Monday, July 8, 2013

City mulls smoking ban in parks

Posted By on Mon, Jul 8, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Smoking ban in city parks
  • Fried Dough

City Council will be briefed today about a possible smoking ban in city parks.

The ban is proposed by the city's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department for all city parks except Evergreen Cemetery, Fairview Cemetery, Patty Jewett Golf Course and Valley Hi Golf Course.

Here's the rationale, contained in a memo:

The intent of the proposal is to reduce the detrimental health impacts of secondhand smoke on citizens, to provide the full enjoyment of the recreational aspects of parks facilities, to reduce litter, and to protect the City’s park and recreation properties from the extreme fire danger in the Pikes Peak Region. The Department, with the assistance of the Office of the City Attorney reviewed options to minimize the detrimental impacts of smoking within the City’s park areas. A thorough list of options was provided by the Office of the City Attorney that comprised numerous approaches within Colorado and throughout the United States.
The Department’s preferred approach is a general ban on smoking in City-owned and managed parks properties with limited exceptions for specific facilities and areas not traditionally used for park purposes. The smoking ban would cover all parks, parks facilities, trails and open space areas. The only exceptions to the ban under the proposal are the Cemetery and Golf Course enterprises, along with the Department Director’s authority to designate specific areas for permitted smoking. It is intended that the areas where smoking is permitted will be marked and limited to locations with reduced combustible materials, such as parking lots, in an effort to reduce fire risk and the impacts of secondhand smoke on non-smokers.

The memo notes similar bans are in effect in Commerce City and New York City.

The city estimates spending $5,000 to $8,000 for signs designating smoking areas and disposal units.

According to the memo, the Trails and Open Space Coalition's members support the ban. The matter goes to the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Advisory Board on Thursday, where an advisory recommendation will be made.

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