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City of Tucson approves new smoking ordinance

Vaping
Posted at 3:57 PM, Oct 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-23 11:38:39-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Tucson city council approved the new smoking ordinance, with a 6 to 1 vote.

The legal age to buy tobacco products within Tucson city limits has been raised to 21. Retailers will have to pay a $300 one time, annual, fee and will go through a 90 day educational period.

On October 10th, the council voted 4 to 3, for preliminary approval, to raise the age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21.

The new ordinance includes tobacco and tobacco distribution products, as well as nicotine and nicotine distribution products like vape pens and e-cigarettes.

Another hot item on the agenda was the sales tax development agreement with Pueblo Center Partners. The unanimous vote will allow the owner of the now closed Arizona Hotel to remodel and transform it into the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Council member Steve Kozachik told KGUN 9 the Arizona Hotel has been an "eye sore for the last 7 to 8 years."

He adds the approved incentive package will be capped at $1.8 million and says the city benefits will not exceed $12 million.

The renovation of the new hotel will include 290 rooms, food and beverage service, meeting rooms and a fitness center.

Lastly, the voted on an item that's been on the agenda for years---the Grant Road Widening Project.

The council unanimously voted on a $5 million package for the Stage 5 and Stage 6 improvements on Grant Road from Fremont Avenue to Palo Verde Boulevard. Road widening has already started. In fact, Grant Road and 1st Avenue as well as Grant and Oracle are examples of the widening project coming to fruition. Improvements include lane additions, drainage improvements, new sidewalks, and wider bicycle lanes.