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Santa Monica : Smoking Ordinance Passes

It took another public hearing to do it--the third this year--but Santa Monica has finally passed what appears to be a final version of a smoking ordinance for the city’s restaurants.

A last-minute push to obtain an exemption for restaurants with fewer than 50 seats failed. All restaurants will now be required to set aside at least 60% of their seats as nonsmoking sections.

The City Council adopted the law Tuesday night. The vote was 5 to 2, with council members Christine Reed and James Conn dissenting in favor of an exemption for the smaller restaurants.

Jay Fiondella, owner of the Chez Jay restaurant and one of several operators of small businesses who pleaded for an exemption, said that the law would be hard to enforce in his place but that he was resigned to living with it.

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