By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — The City Council is exploring a new ordinance that would ban smoking in city parks.
The council further discussed the proposed ordinance at its June 23 meeting.
In the proposed ordinance, smoke or smoking is defined as possessing a cigarette, e-cigarette, cigar, hookah or pipe that contains tobacco or any other product that is lighted or burning.
It also defines smoke or smoking as lighting a cigarette, e-cigarette, cigar, hookah or pipe that contains tobacco or any other product as well as exhaling smoke from burning tobacco or any other burning product that is contained in a hookah, pipe, cigar, cigarette and e-cigarette.
Parks where the ordinance will be enforced include any public park, recreation, playground area, building or facility in the city.
“This ordinance is being based on public health concerns and we are seeing this sort of rule being put in place more frequently across the state and country,” Council President Susan Dabaja said. “I was hoping we could designate an area for smokers but we couldn’t agree on that exception.”
During the council meeting, questions were brought up about including golf courses in the ordinance and a request for more time was asked for to clarify the definition of a park.
“If the interest is public health, we have to be constant across the board,” Councilman Michael Sareini said.
A person who violates the possible ordinance will be cited with a violation if he or she refuses to stop smoking when requested to do so by a police or ordinance officer.
A violation will result in a civil infraction punishable by a fine of $25 or court ordered community service.
“Enforcement will include somebody calling a non-emergency phone number to report smoking in a park and periodic checks when a police officer is on patrol in the area,” Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. said. “There will be new signs posted as well.”
Camp Dearborn is not included in the ordinance because it is in Milford Township.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)