City ordinance being studied which could ban smoking in apartment dwellings


City News Service

A San Diego City Council committee asked the City Attorney’s Office today to evaluate a possible ordinance under which an apartment-dwelling smoker could be punished if someone else in the building objected and possibly evicted if the smoker did not stop.

The Smoke-Free Housing Task Force pitched the idea to the council’s Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee, which forwarded the idea to lawyers for the city. Committee members said they expected a legal opinion in about three months.

A draft ordinance would ban smoking in apartments and condos if it “substantially interferes with another person’s use, comfort and/or enjoyment of that multifamily property.”

Complainers would need to do so in writing to their landlord, and the landlord would be required warn to verbally warn the smoker as many as three times. Finally, the landlord would have order the person in writing to stop smoking on the property. After that, eviction proceedings could begin.

If codified, the proposed ordinance also would provide for the city and individuals to bring civil actions based on the law.

The task force, formed about three years ago, includes Social Advocates for Youth San Diego, the American Lung Association, Communities Against Substance Abuse, the Environmental Health Association and a tenant advocacy group. The task force was formed about three years ago after SAY San Diego pitched a similar law to the same committee.