Having received approval from the Bexley recreation board, an ordinance that would ban smoking in Bexley's public parks may come up for a final vote before Bexley City Council by the end of the month.

Ordinance 03-20 would amend the city code and add smoking and vaping as prohibited activity in city parks, in addition to the consumption of drugs and alcohol. The ordinance was scheduled for a third reading and a possible vote at council's Feb. 11 meeting, but council voted unanimously to table the ordinance until the recreation board could weigh in.

At the board's Feb. 12 meeting, members unanimously approved the ordinance, with an amendment. Recreation board president Lindsay Hodge suggested the amendment, which gives the board the authority but not the obligation to add a smoking area at Jeffrey Mansion, 165 N. Parkview Ave.

"I don't want it to imply that we will and that it's going to happen, but we have the authority" to add the smoking area at Jeffrey Mansion, Hodge said.

Recreation director Michael Price said he found in his research that neighboring communities, such as Grandview Heights, Upper Arlington and Westerville, ban smoking in city parks.

If council approves Ordinance 03-20, Price said, he could evaluate how the smoking ban goes and consult with the recreation board as to whether it wants to designate the smoking area at Jeffrey Mansion or make other changes to the smoking ban policy.

"My role in that is to convey back to the board what we're hearing and what we're seeing or whether it's having a positive or a negative impact, whether it's a negative impact on rentals (of Jeffrey Mansion) or making the rule a little more clear for people in the park," Price said.

Having received approval from the recreation board, council members could opt to vote on the ordinance at their next meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, at Bexley City Hall, 2242 E. Main St.

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