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No Smoking in Parks

Posted on 28th May 2010 at 08:35

The Longview City Council is directing staff to draft an ordinance that would ban smoking in smaller parks in the city, and would restrict smoking to designated areas in larger parks around the city. The Council voted unanimously to move ahead on the ordinance at last night’s meeting; City Manager Bob Gregory says that the Council will clarify the boundaries when the draft ordinance comes back. The Council’s action comes after hearing a report from an Ad-Hoc committee that was formed last year; Jessica Bell with the County Health Department was on that committee, which also worked to solicit public input on the issue. Bell says that they did a variety of surveys, and after all the data was compiled, they found that 65 percent of respondents favored restrictions on tobacco use in the parks. She says that enforcement of the restrictions could be similar to the animal control regulations that are currently in place. Gregory says that staff agrees with that approach, saying that police wouldn’t be actively engaged in enforcement, but they would have the ability to issue a citation when violations arose. It’s planned that the draft ordinance will be presented next month.