ronald Reagan Boulevard and Atlanta Highway is undeveloped, though Lakewood 400 Antiques Market and a vehicle sales and leasing business are in the area. All the property will be zoned to the city’s highway business district.