UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) –the Utica Common Council is working to regulate convenience stores and smoke shops in the city, specifically the Oneida Square Area. At a special meeting earlier this week, the Utica Common Council voted to extend a moratorium on new smoke shops and convenience stores here in the City of Utica. The purpose of this moratorium is to stop new smoke shops and convenience stores from opening.

“In certain areas of the city council members and constituents were coming forward and they were very frustrated with repeat activity and then also duplicate corner stores that had late night activity that was causing issues in the neighborhood setting up right next to each other three in one area,” said Michael Galime, President of the Utica Common Council.

This pause will give the council time to in act something permanent, however, they have not come to a solution yet. Now, this moratorium will expire in 90 days, and Galime says going forward the council cannot keep creating an extension, instead members needs to take further steps such as a local law. 

“Everyone does need to get in a room sit down address what the real issues are and if they do need to make a permanent zoning or pass some sort of local law to reign in some kind of nefarious activity fine but we cant keep in acting this moratorium,” said Galime

As of right now, this issue will be discussed at the next council meeting, where members will decide the next steps.