The Santa Monica Pier now has designated smoking areas, following a Tuesday, September 14th, vote by the Santa Monica City Council.

City Council members banned smoking on the beaches six months ago but did not decide where to designate pier-smoking areas until last week.

By the end of October, eight five-by-15-feet locations will be marked with signs and ashtrays provided by the Los Angeles County Tobacco Control and Prevention Division at no cost to the City of Santa Monica.

“Up to this point, it has been difficult to enforce the smoking ban because there was not a place for smokers to go. Now, this allows us to enforce it,” said Ben Franz-Knight, executive director of the Pier Restoration Corporation, the nonprofit agency that manages the pier’s daily operations.

Designated pier-smoking areas will be the west gazebo, south rail, rear Pacific Park fire lane, west Pacific Park restroom fire lane, south lower fishing deck, rear west restrooms, west lower fishing deck and west upper deck.

Smoking is also permitted in any of the pier restaurant outdoor dining areas.

There is a “special use” exemption for private events within Pacific Park and for actors smoking during filming.

“Special use” exemptions are subject to the approval of the city fire marshal.

The locations were chosen by the city Resource Management Department and the Fire Department because each area:

– is removed from the main public thoroughfare;

– can be efficiently fire-proofed; and

– is situated to benefit from the prevailing winds.

“Consideration was also given to locations that would allow smokers on the pier reasonable access to designated areas,” said Jeff Mathieu, director of the city Resource Management Department.

Four City Council members approved the designated areas, with Councilmember Ken Genser voting to oppose them and Councilmember Michael Feinstein abstaining.

“At first, when we could not get the four [City Council] votes, I said we should ask the staff to just start enforcing the ordinance. This means that there would be no smoking on the pier,” Genser said.

Genser was referring to the City Council’s previous attempt to adopt the resolution designating pier-smoking areas July 13th. A deadlocked vote forced the City Council to take up the issue again last week when more members were present.

OTHER ACTIONS:

– the City Council awarded approximately $1.5 million to Steiny and Company to replace deteriorated street lighting and electrical circuits throughout Santa Monica.

-Siemens Energy and Automation was awarded a $211,807 contract to provide a central control system for traffic signals in the downtown area.

– The City Council also awarded a $175,000 contract to Surf Academy to provide surfing lessons and surf camps for youths participating in the city Community and Cultural Services programs.

– An increase of $100,000 was added to the BRH Garver-West Incorporated sewer rehabilitation and roadway restoration project on Ocean Avenue and Main Street.

Funds for the increase are available from the city earthquake recovery account and the city is eligible to receive reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

– The city voted to support Proposition 1A, a statewide ballot measure that will circumscribe the ability of the State of California to further dip into local government revenues for state expenditures.

“The protections in the proposition will offer greater stability for Santa Monica revenues and reduce the likelihood of raids by the state to balance its [own] budget,” said city finance director Steve Stark.

– The City Council accepted approximately $1.1 million in grants from the Federal Office for Domestic Preparedness to enhance local homeland security efforts.

– The City Council also accepted a $99,492 grant from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to help prevent or reduce underage drinking.

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