Ocean City Makes Parks and Playgrounds Smoke-Free

City Council passes the second reading of an ordinance creating the ban.

52nd Street Playground in Ocean City
52nd Street Playground in Ocean City
City Council banned the use of tobacco products at outdoor parks, playgrounds and recreational facilities in Ocean City.

At a public meeting on Thursday, Council unanimously passed the second reading of ordinance making parks smoke-free.

An existing ordinance already bans smoking at the city's indoor facilities such as the Ocean City Music Pier and Ocean City Sports and Civic Center. Smoking is prohibited on the Ocean City Boardwalk except in designated areas.

Councilman Keith Hartzell asked City Solicitor Dorothy McCrosson to research whether any potential ban on smoking on the beach would be constitutional.

Representatives of the city's Advisory Council on Physical Fitness and Sports had asked City Council to consider the measure last month as part of a "Breathe Easy Campaign."

The ordinance calls for fines of $100 to $250 for a first offense and $500 to $1,000 for a second offense.

The ordinance bans smoking at facilities "including, but not limited to":

  • Bayside Center (500 block of Bay Avenue)
  • Carey Stadium (Ocean City High School)
  • Ocean City Municipal Golf Course (26th Street and Bay Avenue)
  • Tennessee Avenue Boat Ramp
  • Sixth Street Playground and Recreational Facility
  • 58th Street Beach Pavilion
  • North Street and Simpson Avenue Playground
  • 15th Street and Bay Avenue Playground
  • 34th Street and Asbury Avenue Playground
  • 52nd Street Playground
  • Richard Grimes Field (Sixth Street and Haven Avenue)
  • Emil Palmer Field (15th Street and Simpson Avenue)
  • Harry Vanderslice Baseball Complex (35th Street and Haven Avenue)
  • Basketball Courts at North Street, Sixth, Eighth, 15th, 18th, 34th and 52nd Streets
  • Tennis Courts at Sixth, 18th and 35th Streets
  • Shuffleboard Courts at Sixth Street and Boardwalk
  • Veterans Memorial Park (at Fifth Street and Wesley Avenue)
  • Waterfront Park and Marina (at Second Street and Bay Avenue)
  • Ocean City Dog Park (at 45th Street and Haven Avenue)
Parker Miller September 27, 2013 at 09:01 PM
Great - another feel good unenforced ordinance. The only thing that appears to be halfway enforced is the "No dogs on the Boardwalk". Alcohol on the beach, trash cans without lids, recycling, construction work before 8:00 AM or after 6:00 PM, and dozens of more laws are not enforced. One of my favorites is real estate signs. The rules for For Sale and Rental signs is simple, but most of our real estate people totally disregard it and leave blocks looking cluttered with signs along the sidewalks. Who's supposed to enforce this law? I counted 6 of Mark Grimes's signs illegally placed in 2 blocks. I assume he's too important to follow the law. If I acted as a citizen enforcement official and removed them, I'd probably be arrested immediately.
OCnjOC September 27, 2013 at 09:03 PM
Council is trying to divert attention from all the money they are wasting with feel-good laws that serve no practical purpose.
OCnjOC September 27, 2013 at 09:07 PM
The Police did enforce the real estate sign ordinance for time. They would post these huge stickers over the sign so the sign was damaged and unusable. It reminded me of an April Fool's column in my college paper where they said the parking officers would be slashing the tires of all illegally parked cars.
wendy smith September 28, 2013 at 10:04 PM
- I found this info on smoke.org: Municipalities with Smoke free Beach Laws Enacted as of July 8, 2013 This list includes those municipalities that specified that all city beaches and/or specifically named city beaches are smokefree. The list does not include those municipalities that have restricted smoking to certain areas of beaches There are 170 municipalities on the list. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico prohibits smoking on beaches, and the State of Maine prohibits smoking on beaches in its state parks. And yet, Ocean City does not know if banning smoking on its beaches would be constitutional? Am I missing something here?
OCnjOC September 29, 2013 at 03:39 AM
Wendy - you are missing the fact that the Ocean city lawyer is a real estate lawyer who represented many people in town and has no idea about constitutional law. She is paid at the rate of about $400K per year so when Hartzell makes one of his ridiculous requests she gets more money. BTW - Hartzell claims to be a Republican so why is he voting for these nanny-state laws? Of course it was unanimous vote so we can't just blame him (except for causing more legal fees which he could have accomplished by searching on google).


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