City of Hoover cracking down on controversial businesses

[Photo Credit: Lindsay Fox |]

A city councilman in Hoover, Ala. proposed a temporary moratorium on shops he feels does not present the city in the best light.

While the current proposal being considered at this weeks Hoover city council meeting will include a moratorium within the city limits; ultimately the plan is to change zoning to limit where they can go in the future.

Councilman Casey Middlebrooks proposed the ban on “vape shops, check cashing, pay-day loan type businesses, pawn shops, adult sex shops, and so forth,” until the city can rework their zoning ordinances WBMA reported.

Middlebrooks is worried that too many of these types of shops may drive away future business for the city,

The temporary ban means that new businesses would not be allowed to apply for a business license within the city, and has caused some contention with current business owners already in operation.

Randy Toffel owns the Vapeology vape store in Hoover, and told WBRC that if “Middlebrooks is worried about his store’s clientele, he shouldn’t be.”

“I have doctors, I have attorneys, I have car salesmen, I have mechanics, I have firemen, I have grandmothers that come in my shop,” he continued. Toffel also told WBRC that “he’s dedicated to helping people quit smoking,” and that his shop shouldn’t be penalized for it.

Another city councilman, Mike Shaw somewhat agrees with Middlebrooks, but thinks the city should focus on rezoning, instead of an outright ban.

“I think these businesses can have negative connotations in certain locations, but again, these are legal businesses. So however we feel about them, we still have to allow that according to state law,” Shaw told WBMA. “I don’t think we have problem with these businesses.”

Other council members disagree.

“We need to define what the real problem is. If the issue is surrounding where these business are located , I think there are better ways to address the problem,” councilman John Lyda told WIAT.