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CITY HALL ROUNDUP

October 27, 1994|SUSAN STEINBERG

SANTA MONICA: The City Council on Tuesday postponed action on a proposed anti-smoking ordinance that would have been the most restrictive smoking ban in the Los Angeles area.

The ban would prohibit smoking in all indoor workplaces, including bars. The council will discuss the ordinance, and the possibility of a smoking ban in outdoor dining areas as well, at its Nov. 15 meeting.

The council decided to delay the vote until after the Nov. 8 election while awaiting results of Proposition 188, which if passed will repeal Santa Monica's and all other local tobacco ordinances.

Sponsored by tobacco giant Philip Morris and others, Proposition 188 would allow smoking in private offices and ventilated areas of restaurants. The ballot initiative is opposed by the Santa Monica City Council.

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In what Santa Monica Mayor Judy Abdo said was one more step toward prohibiting homeless people from sleeping anywhere in public at night, the City Council narrowly voted to declare the Santa Monica Civic Center off limits to the public from 2 to 6 a.m.

Abdo voted against the measure, arguing that it will push the homeless into residential areas after the 100 beds in the city shelter become filled. Councilmen Ken Genser and Antonio Vazquez also cast votes against the ordinance.

But the majority of council members agreed with sanitation concerns raised by a city employee and passed the ordinance, which will close the public property bounded by Main and 4th streets, Pico Boulevard and the Santa Monica Freeway. The Police Department, open to the public 24 hours a day, was excluded from the ordinance.

An average of 60 people a night have been sleeping on City Hall's front lawn, city employee Susan McCarthy told the council. The homeless leave an accumulation of perishable food that draws rodents, and they urinate and defecate in the shrubs, creating odor and drawing flies, she said.

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