The Hayden City Council adopted a pair of ordinances Tuesday night, one establishing a curfew for minors and the other putting wider restrictions on no-smoking designations.
The curfew ordinance was established to improve public safety — and as a way to keep pace with neighboring community rules — while the smoking ban was adopted for the benefit of public health.
The tougher smoking rules are a first around Kootenai County, and one council member wondered how they will be enforced.
“Personally I’m against smoking, and I believe it causes major health issues — but in regards to the ordinance itself, I don’t think it’s enforceable,” said Jeri DeLange, the lone council member to vote against the rule. “I did not want to pass an ordinance that I did not believe we could enforce.”
The ordinance establishes a 20-foot smoking ban in front of “any building or office that is commonly opened to the public, whether publicly or privately owned.”
That means smokers in front of bars, shopping malls, and small businesses and shops would have to take their cigarettes 20 feet or more away from the entrance into the building.
The ordinance is supposed to be more of an educational rule, and one that wouldn’t necessarily be ticketed, city officials said in previous interviews.
The curfew rule would be in effect seven days a week from midnight to 5 a.m. for children younger than 18.
Exceptions are proposed in the code, including when a child is accompanied by a parent, traveling on the interstate, in an emergency or required to be out due to employment, or school and church sponsored activities.
The rules will go into effect once legal notice has been published, which is expected to be early next week, according to Vicki Rutherford, city clerk.
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