Temp. ordinances set for night clubs, e-cigs

By Alissa Jacob

After a unanimous vote for the first reading and waiving the second reading, DeKalb aldermen passed a temporary ordinance for e-cigarettes and teen night clubs that may come to the city.

During the March 10 City Council meeting, an ordinance was approved that will be in place for 180 days for potential electronic retailers or teen nightclubs. This will give city officials time to create permanent laws and licensing agenda for the businesses.

For now, the ordinance says applicants for businesses such as e-cigarettes retailers or teen night clubs will have to undergo background checks and licensing procedures that resemble the liquor license procedure.

First Ward Alderman David Jacobson said teen club owners and liquor stores are operating in a gray area in terms of what is legal and what is not.

“It is important for the city or council to be aware of a business that is coming to DeKalb,” Jacobson said. “We may require other city services for these new businesses.”

City attorney Dean Frieders is in charge of drafting the temporary ordinance. He said he looked at the best management procedures from surrounding communities and cities with past experiences.

“I think the City Council very carefully considered the ordinance and adopted these regulations as a means of ensuring that any new business of this nature that enters the city [is] carefully considered and reasonably operated,” Frieders said.

Mayor John Rey said he found ordinance regulation was lacking in controlling e-cigarettes.

“I think the new ordinance is well-founded and was approached in a reasonable manner,” Rey said.

According to the ordinance, the license-seeker will pay a $5,000 application fee and go through a background check. City staff will assess issues regarding safety, zoning, siting and proximity to schools, noise and other concerns when they get a new applicant. After that, Council will discuss approval of a license.