Keller Council begins debate on smoking ban

01/15/2014 12:00 AM

01/13/2014 2:28 PM

Keller City Council members are considering snuffing out smoking in the city’s restaurants, but decided at last week’s meeting that they needed more time to look into the proposal.

Since 2006, 14 Fort Worth-Dallas communities including Fort Worth, already ban smoking in restaurants, but Keller has left that decision up to the business owner. That could change.

Council member Doug Miller said he opposes the ordinance that applies to all businesses, saying owners could suffer.

“I don’t believe you can take that decision from a business owner,” Miller said.

Council member Tom Cawthra said the issue is about family values and should be discussed further. Some council members said smoking in businesses is a matter of health for patrons in the city.

Council members said they need to determine the issue’s priority compared to other issues they face, and to determine if a problem actually exists.

Council member John Hoffmann proposed bringing the issue to citizens to seek their opinions on a smoking ban.

In other action, the Council also amended city code allowing homeowners to house chickens on their properties.

Council clarified the ordinance to allow single-family lots from 8,400 square feet to 20,000 square feet to have up to 12 hens per quarter acre, but the fowl would need to be kept in an enclosure five feet from any other property lines.

The Council said that as long as a property is within a designated zone, even properties of less than 8,400 square feet would fall under the chicken ordinance. The ordinance was clarified after some homeowners visited Council saying they wanted to keep their hens on their properties.

Mayor Pat McGrail joked about the light-hearted nature of the fowl discussion.

“I think we can agree everyone here likes chickens,” he said.

This article contains material from the Star-Telegram archives.

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