BP Station: 1347 W. University Ave., St. Paul
On July 24, the St. Paul City Council voted 6-0 to impose a $500 penalty on the BP store for advertising flavored tobacco products last winter despite a recent city ordinance limiting flavored items to tobacco shops.The store managers previously contested the proposed fine to an administrative law judge, but they failed to show up for the legal hearing, according to the city attorney’s office. The city then added $600 in administrative costs to the fine.
Ordinarily, a second license violation would garner a $1,000 fine under the city’s penalty rules. Officials with the Department of Safety and Inspections, however, requested an upward departure — a full license revocation — following back-to-back incidents. "That decision was based on the serious nature and cumulative number of second violations,” said Suzanne Donovan, a spokeswoman for DSI. The prospect of a license revocation is now before an administrative law judge.
On November 13th, Hamline Midway Coalition attended the first day of the hearing. HMC provided testimony as to how the issues at BP impact residents, business owners, and commters' daily life. We used the 280+ comments received from the public survey.
The attorneys are scheduled to submit their initial closing statements by December 20th. If need be, they will be provided until January 10 to make final adjustments. The judge will take approximately 30 days from then to draft his recommendation which will be heard before Council on a scheduled public hearing date. As of now, it appears his recommendation will be brought before Council February 6th or February 20th.