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Woodburn City Council passes an ordinance prohibiting smoking and use of tobacco in city parks

PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - The city of Woodburn will soon be posting notifications at city parks, advising that tobacco use is prohibited.Woodburn's city parks will soon become no-smoking areas.

On Monday, Aug. 12, Woodburn City Council passed an ordinance "prohibiting tobacco use, smoking and the use of inhalent delivery systems in Woodburn city parks."

Mayor Eric Swenson signed the ordinance on Friday, Aug. 16, and it goes into effect on Saturday, Sept. 14.

The council received a no-smoking request from a Woodburn resident during its June 24 meeting. The panel then directed city staff to investigate how other cities in Oregon address smoking in parks.

Woodburn surveyed a number of cities, and at the July 22 city council meeting, City Administrator Scott Derickson apprised the council of how the cities that responeded to the survey approach smoking .

Derickson said some of the cities that responded have had a ban in place for some time, while others have put a relatively recent one in place. He further noted that those bans varied: some only prohibited cigarettes, pipes and cigars; some prohibit vaping and e-cigarettes as well; some prohibit all forms of tobacco or nicotine products.

A handful of those Oregon cities on the list were in the Willamette Valley, including Mount Angel, Silverton, Stayton, McMinnville, Dayton, Sherwood, Tualatin and Independence.

The ordinance is intended to be straightforward by broadly defining smoking and prohibiting all tobacco use. Violation of the code carries a class 4 civil infraction, penalty for which is a fine of $125.

Within the ordinance's definitions, vaping was included in the prohibition, while city parks are defined as "land controlled by the City that is available to the public and used for municipal park purposes." Tobacco product is defined as any product that contains tobacco or nicotine, or is derived from tobacco or nicotine.

Signs will be posted at the parks to provide public notice.

Community center committee

In other Woodburn Parks and Recreation-related activity, the council announced the names of the Woodburn residents who will serve on the Community Center Citizens Advisory Committee. They are Antony Veliz, Kathy Figley, Karsen O'Bryan, David Piper, Randi Garcia Cruz, Kevin Grossnicklaus, Lani Biddle, Michael Vasquez, Donna Stone, Jenne Marquez, Sharyn Cornett and Jeromino Gaspar.

The city has been exploring the feasibility of building at community center this year, a process that has included getting various cost estimates, discussing potential grants, examining tentative floor plans and gathering input from community members through a survey and at council meetings.

Establishing and implementing the advisory committee is another requisite step in the process.


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