The following were among actions taken at the Jan. 5 meeting of the District of Columbia Council:

FRIGID NIGHTS LEGISLATION -- The council unanimously passed emergency legislation to provide indoor sleeping space for homeless persons on nights when the temperature is expected to drop below 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

The proposal, introduced by chairman David Clarke (D) directs Mayor Marion Barry to open and heat a District-owned building from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. when weather forecasters predict temperatures as low as 25 degrees, the same level at which residential evictions are banned under city law.

The legislation leaves the selection of the building to the mayor, though the D.C. Armory was informally recommended during the council meeting. The Armory, home to the city's National Guard regiment, could sleep up to 5,000 persons, according to Frank Smith, (D-Ward 1) chair of the council's Public Services Committee.

When council member Nadine Winter (D-Ward 6) argued for more comprehensive help for homeless persons, Clarke said, "I offer {the bill} to meet one particular emergency need -- that on nights such as last night, people have a place to go in from the cold."

To emphasize the need for emergency legislation, Clarke said that earlier Tuesday morning, the temperature had fallen to 17 degrees, and that at 2:30 a.m. he had visited the Pierce School, a building that the city has converted for use as a shelter, and found 213 persons in a building meant to sleep 138.

Clarke noted that a 1984 study by the University of the District of Columbia indicated that 6,400 homeless persons lived in the city. He said that by now, the number is probably higher, and that the city has only 1,700 beds for single persons, and 500 beds for family members.

The bill would go into effect immediately upon the signature of the Mayor.

SMOKING RESTRICTIONS -- The council voted preliminary approval of an amendment to a rarely-enforced 1979 smoking law. But because the proposed amendment was much weaker than the original introduced last May, sponsor Hilda H.M. Mason vowed to strengthen it before the final vote, scheduled in two weeks. In particular, Mason (Statehood-At Large) pledged to protect workers in the workplace from the hazards of second-hand smoke.

Mason's original measure would have forced the managers of most city restaurants, offices and public places to effectively segregate smokers by erecting barriers and ventilation systems providing fresh air to nonsmokers. It received hearty endorsement at a public hearing sponsored by the Committee on Public Works, including praise from Dr. Reed V. Tuckson, the District's Commissioner of Public Health.

But the committee made major revisions, exempting most places -- including offices and bars -- from the regulations. Restaurants would have to designate 25 percent of their seats as "nonsmoking," but would not need to have any barriers or ventilation installed.

"The bill that came out of committee in fact gutted the law, and I believe we must go further," said John Ray (D-At Large) a cosponsor of the original bill. Ray said that he would work with Mason before the council's next legislative meeting to prepare amendments restoring the bill's original thrust.

MUNICIPAL PARKING -- The council established a parking task force in an attempt to enforce the Neighborhood Municipal Off-Street Parking Facilities Act of 1980. That law, never acted on, directed the city to establish and maintain parking lots to ease parking in residential neighborhoods and to help businesses in areas with little parking.

The city's failure to create any parking lots since then prompted a lawsuit by merchants in Adams-Morgan, who charged that the city prefers reaping $50 million annually in parking infraction revenue to following the law and creating parking lots.

The task force will consist of one person appointed by each of the 13 council members, and four appointed by the mayor.

The parking law gives the mayor the power of eminent domain to purchase sites for conversion to parking, but bans the demolition of residences for that use.

DRUNK DRIVING -- Council member Wilhelmina Rolark (D-Ward 8) withdrew the proposed Comprehensive Anti-Drunk Driving Act from the agenda, saying that she wanted to resubmit it to the Committee on the Judiciary for further study. No time frame was given for reintroduction.

The bill, introduced last February at the request of the Mayor, would establish mandatory minimum fines for driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs; would increase the period of license revocation for convicted drunk drivers; and would allow sentences of community services in lieu of prison terms for convictions.

Rolark did not say what aspects of the bill she plans to revise, but John Wilson (D-Ward 2) urged her to include an automatic license suspension for persons arrested for drunk driving, and awaiting trial, and a charge of murder for persons accused of killing someone in a drunk driving accident.