CHRPD Considers Smoking Ban in Parks

On CHRPD Agenda for March 5 meeting in Huron is NB-2 APPROVAL: Smoking Ordinance in all Parks. This is a proposal to ban smoking in all CHRPD parks and areas under its control.

In October, 2019 a ban on smoking in any State Parks went into effect all across California. Quickly following that change, several groups gained traction in their efforts to spread that ban to all parks, whether they are municipal or Recreation and Parks Districts.

Coalinga heard from such a group from Fresno County Department of Health regarding the issue of smoking in public areas; most notably parks in September 2019. The goal of the group was to prohibit any smoking in any parks or public space.

Coalinga City Council met on September 5, 2019 and discussed the proposed ban on smoking. City Council decided to table the issue for further discussion and also to understand what direction Coalinga Huron Recreation and Parks plans to pursue. This ordinance would prohibit smoking in any public place. The origin and goal of the ordinance:

“On June 20, 2019 Council approved updating city definition of tobacco products and smoking to align with State of California’s definition. The Department of Public Health has provided a proposed ordinance which will fit the City of Coalinga and which prohibits smoking in public parks, in addition to any other “recreational area” defined to mean an area owned or controlled or used by the City of Coalinga and open to the general public for recreational purposes including parks, playgrounds, sports fields, walking paths, and bike trails. The ordinance prohibits smoking in those areas in addition to other public places being used as a public event such as a parade, farmer’s market or other festival open to the general public.”

Parts of the ordinance:
Ordinance 832 Complete Document is here.

(a) Smoking and the use of Tobacco Products is prohibited in the unenclosed Areas of the following places within the City of Coalinga:

(1) Recreational Areas;

(2) Other Public Places, when being used for a public event, including but not limited to a farmers’ market, parade, craft fair, festival, or any other event open to the general public / , provided that Smoking is permitted on streets and sidewalks used only as pedestrian or vehicular thoroughfares,
unless otherwise prohibited by this 5- 16 or other law.

Skipping ahead to cost of infractions:

(b) Each incident of Smoking or use of Tobacco Products in violation of this 5-16 is an infraction subject to a one hundred dollar ($100) fine or otherwise punishable pursuant to section 5-16 of this code. Other violations of this 5-16 may, at the discretion of the District Attorney, be prosecuted as infractions or misdemeanors when the interests of justice so require. Enforcement of this chapter shall be the responsibility of . In addition, any peace officer or code enforcement official also may enforce this chapter.

(c) Violations of this 5-16 are subject to a civil action brought by the City of Coalinga, punishable by a civil fine not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) and not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation.