Resident complains of smokers lighting up park

Longtime Laguna resident Lee Hoffman asked the council to intervene with the county to stop folks from smoking in Alta Laguna Park by the reservoir.

Hoffman told the council at the Sept. 4 meeting that she had reported the problem to the city police and fire departments and was told the park is under county jurisdiction.

"We take this very seriously," said City Manager John Pietig. "The Fire Chief has spoken to the rangers."

Councilwoman Toni Iseman said the top of the hillside at Mystic Hills is covered with cigarette butts.

"What I saw was an ashtray basically," Iseman said. "The no-smoking sign was covered by a trash can."

She suggested two possible courses of action.

"Neighbors could call in because it is very easy to see in the dark the lighted cigarettes," Iseman said. "The other thing is to have some kind of camera [that] could be posted."

Iseman hypothesized that the smokers were more likely visitors enjoying the view than locals.

"We don't have that many people in town who smoke," she said.

Smoking in public is restricted by city law, and places where smoking is allowed has been limited, so the number of smokers is difficult to calculate.

However, the danger of smoking in or near open space is not, according to Iseman.

"Signage (in the park) should include the consequences of smoking in the wilderness," Iseman said.

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