Gulfport City Council members will vote, during first reading, whether or not to eliminate the smoking ban on Gulfport Beach at the regular city council meeting tonight at 7 p.m. at Gulfport City Hall.
Less than two weeks ago, Gulfport City Attorney Andrew Salzman suggested the council change the ordinance in order to come to a "compromise" and an end to a lawsuit filed against the city. Learn more about that in our article, "Smoking Ban 'Compromise' to Lift Ban on Beach."
According to the agenda packet for tonight's meeting, which is available online:
"The City of Gulfport is currently involved in litigation concerning the constitutionality of Section 17-31. A recent Sarasota county court decision has clarified some of the issues involved in the City's litigation. The judge has ruled that the City of Sarasota cannot enforce smoking restrictions on outdoor public properties that this authority is provided to the State of Florida. The City of Gulfport's Ordinance is based fundamentally on the City of Sarasota's Ordinance."
The proposed ordinance provides the following:
- Removes reference to public beach area
- The City will provide designated smoking areas at athletic fields/facilities and children's outdoor play areas. The designated areas must provide for visual access to the athletic fields, facilities and children's outdoor play areas.
About the Ordinance:
Gulfport City Council voted 5-0 to pass a smoking ban on the beach, athletic fields and facilities and playgrounds in the city on Tuesday, November 1, 2011.
The ban affects the following locations in Gulfport:
- Gulfport Beach (shoreline from the Rec Center to the Casino)
- Gulfport Recreation Center's playgrounds and outdoor basketball court
- Gulfport Little League Complex
- Hoyt Field Baseball Field
- Tomlinson Park Skateboard Park and children's playground
- Chase Park tennis Courts
- Chase Park children's playground
- Caldwell Park children's playground
The ban does not affect: