Printer Friendly Version

Village Vision News

Smoking at ball diamonds leads to change in Village’s smoking regulations

Thursday, July 14, 2011

On July 5, trustees unanimously approved striking the Village’s current smoking regulation provisions from the code of ordinances and formally recognizing the Village’s adoption of the 2008 Smoke-Free Illinois Act. The decision followed an assessment by Village Administrator Heather Kimmons, who concluded that existing provisions were moot since the passage of the statute. In support of this decision, signs will be placed to discourage smoking in an area near bleachers at the ball diamonds and near the concession stands.

Kimmons’ assessment followed complaints about cigarette smoking in the bleachers at Forsyth Park ball diamonds that prompted a recent Board consensus to update the Village’s 1978 ordinance regulating smoking in places open to the public.

The 2008 Smoke Free Illinois Act requires that public places and places of employment must be completely smoke-free inside and within 15 feet from entrances, exits, windows that open and ventilation intakes.

“The state statute, of course, overrides any local law to the contrary,” Kimmons said. She noted that state law does permit some local control over smoking, as long as the local ordinance is no less strict than the Smoke Free Illinois Act. “Those portions of Forsyth’s ordinance which are less strict than the Act are unenforceable,” Kimmons said.

During the Board’s earlier discussion, Trustee Steve Hubbard, who initially relayed parental concerns about smoking near a park concession stand where food is sold and children gather, said Mayor Hap Gilbert’s suggestion to designate the concession stand as a smoke-free area would not be entirely effective. “It would help, but people want a ban for smoking while the games go on,” he said.

Other trustees also weighed in on the matter with trustee Marilyn Johnson stating that it is “…going too far when we ban it [smoking] in our parks.”

^ Back to Top ^

Site by HomeSight, LLC