Tobacco Shop Owner Appeals Conditional Use Denial in Whitemarsh Township

During its June 13th meeting, the Whitemarsh Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to deny a conditional use to Lafayette Tobacco Outlet, which sought to open at 551 Germantown Pike in Lafayette Hill (this is the Shopper’s World strip mall). The store hoped to sell cigarettes, vapes, etc.

You can watch the proceedings online (May 9th start at 1:00:40 and June 13 start at 27.00). The public comment was solely against it. Those speaking brought up health, exposure to kids (proximity to homes and school bus stops) and crime as the main concerns.

The issue was before the Planning Commission in April and was not recommended.

There was also an issue with testimony at prior hearings about whether the neighboring business, Whitemarsh Pharmacy, supported Lafayette Tobacco Outlet’ receiving the conditional use. A letter was read into the record stating it did not.

The owner of Lafayette Tobacco Outlet has appealed this decision to the Court of Common Pleas for Montgomery County. The appeal claims that proper public notice was not given, that the business owner did not receive notification of the decision within the mandated time period, and that the Board of Supervisors “erred as a matter of law and abused its discretion” when denying the conditional use. The final reason is based on the fact that nothing in Whitemarsh’s code prohibits this type of business.

You can view the full appeal here.