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North Bergen zoning change prohibits smoke shops and massage parlors

The newly adopted ordinance also updates certain definitions in the municipal code

An example of "electronic nicotine delivery systems" as the township calls them. Image via Shutterstock.

North Bergen has amended the township’s zoning ordinance to prohibit various smoke and vapor substance uses and massage parlors.

Mayor Nicholas Sacco and the Board of Commissioners adopted the ordinance at a Dec. 21 meeting after it was introduced earlier in the month.

Under the adopted ordinance, electronic and/or vapor substance inhalation shops and tobacco or smoke shops and massage parlors are prohibited in all zoning districts in North Bergen.

Residential districts would also be amended by eliminating reference to multi-family mid-rise and high-rise buildings in the R-3 Moderate Density Residential District.

Now, the ordinance refers only to multi-family dwellings, garden apartments and townhomes, with mid-rises allowed to be 3 stories and high rises allowed to be 7 stories.

That also applies to multi-family mid-rises and high-rises in all zoning districts.

Updating definitions in municipal code

The measure also updates certain definitions in the township’s municipal code in accordance with the other changes.

The ordinance defines multi-family housing as a building containing five or more dwelling units that are entirely separated from each other by vertical walls or horizontal floors.

According to the ordinance, an electronic and/or vapor substance inhalation shop is defined as businesses where customers can purchase electronic and/or vapor substance inhalation products commonly known as “e-cigarettes,” “e-pipes,” “e-hookahs,” “electronic nicotine delivery systems” and other similar devices.

A tobacco or smoke shop is similarly defined as any store, stand, booth, concession or other place that either devotes a substantial portion of its display area, 5 percent or more floor or wall space, to tobacco products, hookahs, electronic vapor devises, electronic inhalation substances or drug paraphernalia to purchasers for consumption or use, the proposed ordinance states.

According to the ordinance, a massage parlor is defined as premises that are used, in whole or part, to administer acupressure, massage, bodywork or somatic therapy, or involving the act of holding, touching, positioning, mobilizing, applying friction or pressure manually and/or by mechanical or vibratory apparatus to body tissues, including, but not limited to, employing the procedures of acupressure, reflexology, moving, striking, pounding, rubbing, manipulating, kneading and/or tapping, or the use of oil rubs, heat lamps, salt glow, hot or cold packs, vibration, percussion, medical gymnastics, heliotherapy, external application of topical preparations, or tub, shower or cabinet baths, but excluding the practice of medicine, physical therapy or chiropractic by an osteopath, medical doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor licensed to practice in the State of New Jersey.

All changes take effect 20 days after the adoption of the ordinance.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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