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Peekskill considers expanding outdoor smoking ban to outdoor dining downtown

Violators would face fines up to $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second and $250 for each one after that.

Jonathan Gordon

Jun 3, 2024, 6:08 PM

Updated 19 days ago


Peekskill may soon move forward with a plan to stomp out smoking in its downtown district.
The city's Common Council is considering an amendment to its outdoor public smoking law to include banning smoking within 100 feet of an outdoor dining space within the Business Improvement District.
"The city has really seen its outdoor dining scene blossom and get much more robust and with that, we've been getting many complaints," Peekskill City Manager Matthew Alexander said.
This would be an additional amendment to the current law prohibiting outdoor smoking in city parks, if approved.
City officials said while they have already increased police foot patrols during peak hours downtown, the law would also give business owners the power to report if excessive cigarette smoking, vaping or marijuana use is affecting the area where customers are eating or drinking.
"If there's a constant problem with smoking happening right next to a restaurant, so in those cases we would put more vigilance in that area," Alexander said.
Bill Powers, the Peekskill Business Improvement District executive director, said while the organization doesn't take policy positions, he has not heard complaints about the proposals from any of the over 250 businesses the BID represents.
"I see this really as an extension of the rules and regulations that are already in place inside restaurants and now being brought outside to cover the outside dining," he said. "The ordinance is going to enhance the dining experience for everybody."
The idea was not embraced by some who smoke.
"They don't need that law. I think they're going to have a fight on their hands," Peekskill resident Jay Quinones said.
But those who do not smoke said the smell is a nuisance.
"I don't like any of it," Peekskill resident Martha Robertson said. "I don't care for it."
Violators would face fines up to $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second and $250 for each one after that.
The City Common Council will hold a public hearing on this issue next Monday, June 10, at 6:30 p.m.

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