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City Council Recap, June 4

A resident asks the council to not repeal the tobacco ban, a business owner is upset about an outdoor display ordinance, and there was a public hearing on a land acquisition for the city.

Lasting about 19 minutes, Monday's monthly city council meeting was a short one.

During the open floor for the citizens, there were two standout community members who addressed the council on different issues.

A resident on Longview Drive stated how she was against the , which has been requested to be on the agenda for the policy work session later this month.

She addressed the two main concerns circulating around Norcross on the ordinance that would ban tobacco from all city property including sidewalks and parking lots: The ban would scare customers away and hurt small businesses, and that government shouldn't tell its citizens what to do.

"Please do not give in to the hysteria that prohibiting smokers on the streets of Norcross will result in a drastic and permanent downturn of local business," she told the council.

She added that she would spend more time and money in the Norcross nightlife if it were smoke free.

The other comment came from Elmer Hartley, owner of which has been at its 5875 Buford Highway for 30 years. He explained to the council how upset he is that he cannot have retail items in front of his shop anymore because the city now prohibits it.

"It has absolutely devastated our business," said Hartley. "We've been putting lawn mowers and that sort of thing outside for 45 years and now people think we're closed because nothing's out there."

He further said that the lack of display has caused his business to be cut in half in the last 60 days.

Mayor Bucky Johnson told Hartley that he would let the staff look at the issue, and it could possibly be on the June 18 policy work session.

City Manager Rudolph Smith announced the one item on the public hearings agenda, which was land acquisition for the city.

He explained that the city plans to purchase the land at 5765 Buford Highway, which is at the corner of Holcomb Bridge Road and Buford Highway. He said a gateway sign for Norcross is planned for the location

The topic will also be up for discussion at the June 18 work session.

All items on the consent agenda were passed, which include:

  • Stage lighting at the Thrasher Park Amphitheater
  • Holiday decorations proposal
  • Amendments to the billboards or oversized signs ordinance and accumulation of junk prohibited for inoperable vehicles
  • Budget amendment for city landscaping
  • The Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau hotel/motel tax

The city council also renewed the terms of four members on the Tree Board.

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