PIQUA — City Vapor, a retail electronic cigarette store, is expected to move into a vacant corner store on Park Avenue.
The city of Piqua Planning Commission approved a neighborhood business special use request for 1127 Park Ave. for the electronic cigarette store to operate at that location during their meeting on Tuesday evening.
City Planner Chris Schmiesing said that the property was zoned residential in a predominantly residential neighborhood with a few businesses like Buckeye Chucks, Piqua Pickers, and a Realtor’s office nearby. He added later that approval of this special use would fix the prior continuance of non-conformity at that location as a number of other businesses have been located there in the past even though the building was zoned for residential use.
“It’s been a retail space for a very long time,” Chairman Jim Oda said, noting it most likely began as a corner grocery in the 1890s.
Schmiesing also noted that there was limited on-street parking at the location, in addition to no off-street parking.
The applicant, Donna Atkinson, of Sidney, said that her business, City Vapor, had previously been located in Piqua on Ash Street near Subway and L.A. Tan a couple years and they decided to relocate due to the expense of the previous location. Her business also previously had a location in Troy.
“We do employee three people,” Atkinson said. “I went into this business because I’m a breast cancer survivor, and I wanted everyone to stop smoking, and this was my way of quitting, and I think that it’s beneficial to anyone that’s trying to quit. I want everyone to quit.”
Atkinson added later that, in addition to security cameras and an alarm system, they will also be putting up window tint to prevent people or children from seeing inside the store. Atkinson also said that they ask to see the I.D. of any customers who look like they may be under 27 years old.
A resident living in the neighborhood spoke in opposition of having an electronic cigarette store in the neighborhood, expressing concerns about children in the neighborhood seeing the business.
A Piqua resident associated with the business then spoke in favor of the business, saying that people are going outside of the city to get products.
Planning commission member Mark Spoltman commented that the previous resident’s opposition to the business appeared to be to the product of the business rather than the special use request of having a business fill that location.
“This is a legal business,” Spoltman said. He added, “I see no reason to oppose this.”
The planning commission also approved a residential dwelling unit special use request for a property located at 308 Broadway. The property was zoned for general business. The applicant, Steven Drapp, of Piqua, said that the goal was to renovate the building, which was previously vacant, then rent out the property.
Schmiesing noted that there was limited on-street parking in the area, but the property did have room for off-street parking behind the house.
Oda noted that the house was likely built in the 1850s and was a Greek Revival-style house.
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