Notice is hereby given that the Dakota County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing at 9 a.m. on Sept. 1, 2020 via telephone or other electronic means if necessary due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to receive comments on amendments to County Ordinance 125 Regulating the Licensing and Sale, Possession and Use of Tobacco, Tobacco Products and Tobacco Related Devices. Amendments to the ordinance are being put forth due to federal government legislation passed Dec. 20, 2019 and similar State of Minnesota legislation passed May 16, 2020 raising the minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years. County staff drafted revisions to Ordinance 125 to ensure consistency with state and federal laws. Proposed amendments are as follows:
- Changes regarding removal of the definition and references to the term 'minor' and replacing it with “person(s) under the age of 21" throughout the ordinance.
- Modifications to SECTION 3.00 LICENSES to designate Public Services and Revenue acting as the County Board designee to administer the licensing processes while retaining the ability for an applicant to apply directly to the County Board if their application was denied.
- Removal of language relating to Possession, Use and Purchase (PUP) by persons under the age of 21 throughout the Ordinance. Stricken language in SECTION 1.01 PURPOSE and 1.02 AUTHORITY focuses the Ordinance on Tobacco Sales.
- Updates to SECTION 5.01 A and B regarding age verification and signage to meet the requirements of recently enacted MN state law.
- Modifications to SECTION 6.00 COMPLIANCE CHECKS AND INSPECTIONS to increase age of compliance check participants and remove additional PUP language.
- Removal of SECTION 7.00 OTHER ILLEGAL PROHIBITED ACTS and all subsections which all relate to PUP through Sales, Procurement and Use of False Identification. Removal is recommended for clarity and consistency throughout the Ordinance, and compliance with state law.
- Changes to SECTION 8.00 ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES to bring the County Ordinance into compliance with state law regarding the fine schedule for tobacco retailers who violate County, State and/or Federal laws.
The full text of the amendments can be reviewed online at on the Tobacco License page. The proposed amendments were approved by the Community Services Committee of the Whole on Aug. 11, 2020. Copies of the ordinance can be requested from the Dakota County Public Services and Revenue Division, 651-438-4247.
Updated information on the manner of the public meeting can be found on the Dakota County website. The public hearing may be monitored via live stream at the Board of Commissioners Meetings page.
Interested agencies, groups or persons attending the public hearing shall have the right to provide written or oral comments. Submit comments for the public hearing via email to email@example.com, telephone or other electronic means. Persons wishing to make comments during the public hearing should notify the Clerk to the Board via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-438-4417. Requests must be received by 12:00 p.m. the day before the meeting. Instructions on how to participate will be sent to anyone interested.
County Ordinance 125 Proposed Amendments