The District of Kent is putting in a new outdoor public spaces smoking regulation bylaw. (Unsplash)

The District of Kent is putting in a new outdoor public spaces smoking regulation bylaw. (Unsplash)

Kent approves new rules for pot, tobacco smoking in the district

Don’t try to smoke near the bleachers at Centennial Park, or at the splash park either

Pot may be legal, but don’t try to use it on sports fields, playgrounds, next to a school or near the Centennial Park bleachers in the District of Kent.

On Wednesday (April 24) Kent council gave first, second and third reading to its new outdoor spaces smoking bylaw. The bylaw outlines where people will not be allowed to smoke tobacco and cannabis in the District of Kent.

“This will give the municipality the ability to do enforcement, instead of relying on provincial enforcement,” director of development services Darcey Kohuch said at the meeting.

For the most part, this bylaw follows the provincial laws around where people are not allowed to smoke. Both tobacco and cannabis are prohibited:

  • on school property;
  • on health board property, except in designated smoking areas;
  • in public buildings, workplaces or the common areas of apartments;
  • within six metres of air intakes, windows and doorways;
  • and in transit shelters.

RELATED: Agassiz residents want pot shops, but not near schools

It also includes places where only cannabis is not allowed. These include:

  • on sidewalks and boulevards next to school property;
  • at bus stops, train stations, taxi stands, ferry docks and similar places;
  • within six metres of a bus stop;
  • at playgrounds, sports fields, skate parks, swimming pools, spray pools and on any decks or seating areas associated with those places;
  • in regional or municipal parks, except for designated campsites;
  • in cannabis stores, whether private or government;
  • while operating a vehicle or boats;
  • and as a passenger in a vehicle or boat.

In addition to these standard provincial restrictions, the District of Kent is also prohibiting tobacco and cannabis use within six metres of the outdoor bleachers at Centennial Park and in designated spaces during outdoor events.

“For example, there was the Movie in the Park, and they felt it was necessary to have some signs that say no smoking within this seating area, just for the benefit of the patrons that are there,” Kohuch explained. “If we feel it’s not necessary then we don’t have to (use it). We’re not establishing those areas, it just gives us the flexibility to do that if we choose to.”

Fines for these offenses will be $100 each. No smoking signs will be placed in a number of areas around the District, although the exact style and placement will come back to Kent council for approval in the future.

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