PAXTANG BOROUGH, Pa. — A vape shop in Dauphin County is in danger of closing less than two months after it opened due to a proposed zoning ordinance. Paxtang Borough held a hearing Jan. 21 to decide whether to allow e-cigarette sales in its Downtown District.
East Coast Vapor, a 14,000-square-foot shop located at 3440 Derry St., opened in December. Owner Josh Sanders said he did his due diligence with the borough but no one told him he couldn't run a vape shop. However the borough did post the proposed ordinance on their website Nov. 12.
"He contacted the borough and he talked to personnel here," said Michael J. Pykosh, an attorney representing Josh Sanders, at the hearing. "He was candid about what he was going to do with that building."
Paxtang residents also spoke at the hearing, some coming out in support of East Coast Vapor.
"I feel like they`re being targeted for their products specifically," said Natasha Roberson.
Others said the vape shop changes the area`s residential feel.
"Right on Paxtang Ave. where there are thousands of cars traveling every day it`s not a very good representation to have for the Borough of Paxtang," said Gavin Ford.
Some parents added they wanted to limit their kids` exposure to vaping. According to a 2017 survey, 30 percent of 12th graders in Dauphin County have used e-cigarettes. Studies suggest vaping can cause health issues like lung disease.
One business owner at the hearing offered to buy the property at its original price, $525,000, and repurpose it.
In light of so much public interest, the borough council ended up postponing the vote. A councilmember said they would probably revisit the issue at their February meeting.