SLO County may clear the air on smoking regulations

To clarify the public’s confusion about where it can smoke and where it can’t, San Luis Obispo County is working to tweak its codes in a way that will provide more understandable guidelines.

A mish-mash of regulations, some from the state, some from the county and others promulgated by individual cities, address smoking. Whatever changes the county makes will affect only places under its control.

As an example, it is illegal to smoke in county buildings, but legal in the parking lots. One suggested change would expand the definition of county “facility” to include parking areas.

Parks Department Director Curtis Black said communities that would be affected — including Oceano, San Miguel, Templeton, Los Osos, Cambria and Cayucos — will have different needs and approaches. So would the county’s disparate parks — Lopez and Santa Margarita lakes and the Dunes in Oceano.

With that in mind, the county is seeking input from residents of each area so it can tailor the ordinance to those needs. It is asking local advisory committees throughout the county for their thoughts.

The Parks and Recreation Commission already has discussed some suggested changes and will take the issue up again at its Jan. 6 meeting. The session begins at 6 p.m. at the County Government Center, 1055 Monterey St. in San Luis Obispo.