The Eastpointe City Council unanimously made a motion to send a special land use request for Hollywood Hookah Lounge, 22035 Gratiot Ave., back to the Planning Commission for consideration Feb. 6. The business must get approval from the city of Eastpointe before it can open in the city again.

The Eastpointe City Council unanimously made a motion to send a special land use request for Hollywood Hookah Lounge, 22035 Gratiot Ave., back to the Planning Commission for consideration Feb. 6. The business must get approval from the city of Eastpointe before it can open in the city again.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Eastpointe council sends hookah lounge’s request back to Planning Commission

By: Bria Brown | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published February 21, 2018

EASTPOINTE — On Feb. 6, the Eastpointe City Council unanimously approved a motion to send a special land use request for Hollywood Hookah Lounge, 22035 Gratiot Ave., back to the Planning Commission for consideration. 

The Planning Commision had recommended that the council deny a special land use request based on a failure to satisfy criteria in the Eastpointe zoning ordinance and required the business to discontinue operation immediately during a Jan. 4 meeting.

Hollywood Hookah attorney Christopher Pozios was present during the Feb. 6 council meeting, and he asked council to table the matter. 

“It’s my recommendation that I would ask the council to table this matter for future discussion,” he said. 

Pozios, who had just been hired the day before the meeting, said he wanted to educate himself on some of the issues, address them, and form an action plan.  

“How long would you need to put that plan together?” asked Councilwoman Monique Owens. 

Pozios said 30 days. 

“That way, we have time to implement the plan, explain exactly what is needed to correct some of the issues that have been happening at the location and hire the necessary staffing that would remediate some of the issues that have been happening,” said Pozios. 

Mary Van Haaren, Eastpointe’s building official and director of community and economic development, stated in a memorandum to the council Jan. 19 that the business was in violation due to not having a license to allow smoking.

“In the summer of 2017, the Clerk’s Office was made aware by the state of Michigan that the hookah lounge was in violation, as the business did not have a required license to smoke inside a building. This is a newer state license law, and the Clerk’s Office was not aware of the requirement,” stated Van Haaren.

City Attorney Richard Albright asked the council members that if they were to table the matter, that they include in the motion that the business must cease operations until a special land use permit is approved. The lounge had ceased operations on Jan. 4.

Hollywood Hookah Lounge has a license from the Clerk’s Office that doesn’t expire until June 30, but Albright didn’t want the business to keep using the license unless it had the special land use agreed to by the Planning Commission and the council.

When asked by the council if the Planning Commission would need to have a public hearing on the special use permit, Van Haaren said at the Feb. 6 meeting that she thought the public would want to know updates.  

“Not knowing what the changes to that plan would be, I don’t know if they’d need to do another public notice. I think the public would probably want to know, because they were concerned and appeared at the initial (Planning Commission) meeting,” said Van Haaren. 

Van Haaren also said that the matter wouldn’t be on the March Planning Commission meeting agenda.

“We don’t have time to get that notice in,” she said. 

The council unanimously voted to send the matter back to the Planning Commission with the terms that business operations by Hollywood Hookah Lounge cease, that Pozios would come up with a revised plan and that the Planning Commission would have a public meeting on the revised plan.

The April Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. April 5 at City Hall, 23200 Gratiot Ave.