Nevada City is wrestling with several issues regarding making downtown Nevada City more attractive for locals. Along with addressing panhandling and homeless issues, the city is trying to identify areas where people can smoke without interfering with businesses or the general public. City Manager Catrina Olson says problems in the past with trying to identify acceptable areas included access as well as location.
Police Chief Jim Leal says a majority of smokers are employees on break.
In preparation for the meeting, three areas were identified by staff as potential smoking areas.
Robinson Plaza, the rear of the Commercial Street Parking lot, and Spring Street behind the National Hotel were identifed as locations that are convenient, not in direct lines with public facilities, and not too attractive to invite the homeless to hang out.
Though staff is planning to work with business owners and residents regarding notification, Council member Duane Strawser remains custiously optomistic.
Staff was directed to draft the ordinance and present at a future meeting.