Armed with numerous complaints about smoking on city beaches and parks in recent years, the South Haven City Council approved an ordinance amendment last summer banning smoking at city beaches and parks. That action was taken on July 2nd, 2018…but city staff is issuing a reminder that the law is now in effect.
Staff at South Haven City Hall say that smoking and the littering of cigarette butts had been on the increase in recent years and recognize that the issue has been an ongoing challenge that many waterfront communities have experienced.
Actually, the City Parks Commission, at their October 10, 2017 meeting, discussed the issue and consequently recommended that the City Council approve an amendment to Chapter 58, Article III, of the Code of Ordinances to add Section 58-102, which bans smoking in city beaches and parks. As a result of the Parks Commission recommendation, the City’s staff worked with the City Attorney to prepare the ordinance amendment, which was approved by the City Council last summer.
The community leaders have researched the health benefits of tobacco-free outdoor recreational areas and found them to include not only protection of nonsmokers from secondhand smoke exposure, but also protection of young children from toxic cigarette butts and other tobacco litter, as well as positive role modeling for youth. On top of that they point to the environmental benefits including reduced tobacco litter, cleaner waterways, protection of marine and wildlife from toxic tobacco litter, and reduced risk of fire. Additionally, city maintenance costs may be reduced due to reduced staff time needed for litter and waste clean-up.
City staff intends to educate the public by the installation of prominent signage starting this year; and community education through press releases, social media posts, and notices to other entities that will assist in sharing the ordinance change to the public.
You have been reminded and warned.