Soon, there could be fewer places to light up in the township.
An ordinance has been introduced on first reading that would ban smoking in all public parks, trails and township buildings, said Township Spokeswoman Bridget Palmer at the Thursday, Nov. 8 council meeting.
There are about 50 public parks in town, she said.
On Thursday, Nov. 15, an anti-smoking event will take place at DeCou Park at 3:30 p.m. with representatives from Cherry Hill High School East, the American Cancer Society, Camden County and township representatives on hand.
If the ordinance is adopted, signs will be erected on township-owned properties as warning to not smoke.
The signs would be paid for by Camden County, Palmer said, and would not have the Cherry Hill Township brand on them.
They would, however, be recognizable, she said.
There are several reasons that the ordinance was introduced, Palmer said, including the health benefits, sustainability from an air pollution perspective and cleanliness.
“It looks better,” she said.
There will be fines for offenders. On first offense, the fine would range from $100 to $150. Second offenders would be subject to a fine of $150 to $250. After that point, offenders would face fines of $250 to $500, Palmer said, but there may be a warning before fines are given.
The ordinance’s effects will be more noticeable in the spring, she said.
Police officers will not be patrolling parks, she said, but they will address complaints.
“It’s something that we’re excited about,” said Palmer.
Environmental groups in the township are on board with the idea.
“It means a lot to them,” she said.
The public hearing and potential adoption will take place on Monday, Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the municipal building.
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Questions regarding the ordinance can be directed to the Mayor’s office by phone at (856) 488–7878 or by email at MayorCahn@chtownship.com.