CBJ changes smoking law

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The city decided to make it tougher to smoke at the first meeting of 2019.

    The Assembly approved an ordinance to align CBJ smoking codes to state law.  City Manager Rorie Watt said it will make it easier to enforce smoking regulations.  He noted the marijuana control board agreed to allow the onsite consumption of marijuana during a meeting in December.

    The change would increase the smoking buffer outside of business entrances.  It would increase from the city's 10-foot buffer to the state's 20-foot buffer. It could impact some city sidewalks in front of businesses.

    CBJ currently prohibits smoking marijuana in enclosed places that sell marijuana and also inside clubs and bars.  The new marijuana law will be discussed by the Committee of the Whole in Juneau on February 4.

    Assembly member Loren Jones reported the MCB approved Senate Bill 15 that dealt with vaping. 

    CBJ Attorney Robert Palmer said current code prohibits certain vaping types of smoking.  "It was found to be constitutional in a Supreme Court case a few years ago.  I know it has been tested.  Does it mimic state law?  It is slightly different."

    The case asked if the city could prohibit smoking in private clubs.  The court found the code at that time was constitution, Palmer added.   Assembly member Michele Bonnet-Hale said she supported including vaping in city codes but wanted to make sure the city was on sound legal footing.

    Future discussions are likely on vaping and marijuana smoking in public.

    In other actions, the CBJ approved an ordinance to spend $380,000 for the CBJ International Airport.  This will install new equipment at the exit lane from the departure lounge.  Airport Manager Patty Wahto said federal agencies won't pay for the improvements.  She noted the Department of Homeland Security requires some kind of security at the exit, but would only pay for a fraction of the cost of law enforcement.

    About 50 people attended a downtown walking tour on January 5 to discuss the Blueprint downtown plan.  Another walk is planned on Saturday, January 12 at 1 pm to talk about parking and other issues.  A third walk is planned on Saturday, January 19.

    The Eaglecrest Board reported the new snow making machines have worked well.  Summer revenue ideas are still being developed for the resort.

    The CBJ appointed Ron Deguest and Glenn Ojard to the Art Panel for the Airport Project to terms ending July 31, 2019. 

    Charles Kidd was appointed to the Historic Resources Advisory Committee to a term ending June 30, 2020.

    The next meeting of the CBJ Childcare committee is scheduled for Friday, January 11 at 12:15 pm at City Hall.

    The local boundary commission annual report talks about the Chatham Strait Glacier Bay Borough.  A CBJ annexation proposal before the committee has not been submitted. 

    The CBJ Finance Committee will discuss finance options for the new Juneau Arts and Culture Center on Wednesday, January 7 at 5:30 pm at Assembly Chambers.

    The new Blood Bank of Juneau office opened its doors on the second floor of the Jordan Creek Plaza on Monday.





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