Danville's five community parks, trails and neighborhood park may soon be smoke free if an ordinance discussed at Tuesday's study session passes.
The town's Parks and Leisure Services Commission presented the Town Council with an ordinance that would ban smoking in all of Danville's recreational facilities by posting signs, providing education and fining offenders up to $100. Currently, smoking is banned within 25 feet of tot lots and playgrounds.
"This would expand the area," said Recreation Services Manager Michelle Lacy. "Since parks are spaces for improving health and fitness it seems counterintuitive to have smokingâ€¦. It seems like a logical step, especially since we like to promote a healthy lifestyle."
In January, the American Lung Association gave Danville dismal grades in its statewide smoking report. Although he couldn't think of anything that has changed in the town since then, City Attorney Rob Ewing said the parks department began considering the expanded ban in March or April.
"The council was supportive of it and five or six people spoke today (at a study session) in favor of the ban," Ewing said.
Seven cities in Contra Costa County have similar bans and Jaime Jenett, policy coordinator at the county's Tobacco Prevention Project (TPP), said those cities have received few complaints.
An ordinance to support the expanded ban is schedule to go to the Town Council on Sept. 6 and, per policy, will be read again and possibly adopted on Sept. 20. If the ban in adopted, it will take effect 30 days later on Oct. 20.
Danville owns 194 acres of recreational space; both Ewing and Lacy said the cost to put up signs about the ban in those areas would be minimal.