The City Council on Tuesday voted to give restaurants with smoking sections an additional 90 days to file applications for ventilation systems to keep smoke out of non-smoking dining areas.
The restaurants may continue to have non-ventilated smoking areas as long as they submit plans for installing air segregation, ventilation or filtration systems by Dec. 15. In addition, the plans must be approved by city officials by Jan. 15, 1989, and approved systems must be in place and operating by June 15, 1989.
Restaurants that fail to submit plans by Dec. 15, or whose plans are rejected by the city, will not be allowed to have smoking areas, according to the ordinance.
Councilman Allan Alexander proposed eliminating the ventilation requirement in favor of increasing the required space for non-smoking sections from 50% of dining areas to 60%. He said the council may consider that matter at a meeting next Tuesday.
Tuesday’s unanimous vote is the latest in a series of deadline extensions the city has given restaurant owners, who have complained that the ventilation systems are costly and difficult to install. The systems are required under the city’s restaurant smoking ordinance, which was passed last year.