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City Council to Discuss Prohibiting Tobacco, Requiring Alcohol Fee at Parks

  • WHAT: Lakewood City Council to discuss parks code and fee changes
  • WHEN: 7 p.m., Monday, January 13
  • WHERE: Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW

The Lakewood City Council will discuss a number of proposed changes to the City’s parks code during Monday night’s study session, including prohibiting tobacco use and establishing a new permit for alcohol use during special events.

Every few years, the City reviews its parks code and fee schedule, then recommends changes based on legislative requirements, citizen or staff requests, Council actions, planning policies and other factors. Members of the Lakewood Parks and Recreation Advisory Board reviewed the current code and recommended the changes.

In terms of tobacco use and smoking, Lakewood is recommending prohibiting both at City parks and facilities, including restrooms, picnic shelters, beaches, aquatic facilities, playgrounds, trails, athletic fields, natural areas and spectator/concession areas. Previously, the “Parks” section of the Municipal Code did not specifically prohibit tobacco.

“There is no safe level of second hand smoke,” wrote Mary Dodsworth, the City of Lakewood’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Director, in her report to the City Council.

“Tobacco use in the proximity of children and adults engaging in or watching outdoor recreational activities is detrimental to their health and can be offensive to those using such facilities. Cigarettes or chewing tobacco, once consumed in public spaces, are often discarded on the ground, requiring additional maintenance expense and diminishing the beauty of the area (and can pose a risk to children who might ingest them.)”

In terms of alcohol use, the City is recommending introducing a new permit fee when alcohol is present in parks during special events (alcohol is regulated already by conditions of a special use permit). This new fee would be in addition to the City’s existing special use permit fee. The City is recommending a sliding scale based on the size of the event, ranging from $200 to $1,000 per event.

“Alcohol use permit fees vary from city to city,” Dodsworth wrote, “but most base the fee on the size of the event. The PRAB wanted to ensure the fee was substantial enough to denote the added value and impact that alcohol will add to a park-related event.”

To see a full list of the proposed changes, visit http://goo.gl/LAZ5JM .