October 3, 2009 - Exceptions to the ban would be in retail tobacco stores; outdoor places of employment; private places; private residences, except when used as a child care, adult day care or health care facility; and no more than 20 percent of hotel or motel rooms that are available to be rented to guests.
The ordinance defines a private place as any enclosed area to which the public isn't invited or in which the public isn't permitted, including but not limited to, personal residences or personal motor vehicles.
The measure is to take effect after notice of its passage has been published in the Topeka Metro News and a subsequent 60-day period passes. Shawnee County election commissioner Elizabeth Ensley said Thursday the ordinance is to be published Monday, meaning it would take effect December 4, 2009.
Topekan Gail Trembley said Thursday, October 1st she was starting a petition drive to reverse the smoking ban. State law enables opponents to submit to the city's governing body a petition, which must be accompanied by a proposed ordinance, seeking to appeal or amend the clean air ordinance. If the petition is legally valid, state law requires the council to adopt the accompanying ordinance within 20 days or give the public a vote on it within 90 days.
The ordinance calls for people who smoke in an area where smoking is prohibited to be fined $50 for the first violation, $100 for the second within 12 months of the first and $200 per violation for a third or subsequent violation within 12 months of the first two. It also sets a fine schedule for violations committed by the owner, manager or operator of public places or places of employment who permits smoking where it is prohibited. Those fines are $100 for the first violation, $250 for the second within 12 months of the first and $500 per violation for a third or subsequent violation within 12 months of the first two. Additionally, a business license or permit issued by the city may be suspended for a third or subsequent violation within a 12-month period.
Reference: Smoking ban petition started by Tim Hrenchir, The Topeka Capital Journal, 10/2/2009.
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