Park smoking ban, nighttime trail closure top agenda |

Park smoking ban, nighttime trail closure top agenda

A smoking ban at Calanan and Pioneer parks and a dusk to dawn closure for Little Deer Creek Trail top tonight’s Nevada City Council agenda.

City leaders propose snuffing out smoking at city parks in a resolution up for approval. The ban is designed to eliminate secondhand smoke and cigarette butt litter. The smoking ban would include picnic areas, tot lots, sports areas and parking lots, according to a proposed city resolution.

County public health officials and Nevada County Tobacco Coalition members support the measure. They surveyed business owners and residents in the past few months, revealing strong support for the smoking ban.

Most council members already indicated support for smoke-free parks – with Councilman Steve Cottrell as the lone dissenter. Cottrell said his libertarian streak puts him squarely against the measure.

The resolution could work well with some key changes, said Councilwoman Sheila Stein.

Beryl Robinson Plaza needs to be included in the resolution, Stein said. Also, the ban is needed for all of the plaza and Calanan Park because both are so small, she said.

More specifications are needed for the Pioneer Park restrictions, Stein said.

“People should not be able to light up in the bandshell,” she said.

Also, council members are set to discuss a nighttime trail closure for the Little Deer Creek Trail tonight. No final action is slated.

The trail located between the Stonehouse Restaurant and Red Castle Inn attracts transients, some of whom allegedly harass customers, abuse drugs, sleep on the trail and start fires, the business owners said.

Transients flocked to the trail in greater frequency in recent years and the city needs to act, the owners said.

City Attorney Jim Anderson proposes a dusk to dawn trail prohibition. In the proposed ordinance, he specifically refers to prohibiting walking, standing, and sitting during the nighttime hours.

“You have to start somewhere,” Stein said.

She said the city’s new community service officers could help with enforcement.

The Nevada City Council meets at 7 p.m. in the City Council chambers at 317 Broad St.


To contact Staff Writer Greg Moberly, e-mail or call 477-4234.

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