Greeley passes ordinance to permit private smoking clubs

GREELEY — Greeley will permit private smoking clubs in selected zones in the city.

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to change city code to permit not-for-profit smoking clubs that would be, in the words of council member Deb DeBoutez, “very narrow, very specific” and within the bounds of state law.

The effort to permit smoking clubs came as a result of a resident who wanted a place to hang out with friends and smoke cigars. It would be a well-ventilated space that would offer a variety of tobacco products and, to a limited degree, alcohol sales.

City Attorney Doug Marek explained that the city had to thread the needle of state indoor-air-quality laws that generally prohibit smoking in places where the public might gather.

Greeley city code also has that restriction. To get around that prohibition, city code needed to be amended to permit not-for-profit smoking clubs that would have selected members and permit smoking “as an aspect of its recreational, fraternal or social purpose for its members, but not for pecuniary gain,” according to the presentation to the council. Alcohol could be sold, but revenue would need to be incidental to its operation — not more than 20% of its overall revenue.

The clubs would be allowed in commercial high intensity, mixed use high intensity and industrial zones.

The clubs could not sell day passes, meaning that people would not be able to drop in to buy cigars unless they became full-fledged members.

The new ordinance also took into account neighbors. Clubs, if adjacent to other businesses, would be required to have separate ventilation systems and vapor barriers. Patios could not affect neighbors or be near places where the public might gather.

Source: BizWest

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