During the April 26 City Council Meeting, the City Council approved a measure that tightened the smoking ordinance regarding smoking in restaurants. Prior to Council’s decision, City staff presented research on smoking ordinances in surrounding cities. Other factors taken into account were resident feedback, public health, and offer an improved dining experience for the community. The ordinance (Sec. 82-73) now states:
- It is against City ordinance for any person to smoke or use tobacco or another plant product, electronic cigarettes, or liquid nicotine in a food establishment.
- Smoking is only allowed in restaurants that were issued a Certificate of Occupancy prior to April 26, 2022; allowed smoking prior to this date; and if the establishment derives more than 50 percent of its sales from alcoholic beverages. This means existing Bedford businesses that already allowed smoking are grandfathered under the previous ordinance.
- The distance from the primary entrance of a restaurant to the patio where smoking is allowed is now 25 feet, instead of 10 feet.