Glenwood outdoor smoking ban fires up
It’s official: Smoking is no longer allowed outdoors during the better part of the day in downtown Glenwood Springs, as well as in parks, along public trails or near bus stops.
The city’s new smoking ordinance went into effect Friday following a 10-day public notice period after City Council approved the measure last month.
Enforcement is likely to involve warnings for a period of time until people become aware of the new rules, City Manager Debra Figueroa said. The city is also looking at strategic locations to place signs explaining the ordinance, and will work with businesses to help get the word out, she said.
Eventually, however, a first violation will be subject to a fine of up to $200 under the city code. A second offense within a calendar year could net a fine of up to $300, and a third up to $500.
Council did agree to include a stipulation for the late-night bar crowd that allows people to smoke on downtown sidewalks after 10 p.m., as long as they step at least 15 feet away from the establishment. The smoking ban resumes at 5 a.m. each day.
The outdoor smoking ban was prompted by complaints from those worried about breathing secondhand smoke, the unsightliness of discarded cigarette butts in public areas, and the impact on tourism. It applies mostly to tobacco smoking, since it is already illegal under Colorado’s recreational marijuana laws to smoke marijuana in public places.
The smoking ban covers the boundaries of the Downtown Development Authority, taking in Glenwood Springs’ downtown core area from Fifth Street north of the Hotel Colorado south to 11th Street.
The ban generally extends for two blocks east of Grand Avenue in the downtown area, and west to the confluence area and the Glenwood Springs River Trail that leads into Two Rivers Park. The Sixth Street hotel district is also covered under the ban.
In addition, it applies to all public parks and trails, and to within 25 feet of all transit bus stops within city limits and outside of schools and school bus stops. Since city parks close at 10 p.m., the after-hours smoking allowance would not apply to those areas.
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The Glenwood Springs City Council voted to extend the existing face covering mandate for indoor public-facing spaces within city limits during Thursday night’s meeting.