WEST HAVEN, Jan. 30, 2024 — Mayor Dorinda Borer is calling for a six-month moratorium on new smoke shops in the city.
In a Jan. 22 memo to Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Christopher M. Suggs and Assistant City Planner Cathy Conniff, Borer requested that the commission evaluate the restriction of additional smoke shops in West Haven, evaluate and identify the criteria that allow businesses to operate 24/7, clarify the definition of “convenience store,” and evaluate “light noise” through business facades, such as neon signs.
In the memo, Borer said: “In the interim, I’m requesting that the Commission, effective immediately, put a moratorium on Smoke Shops, regardless of current Zoning regulations, for a period of 6 months until new regulations for restriction are established. No application should be accepted, considered, or approved until further notice.”
Years earlier, the city took similar steps to address the number of nail salons in a condensed area of downtown.
West Haven currently has at least 18 smoke shops, according to information provided by the assessor’s office.
Borer said it would be a legal challenge to close existing shops but would press for “serious consequence” if repeated violations are found.
The mayor is also asking that regulations be considered to address unwanted lights that have sprung up on some of the city’s busiest roads, including but not limited to neon signs and LED lights on the exterior of all businesses.
Borer described the light pollution of such lights as “aesthetically unpleasing, distracting and not a representation of the image we are trying to change.”