SF City Council To Vote On New Smoking Ban Ordinance

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Sioux Falls City Council members are taking another stab at a smoking ban.

Last year, a tobacco restriction at all city owned buildings, golf courses and properties managed by a third party like the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, failed.

Now, a new ordinance has been created, one that isn’t as strict.

While some agree with putting smoking bans on city properties and parks.

“I’m pretty much all for no smoking everywhere for the good of myself, the good of my family and anybody who is in the environment,” says Sioux Falls resident Steve Schwartz.

Others don’t think a full no tobacco policy is fair.

“They do have to have some place for them to go [smoke], because they have a right, you know everyone has their rights,” says Mickey Sorensen, who also lives in Sioux Falls.

And that includes councilor Christine Erickson.

“I don’t think it’s government’s role to protect ourselves and I was critical about that, and I still stand firm to that,” says Erickson.

After proposing an amendment that essentially killed a smoking ban last December, Erickson is spear heading a new one.

“It was important to create the frame work, identify the issue and for us to come along side each other for the council,” she says.

The main difference this go-around is proposed designated smoking areas.

“Anytime there’s an event permit, those events will either need to have a designated smoking area or they won’t be allowed to smoke,” explains Erickson. “They’ll work with the parks department for that.”

That includes events like Jazz Fest.

For city owned golf courses, the ordinance allows people to smoke while playing after the first tee, and before the green of the final hole of any nine holes of play, to protect the club house area.

The Denny Sanford PREMIER Center and Convention Center rules could change as well.

“We need to protect the entrances by 25 feet,” says Erickson.

That means people will need to cross over the handicapped parking lot at the Convention Center to a sidewalk before lighting up.

The PREMIER Center will be able to keep a designated smoking area towards the west side of the building, and potentially add another one in the back for employees.

The General Manager at the PREMIER Center told KDLT News he is on board with this new smoking ban.

He says he’s not concerned that it could steer away some customers.

While the previous ordinance was more cut and dry, Erickson says this new one is all about compromise.

“You’ll see little bits of pieces of each councilor in this ordinance,” says Erickson. “We said we would take a look at it and we did that, and held our word.”

If the ordinance passes, smoking would also be prohibited at any public transit ticket, boarding and waiting areas.

A fine has been eliminated as well.

Instead, police will have the ability to eject people from a park or property if they’re smoking where they aren’t supposed to.

Councilors will vote on the ordinance for the second and final time Tuesday night at 7.

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