City says no to Hookah lounge

MORAINE, Ohio (WDTN)- Hookah Brother’s Cafe in Moraine is not yet open for business, but city leaders claim it never will be.

“We were unaware of the shop,” said Anthony Wenzler, who is the city’s building and zoning administrator.  “I went over to it, on South Dixie Drive this morning.  Sure enough, there was a sign up and most of the cafe has been set up.”

Wenzler put a notice on the front door of the shop.  It read, “Building is zoned at B-1 and doesn’t permit proposed business.”

“Businesses are permitted depending on its zoning district,” explained Wenzler.  “The zoning district that this Hookah Lounge is trying to go into is what we call a B-1, which is a neighborhood business.  In a neighborhood business, it’s very limited to the types of businesses.  It’s just a step up from a residential zone.”

2 NEWS contacted the owner of Hookah Brothers, who is leasing the building.  He said he didn’t know the property isn’t zoned for his business and claimed the owner of the building told him it was OK.

Wenzler said it is a tough lesson learned.

“They can always call the city of Moraine ‘s building and zoning department or look up online to see if their business is going to be acceptable in the zoning area,” said Wenzler.

The owner of the building has been cited with two violations  for allowing the hookah business.

Wenzler said if that owner does not comply and still goes ahead with plans to open the care there will be a fine of $100 each day it is open.
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