City Council votes park smoking ban into law (updated) |

City Council votes park smoking ban into law (updated)

Nevada City council members snuffed out the option of lighting up at last night’s meeting, voting 4-1 on an ordinance to ban smoking in parks and outdoor public places.

Those public places include trails and other city-owned property, such as the old Nevada City airport, and exclude sidewalks and streets. Fines are not to exceed $100 for a first violation, $200 for a second violation in the same year, and $500 for additional violations in the same year.

Councilwoman Barbara Coffman was the lone dissenting vote on the issue, which has been winding its way through council channels for several years.

Coffman said she opposed the ordinance “because there is no designated area where people can go to smoke, rather than going into a neighborhood.”

The issue of smokers’ rights came up in previous discussions.

“As much as I value smokers’ rights, I put more value on the rights of every citizen to breathe clean air,” said Mayor Reinette Senum.

Residents voiced a range of opinions on beautification efforts proposed by a Calanan Park improvement committee.

The committee’s report prioritized the historical artifact collection in the park, which includes mining carts and a hydraulic monitor, and suggested some items be relocated.

Committee member Gary Tintle noted one board member of the Nevada County Historical Society said the park was not a suitable place to display such artifacts in the first place.

Historical Society Board Member Madelyn Helling said the other board members didn’t agree with that opinion.

Several residents objected to moving the artifacts, saying they thought moving them would downplay the significance of the city’s mining history.

Other residents opposed cutting down trees and renovating the entire park when minor changes, such as the newly-passed smoking ban, might improve the park’s tarnished image.

To contact Staff Writer Michelle Rindels, e-mail or call (530) 477-4247.

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