CITY DESK: Council to consider ban on smoking, vaping at bus and light-rail stops

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AURORA | A vaping and smoking ban at light rail and bus stops may get initial approval from Aurora city lawmakers Monday night. 

Currently, city code makes it illegal for smokers to light up in “public places,” but that only refers to indoor spaces, according to city documents. The new ordinance would extend the prohibition to light rail platforms and bus stops, with or without benches or rain shelters, according to a draft version of the amended ordinance.

If passed by the full city council, people found in violation of the new law would face the city’s standard, maximum penalty for municipal code violations: up to a $2,650 fine and up to one year in jail, according to Nancy Rodgers, deputy city attorney.

Golden, Lakewood, Boulder, Colorado Springs, the 16th Street mall in Denver and Fort Collins all have municipal codes that outlaw smoking at transit stops, according to city documents.

The proposed ordinance would affect nearly a dozen light rail stations across the city and several dozen bus stops.

At the group’s study session, members will discuss whether to increasing the debt limit for the Velocity Metropolitan Districts No. 1-9. Those districts don’t have any residential components, according to city documents. 

The districts, which provide infrastructure for the Porteos commercial and industrial development, are requesting doubling the debt limit from its existing $50 million, saying the board of directors of the districts believe the increase is necessary because of “increasing construction costs and the volatility of economic conditions.”

A group of Denver Meadows Mobile Home Park residents are expected to show up during the “public invited to be heard” portion of the meeting to advocate for the city to help with relocation costs when the park finally closes — which is expected to happen at the end of March.

— KARA MASON & Quincy Snowdon, Staff Writers