New Thousand Oaks Smoking Ordinance - Effective 8/8/08

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The following information regarding the new City of Thousand Oaks Smoking Prohibition Ordinance is taken directly from the City of Thousand Oaks website at www.ci.thousand-oaks.ca.us.  The Ordinance, adopted by the City Council last month, becomes effective on August 8, 2008 and will effect smokers in Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park and the Ventura County side of Westlake Village.

Smoking Ordinance:

The Thousand Oaks City Council has adopted a new ordinance which prohibits smoking in outdoor gathering places. The ordinance will take effect on Friday, August 8, 2008 and specifically prohibits smoking in the following places:

  • Any playground and within 25 feet thereof;
  • Any public gardens;
  • Any outdoor service area (ex: ATM or theatre ticket line);
  • The grounds of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, except in any
  • designated smoking area;
  • Any outdoor dining area (with limited permitted exemptions);
  • The grounds of any public library;
  • Any common area at a shopping center.

Smoking Ordinance FAQs:

  1. Why did the City of Thousand Oaks decide to prohibit smoking in outdoor gathering places? The Thousand Oaks City Council recognizes that secondhand smoke poses a serious public health hazard and that nonsmokers need protection from secondhand smoke exposure. This ordinance was enacted to protect the public health and safety.
  2. When will this new ordinance take effect? The smoking ordinance will take effect on Friday, August 8, 2008.
  3. What are the basics of the City of Thousand Oaks’ new smoking ordinance? The Ordinance specifically prohibits smoking in the following places: Any playground and within 25 feet thereof; Any public gardens; Any outdoor service area (ex: ATM or Theatre ticket line); The grounds of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, except in any designated smoking area; Any outdoor dining area; with limited exemptions as explained below; The grounds of any public library; Any common area at a shopping center.
  4. I operate a restaurant with a common/shared outdoor dining patio; may patrons smoke in that area?  As of August 8, 2008, smoking is not allowed.
  5. I operate a restaurant that has its own exclusive outdoor dining area. Can patrons smoke? As of August 8, 2008, the answer in most cases is no, but there are limited exemptions. See question #6.
  6. How do I go about seeking an exemption to the ordinance for my restaurant's outdoor patio? A permit application for exemption is available from the City of Thousand Oaks Community Development Department.
  7. When will the permit opportunity take effect? On September 9, 2008, a second reading of the ordinance that provides for a permit to allow smoking in qualified outdoor patio areas will occur, and if adopted will become effective on October 10, 2008.
  8. How does my patio area qualify for the exemption permit? Restaurant owners may file for an exemption permit if each of the following criteria are met: The restaurant has the required City entitlement for the outdoor customer dining area; The patio is the required distance from areas where smoking is prohibited; The location has self-closing and appropriately sealed doors to restrict smoke from traveling into the restaurant; The restaurant provides signs notifying customers that smoking may occur in the outdoor customer dining area. 
  9. How will this smoking ordinance be enforced? The ordinance will be enforced through a combination of public outreach and education. Ongoing violations could result in fines.
  10. If I witness a violation of the smoking ordinance, how do I go about reporting it? Violations can be reported to the business owner or manager, the Thousand Oaks Police Department at 494-8200, or City of Thousand Oaks Code Compliance Division at 449-­­­­­­­2300.
  11. Who may I contact if I have questions about the smoking ordinance or to obtain a permit? For specific questions regarding the smoking ordinance or obtaining a permit, contact the City of Thousand Oaks Community Development Department at 449-2323.

Click here to view the City of Thousand Oaks Smoking Ordinance.