Smoking ban moves forward
By Lucia Suarez
STAFF WRITER | June 29,2013
FAIR HAVEN — Fair Haven town officials earlier this week agreed to move forward with a proposed amendment to ban smoking in the park, though with some hesitation.
Some Select Board members didn’t want to ban smoking in the park outright.
Instead, said Town Manager Herbert Durfee, they have come up with a compromise.
Smoking would not be allowed within the park fence, designating all other areas, including the bus stop, the parking lot, and where the cannon sits as smoking areas.
“There are a couple board members that are very adamant in banning smoking,” Durfee said. “There is one member who has not given his opinion (and) one member that is on the fence.”
Currently, the park ordinance has no provisions against smoking, though smoking is banned outright inmunicipal buildings and vehicles.
The board decided to begin the amendment process to the ordinance — warning a public hearing for comments before a decision is made. The public hearing will be held during the Select Board’s meeting at 7 p.m. July 22.
“If they choose to adopt the amendment, there is a 60-day period before it takes effect,” the town manager said. “(At this time) a petition can be filed to oppose the amendment.”
The discussions regarding the amendment began earlier this month when concerns were raised about smoking and the use of other tobacco products in the park.
The board has already received complaints from residents regarding the proposal. They have asked town officials not to ban smoking outright but instead erect signs asking smokers to be considerate of nonsmokers.
Durfee reiterated the hardest part of the amendment will be enforcement, but a general belief is that there will be more self-enforcement from residents if the amendment is passed.