Village Board Considers Smoking Ordinance

Photo: Mary R. Vogt at MorgueFile.com

Park Forest, IL--(ENEWSPF)-- The village board began its deliberations on a proposed non-smoking ordinance in Park Forest.  Cook County's Clean Indoor Air Ordinance will become effective throughout the county on March 15, 2007. This county-wide ordinance basically bans smoking in all public places and places of employment. This would include such places as restaurants, bars, offices, and other places where people gather.  The Cook County ordinance specifically excludes smoking rooms in a hotel or motel, private clubs (as defined by the ordinance), and private homes, unless the home is used for a licensed day care, adult day care, health care facility, or a home based business that is open to the public. Cook County’s ordinance will apply to all parts of the County unless a municipality within the county enacts legislation which supersedes it.  In other words, the Village of Park Forest can choose to adopt an ordinance which is more or less restrictive than the Cook County ordinance.

Park Forest's Economic Development Advisory Group (EDAG) has been deliberating on a recommendation regarding a non-smoking ordinance for several months, beginning in October 2006, and again in November and December.  Owners of Bixby's and Tattler's were invited to provide input.  At the December meeting, EDAG heard from a representative of the American Cancer Society regarding this issue.

EDAG's recommendations are similar to those of Cook County Clean Indoor Air Ordinance, with the following exceptions:

  • A person who owns, manages, operates or otherwise controls a public place or place of employment and who fails to comply with the provisions of the ordinance should be fined in the following manner:
    • $100 for the first violation
    • $100 for the second violation within one year of the first
    • $500 for the third and subsequent violations within one yearo If a fifth violation occurs within one year, in addition to the fine, the business should be closed for a 20 day period
  • Bixby’s and Tattler’s should be given a six (6) month period from the date of adoption of the ordinance to come into compliance
  • Smoking should be permitted in private residences, including those in which a home based business is operated and open to the public.
  • Smoking should be prohibited in those private residences used as a licensed child care, adult day care, or health care facility.

Sam Montella, Chairman of the Economic Development and Advisory Group, noted in a memo to the board noted that "the provision regarding smoking in a private residence was a difficult issue for EDAG and one on which there was not a unanimous decision."  Some members favored a total ban on smoking in private residences in which a home-based business is open to the public.  Such a move would be consistent with the Cook County ordinance.  Others did not want to regulate smoking in private homes at all, regardless of how it was used as a home-based business.

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