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Gulfport to vote on smoking ban, judge for code cases

GULFPORT — The unofficial "clean up Gulfport" campaign continues at 7 p.m. Tuesday, when the City Council is scheduled to vote on banning smoking in select areas and hiring a special magistrate to hold hearings and assess fines for city code violators.

The magistrate, approved 4-1 on first reading Oct. 4, would be a lawyer who would be used instead of the Pinellas County courts for code enforcement and nuisance violations.

Exactly what this magistrate will enforce is expected to become clearer after a public hearing on code enforcement issues Nov. 15.

Under fire from some residents, Gulfport is trying to beef up city codes by outlawing such things as having too many vehicles parked in a yard, storing garbage cans in view and using indoor furniture as outdoor furniture.

The council decided it wanted to hear from all residents before going ahead with any changes to the city's code.

Also Tuesday, the council will have a second reading of an ordinance that bans smoking on the beach, athletic fields and children's outdoor play areas.

The smoking ban, originally proposed as a way to keep cigarette butts from littering the city, is also seen as a way to protect residents from secondhand smoke.

It passed unanimously on its first reading.

Gulfport to vote on smoking ban, judge for code cases 10/29/11 [Last modified: Friday, October 28, 2011 5:56pm]
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