Oakland’s City Council was scheduled to have their second reading (and final passage) of the new secondhand smoke ordinance last night. The item was pulled from the consent calendar, and will be considered again, perhaps with some revisions, in two weeks, at the next Council meeting.
City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente told Bay City News that he was concerned about the new rule restricting smoking within 10 feet of bars:
But De La Fuente said he was concerned that the matter was rushed through on Sept. 19 and there weren’t clear answers to some of his concerns.
De La Fuente said one of his concerns is that the ordinance would require that bar customers move 10 feet away from bars if they want to smoke.
Currently, bar customers can smoke right next to bars.
“We have to have a balanced approach and make sure we can attract nightlife and businesses,” De La Fuente said.
De La Fuente said he understands that an important issue for Reid is not to ban smoking on golf courses.
Several bar owners and staff have attended multiple meetings on the issue, asking the Council to strike this provision because forcing their patrons to stand far away from the door and security staff places customers in danger. The new rule would outlaw smoking patios, like the one at Cafe Van Kleef, wiping out considerable capital investments on the part of nightclub owners.