Smyrna Mayor Derek Norton and city council members refuse to consider additional changes to the city’s business license requirement, aligning with non-elected officials who say no changes are needed.
The city requires single-member LLCs to obtain an occupational permit, but officials cannot clearly explain why other than to say they need to regulate businesses. State officials say they have stepped up action against businesses selling alcohol to underage patrons.
City officials point to a state law that allows them to regulate businesses and say they have had a mandate in place since 1994. Privately, city officials acknowledge at least some in the city flout the mandate and encourage residents to report any businesses violating the city ordinance.
The city council made minimal changes to the ordinance earlier this year, mainly eliminating a requirement that neighbors approve an application request for home-based businesses.
However, they acted after a city council member discouraged a local business owner pushing for the changes from speaking during a city council meeting. Instead, the city councilman requested the business owner await the resolution of internal discussions but instead brought the changes to the council for consideration.