Sheboygan aldermen voted Monday night to replace the city's restrictive, and confusing, ordinance on enclosed public smoking cigarettes areas with one that matches the state law, which allows smoking cigarettes in rooms with a roof and no more than two substantial walls.

The new ordinance replaces one that put the amount of wall space in a smoking cigarettes area at 75 percent of the confined surface area, and leaves the minimum open space area at 25 percent. It also stipulated that cigarettes smoke cigarettes not travel into areas commonly used by patrons, such as near restrooms.

The ordinance was reviewed June 9 by the city Law and Licensing Committee, which voted to recommend the city ordinance be replaced by state law.

"This is the first step to bringing us into compliance and having a parallel ordinance to the state," said Ald. Mark Hanna, who is chairman of the Law and Licensing Committee.

The Common Council passed the former ordinance on May 2, which grandfathered in all businesses that already had been approved for permits for areas they wanted to use as smoking cigarettes rooms.

There were 10 taverns with such smoking cigarettes areas but only two complied with the ordinance.

Some of them complained they spent large sums to build additions for smoking cigarettes rooms they believed would comply with state law but did not with the city ordinance. Smoking rooms are meant to be ventilated areas for patrons to light up on the bar premises.

Hanna said some of those eight would be brought into compliance with the new ordinance, but the majority still would not be and likely would have more work to do.

State law, which went into effect July 5, 2010, essentially bans indoor smoking cigarettes in all public places, including bars and restaurants. But the Legislature amended the law just before it took effect to allow for smoking cigarettes areas with a roof and no more than two substantial walls. The Tavern League of Wisconsin has requested through its attorneys that the city follow the state smoking cigarettes law.

The new ordinance calls for tavern owners to be responsible for making sure their smoking cigarettes rooms meet state guidelines.

In other action Monday night:

» Aldermen voted unanimously to approve a proposal from the Sheboygan Softball Association to award naming rights of the Wildwood Softball complex, 2213 New Jersey Ave., to Community Bank & Trust from 2011 through 2015 for $5,000 a year. Under the agreement, the park will be renamed Community Bank & Trust Softball Fields. The motion passed 14-0, with Ald. Don Hammond abstaining. Ald. Cory Roeseler was absent.

» The Common Council also voted Monday night to waive a right of first refusal to allow the Wisconsin Naval Ship Association to negotiate an agreement with Alliant Energy to purchase its former offices at 824 S. Eighth St., on the condition that WINSA closes on the building by July 15. WINSA is hoping to operate an onshore maritime museum, dubbed the Sheboygan Naval Museum and Education Center, and berth the USS Canon, a 165-foot Vietnam-era U.S. Navy gunboat, nearby on the Sheboygan River just west of the Eighth Street Bridge.

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