Menlo delays smoking ordinance


Menlo Park has delayed the adoption of a series of new smoking regulations, citing "unintended consequences" and "inconsistencies" in proposed revisions to the city's smoking ordinance.

Originally scheduled to come before the council for a final vote March 23, the ordinance will now wait until May or later, according to a news release the city issued Wednesday, March 17. The council tentatively approved the ordinance at its March 2 meeting.

Among other things, the city will consider adding language that would allow restaurants to create designated smoking zones in outside eating areas.

Bill Davis, owner of Knickerbockers Cigars near Cafe Borrone, addressed the council before it signaled its approval for the ordinance to ask that the people be allowed to smoke in the patio outside his shop, which would have been prohibited by the ordinance as written. After the meeting, there was some confusion about whether or not the council had voted to allow smoking there.

"In carefully examining the literal wording of the ordinance as introduced, we are concerned that there are some unintended consequences and some inconsistencies which require further evaluation and possibly further outreach," City Attorney Bill McClure wrote in the news release.

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