University Park is considering a smoking ban similar to those in two neighboring cities.
“These restaurants around here, it’s a lot of kids everywhere you go,” said University Park father Rich Nugent. “I don't think smoking should be allowed at all.”
While most University Park restaurants don't allow smoking inside, patios at restaurants such as Bandito's in Snider’s Plaza have become safe havens for smokers.
”There are places where people go, where it’s expected that they are going to be able to smoke,” said Max Fuqua, president of the University Park Merchants Association. “We should be able to accommodate them."
Fuqua owns a health food store, but he said he thinks the proposed smoking ban is a tad strict.
“I agree with the ordinance -- 99 percent of it,” he said.
Under the proposed ordinance, smoking would not be allowed in any public buildings or within 12 feet of them, making restaurant patios off limits for people who want to puff.
“I think if there is an outdoor area that is removed from other people who are not smoking, I think that would be acceptable to most people,” Furqua said.
But University Park resident Jessica Jones said she would welcome a full ban.
“I hate walking into places and smelling like smoke when you walk in because you walk through a cloud of smoke,” she said. “I think it's a wonderful idea, and I hope it passes.”
The council is expected to consider the ordinance Tuesday at its meeting, which begins at 5 p.m.