LAFAYETTE -- Tough new laws that would ban smoking in outdoor public areas and multifamily residences may soon be adopted in Lafayette.

The City Council on Monday will consider amendments to the city's smoking ordinance that would prohibit lighting up in outdoor public and dining areas, and at outdoor public events. The vote on the new laws is scheduled for Nov. 12.

If these new rules are approved, it would also be illegal to smoke in new and existing multifamily dwellings leased or rented 60 days or longer after the ban takes effect, or when a unit is next vacated.

The new laws would also impact those who light up indoors in apartments and other multifamily dwellings. Smoking would be banned in all existing multifamily residences 90 days after the ordinance is adopted, except in designated smoking areas. Smokers would also need to stay at least 25 feet away from buildings when puffing.

The laws would also prohibit smoke from medical marijuana.

"The city has the authority to regulate where smoking occurs regardless of what is smoked," said Planning Director Niroop Srivatsa.

Officials first considered updating existing laws in May, but directed city staffers in July to back off from adding bans on smoking throughout downtown and on public sidewalks.


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According to a city staff report, the proposed changes will ban smoking in outdoor public areas such as Lafayette Plaza and events such as farmers markets, marathons and concerts, including those at the Lafayette Reservoir. Smoking in outdoor dining areas will also be prohibited.

If the new ban is passed, Lafayette would join other Bay Area cities that have enacted strict laws against smoking.

Last month, the city of Walnut Creek adopted a secondhand-smoking ordinance that prohibits the activity in all multiunit housing. Lawmakers there also banned smoking in all of downtown, all recreational areas and all commercially zoned properties with outdoor dining or service areas. Walnut Creek's ordinance, however, doesn't outlaw smoke from medical marijuana.

Penalties for violating the city's smoking ordinance remain unchanged. Fines start at $100 for the first violation and escalate to $500 for each additional infraction within one year.