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Golden bans outdoor smoking, vaping on city-owned property

GOLDEN — Golden City Council has unanimously approved an ordinance to limit tobacco smoking and use of electronic cigarettes and vaporizers in public spaces.

“I think this is a very healthy step forward for Golden to protect our kids and our citizens and our visitors,” said councilor Pamela Gould at the Thursday night meeting.

The push for an outdoor smoking ban came in June, when city manager Mike Bestor said the city received complaints from customers of downtown businesses bothered by smoke wafting in to downtown area dining patios.

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Ordinance 1985 disallows smoking and vaporizing in outdoor city-owned property, which includes city parks, trails, Fossil Trace Golf Course, Clear Creek RV Park, public events in any city street or right of way, and public sidewalks and rights of way in the Washington Street downtown area.

The Washington Street area includes streets and sidewalks along Washington Avenue between 10th and 14th streets, and the blocks of 12th and 13th streets between Arapahoe and Ford streets.

The vote also expands the existing prohibition on smoking within 15 feet of a primary building entrance to 25 feet.

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“In the downtown area, that radius alone largely renders the downtown area a non-smoking area anyway,” said city attorney Mathew Munch.

The ordinance does allow for changes should the city manager find it necessary to designate smoking areas.

The ordinance takes effect Jan. 1, 2015. Violations will be ticketable offenses, often beginning with a warning followed by a $50 ticket on second offense, Munch said.

Josie Klemaier: 303-954-2465, jklemaier@denverpost.com or twitter.com/JosieKlemaier

This story was first published on DenverPost.com