Burlingame could be following the path of other cities along the Peninsula and adding expanded restrictions on smoking.
On Monday, the City Council will vote on whether to introduce amending the Burlingame Municipal Code to expand the list of city facilities where smoking is prohibited, specifically concentrating on parks and related areas. City owned or operated athletic fields and within 25 feet of city-owned parking lots, Bayfront Park or Mills Creek Canyon Park were added to the list of prohibited smoking areas.
“I do think that that’s the wave of the future,” said Vice Mayor Terry Nagel. “This is just an incremental increase. There is overwhelming evidence against smoking.”
The city already restricts smoking in places like the Burlingame Golf Center, school property, Murray Field, restaurants, retail shops, in city-owned vehicles and other areas, according to the report.
The most recent update of the city’s smoking regulation was in 2006, with other sections retaining language from 1993. Staff has determined a need to expand the list of city facilities where smoking is prohibited to address secondhand smoke impacts on children and the elderly and to preserve the park-going experience for the public. In addition, litter impacts from cigarette butts have proven to be a burden on city maintenance in parks and parking lots. Cigarette butts may be ingested by animals and small children and also contribute to the burden on city storm water processing, according to the report.
Still, some councilmembers are wary of putting too many restrictions on smoking, including Councilman Ricardo Ortiz.
“I’m kind of conflicted on that one,” he said. “I think we can go overboard on that. I don’t think smoking should happen in certain areas, but it makes me nervous when it involves patios and private property.”
Smoking isn’t regulated in private residences, except when used as a child care or health care facility, 65 percent of guest room accommodations in a hotel, motel or similar lodging establishment, areas of the lobby in a hotel, motel or other lodging establishment, meeting and banquet rooms in hotels, motels or other lodging establishments, retail tobacco stores, medical research or treatment sites, patient smoking areas in long-term health care facilities and other areas.
Although other nearby cities like South San Francisco have started to pass and propose ordinances on electronic cigarettes, Burlingame has yet to touch that issue yet, officials say.
To read the potential ordinance amendments, go to burlingame.org
The City Council meets 7 p.m. Monday, June 16 at Council Chambers, 501 Primrose Road in Burlingame.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 105