Newport council to vote on smoking ban

The Newport Beach City Council at its Tuesday meeting plans to vote on banning smoking in parks.

The ban would expand current restrictions, which prohibit puffing on beaches and boardwalks.

In July, the council nearly approved a ban, but Councilman Mike Henn suggested that the law include the street ends leading up to the Balboa Peninsula boardwalk.

The new changes would prohibit smoking in or within 100 feet of park or beach while on public property.

The council may also bar private instruction — activities such as batting practice, yoga and personal training — in parks and on beaches.

If someone is being paid to instruct on city grounds, he or she would need to get approval from the Recreation and Senior Services Department.

This change is meant to curb the crowding of public spaces, such as beach volleyball courts and grassy areas, by people who are "using public parks and beaches for personal financial gain," a staff report says.

The council also considered these parks changes in July, but council members asked for modifications so the ordinance wouldn't ensnare some nonprofits. It is unclear if the revised law achieves that goal.

In other matters:

•A consultant has been selected to analyze the city's trash collection services, and the council plans to vote on its $100,000 contract. HF&H Consultants LLC will be tasked with analyzing the city's $5.7-million annual residential refuse collection operations.

Depending on the results of the study, the council could decide to outsource its home trash collection.

•The Newport Beach Country Club's remodeling and development plans will be up for review. The club on East Coast Highway, which hosts the Toshiba Classic golf tournament, seeks to replace 17 tennis courts with a 27-room hotel, and build five homes on the site. It also applied to expand its golf clubhouse from 35,000 to 56,000 square feet.

Twitter: @mreicher

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