Good Hope Councilwoman Susan Eller

Good Hope Councilwoman Susan Eller speaks during Monday’s meeting.

GOOD HOPE — With real estate at a premium for businesses, the Good Hope City Council discussed the possibility of limiting the number of fireworks stores or preventing any new ones from being built in the future. 

The discussion came in a work session before Monday night’s meeting after Good Hope Mayor Jerry Bartlett said some of the owners of fireworks stores in the city have inquired about buying property to build more permanent locations.

Councilwoman Susan Eller said a recent analysis by Retail Strategies, a consulting firm that works with the city, found that Good Hope’s three current fireworks stores already meet the needs for the community.

The city also has good land available at either exit off of I-65, and it may not be best for the city to have that land filled with fireworks stores that are only open two or three months out of the year, she said.

With Cullman not allowing any fireworks stands inside their city limits, many of them look to areas on the outskirts of Cullman, and Good Hope previously saw a similar situation with tattoo parlors that began to open in the city, Eller said. 

In that case, the city passed an ordinance that set a minimum distance between the parlors to prevent too many from opening in the same place, she said. 

“We didn’t say we would disallow them here, we said we would only allow so many here within so many feet,” she said.

Eller said a large number of fireworks stores could also hinder the city’s attempts to recruit nicer restaurants or stores, as well as retaining its current businesses. 

Bartlett pointed to the upcoming construction of a medical facility next to Good Hope pharmacy as an example, and suggested businesses would rather see retailers other than fireworks stores located next to them.

“If I was the owner of $4 million worth of buildings, I could think of a lot of businesses that would be more conducive,” he said.

City Attorney Rita Nicholas pointed out that the city previously drafted an ordinance that was never passed that would have prevented any more fireworks stands or stores from opening within the city limits, while allowing the ones that already have a business license in the city to remain open.

After discussing some of the different options that could be on the table for fireworks stores, including implementing a distance limit or going back to the drafted ordinance that was never passed, and City Planner Corey Harbison said those options could be expanded on and brought back to the council at a future meeting for further consideration.

“We can get several scenarios ready and have them ready for y’all to look at and review and the council to do as they choose,” he said.

Tyler Hanes can be reached at 256-734-2131 ext. 238.

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