Perryville asked to ban smoking, allow swine in city limits

Published 9:27 pm Friday, April 12, 2019

The Perryville City Council will be looking into the process of adopting a no-smoking ordinance inside of public buildings following a business owner’s request.

Laura Goode, owner of Laura Leigh Photography on Merchant’s Row, asked the council to consider banning smoking in public buildings because it is detrimental to public health and safety during the city council meeting Thursday night.

Goode said currently, there is only one place to buy gas and grab a bite to eat in Perryville, unless a food truck is operating. But she’s allergic to cigarette smoke and she can’t take her daughter inside because the smoke could trigger an asthma attack.

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“You go in there and there’s people smoking at the tables. There’s puffs of smoke … you can’t see from one side of the store to the other,” Goode said. “I have to drive at least 10 miles out of town to go eat because I can’t go over there to eat because I’ll get sick.”

She also drives to Harrodsburg to purchase gas because she can’t go inside the business. “You’re losing money because of the smoking,” Goode said. “I can’t go in there and spend any money, and I know a lot of other people feel the same way.”

Also, she has many clients with young children who come to her studio in Perryville, but she can’t recommend they go to the local convenience store for gas or food because of the smoke.

Councilperson Adam Gray said, “I’m like you. I don’t go in there because I come out, I stink.” He added that people coming from out of town who stay at his Airbnb, “We don’t want to tell them to go there if that’s how they’re going to come out smelling.”

“But I also struggle with telling a private business owner what to do,” Gray said. “I guess my fear, too, is if we say no to smoking, does that kill their business? And then that’s one more business in Perryville gone.”

Goode suggested outdoor smoking areas could be allowed.

“That’s just being respectful of everyone around them,” Goode said.

The previous council discussed a smoking ban several years ago, Mayor Brian Caldwell said, but ultimately voted to allow individual business owners to decide whether or not to allow smoking inside their businesses.

“That was three years ago and now it’s three years later and a new council. … As a new council, you should consider doing this just because if you care about the health of all the people in town, that’s reason enough,” Goode said.

After a bit more discussion, Councilman Carlos Miller suggested they do more research into the issue before deciding on drafting a smoking ban ordinance. The council asked newly hired City Attorney Justin Johnson to find out how other towns handle smoking bans and let them know at next month’s meeting.

The council also agreed that before any action is taken on the matter, there will be time for the public to voice their opinions on a smoking ban in Perryville.

The next request made during the open forum came from new resident Cody Czajkowski, who asked the council to adjust a city ordinance, which currently bans swine from living within the city limits.

Czajkowski said one of his pets is a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig that is kept within a fenced-in yard at his home on Buell Street. He brings the pig inside when the weather is too hot or cold for it, Czajkowski said.

Poultry is allowed to be raised within the city limits, which Czajkowski also has in his backyard.

Councilperson Kelly Gray said she was afraid adjusting the ordinance to allow pigs in the city “would open a big can of worms.” She said there is a trend of people homesteading who are growing their own food and livestock, which is something that shouldn’t be allowed in the city limits.

Danville-Boyle County Planning and Zoning Director Steve Hunter said the new zoning ordinance would allow the council to address the issue of keeping of large pets, and the city could determine if a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig is a pet or not.

“This is a new one on me,” Hunter said.

Councilperson Kelly Gray said she was also concerned that property values within the town would decrease if rules were “stripped away … We have laws for a reason.”

Ultimately, the council voted to table the discussion until the next meeting, with Councilman Adam Gray voting against tabling it.

In the meantime, Czajkowski was told he had to find another place to keep his pig until the matter was resolved or he would face hefty fines.

In other business, the council:

• held the second reading to approve an amendment to the joint zoning ordinance with Boyle County, Danville and Junction City;

• appointed Anne Sleet to the Planning and Zoning Commission after accepting the resignation of David Walden;

• hired City Attorney Johnson to replace Winfield Frankel, who resigned because he moved to Louisville last month;

• voted to evict a business tenant from the second floor of the Perryville Community Center due to her owing $7,000 in back rent and late penalties; and

• voted to make Main Street Perryville and Bill and Linda Faulkner work out an agreement among themselves concerning keeping the alley from Buell Street to Jackson Street open. The two parties will also have to work out an agreement because the Faulkners want to gravel the alleyway, which is located next to the MSP’s office in the Johnson-Britton House and leads to the Faulkner’s property.