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Smoking-area license fee approved in Glendale

Cost is set at $198, grace period for compliance remains open-ended.

November 10, 2013|By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously agreed to charge restaurants, multi-unit housing complexes, hotels, car dealerships and other businesses that have outdoor smoking areas a $198 license fee.

The fee is set to pay for the administrative cost of having staff review the proposed smoking areas, which must follow rules specified by the council earlier this year when it banned smoking in all new multi-unit buildings and tweaked smoking rules for outdoor dining areas at restaurants.

Enforcement of smoking rules, which Glendale has been refining since 2008, has been a difficult task, but officials say that by requiring smoking-area licenses, officials can more efficiently ensure the rules are being followed. 

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Glendale banned smoking in indoor common areas of multi-unit buildings and on patios years ago, but it has never managed to address outdoor smoking areas.

According to the proposed licensing rules, the outdoor smoking area at a restaurant would have to be clearly separated by a rope, plants or other demarcations, and the smoking section would have to be 15 feet from tables and chairs in the nonsmoking area.

A slew of new multi-unit buildings that are set to bring about 2,300 residential units to downtown must be smoke-free zones. For older multi-unit buildings, a licensed outdoor smoking area must occupy less than 40 square feet and must be at least 20 feet away from a non-smoking rental unit or an outdoor area that a child primarily uses, such as pools.

Such areas must be marked by signs that are clearly posted. 

In addition to paying an initial $198 licensing fee, which the city council could increase annually for new applicants, businesses will have to pay a $50 renewal fee.

The ordinance technically takes effect in 30 days, but officials plan to give businesses a grace period, the duration of which has not yet been decided. 

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Follow Brittany Levine on Google+ and on Twitter: @brittanylevine.

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