Residents against blowing smoke in Aliso Viejo

Speakers address council with concerns about smoking in residential developments. Similar ordinances are in Calabasas and Glendale.

October 06, 2011|By Joanna Clay

Nonsmoking residents approached the Aliso Viejo City Council on Wednesday night, asking them to consider limiting or banning smoking in residential developments in the city.

Members of Residents for Smoke-Free Living and locals cited issues regarding the dangers of second-hand smoke and other health concerns.

Stacy Alynn, a resident of the St. Moritz Resort Apartments, has asthma and said that residents smoking near the pool area have made it difficult for her to swim, which is something her doctor recommended she take up.

A former resident, Sue Andicochea, said she had to move due to constant smoke from her next-door neighbor.

Alynn sympathized and said, "If my neighbor smoked regularly, I'd have to move immediately."

She noted that she and her husband were looking to buy a home and that a smoke-free situation would be very attractive to them.


Residents for Smoke-Free Living prepared a report for the council, which pointed to Calabasas and Glendale as examples of cities that have enacted smoking ordinances that are stricter than California law.

The council will review the findings of the staff report and has recommended that a meeting be coordinated with stakeholders. Results will be reported back to the council.

As of right now, Aliso Viejo prohibits smoking "within the boundaries of any public or private park, playground area, tot lot or recreation area within the city, in any vehicles owned or leased by the city, or in or near any building owned or leased or occupied by the city."

Calabasas, a city north of Malibu, prohibited smoking in multifamily rental housing in its 2006 "Second-hand Smoke Control" ordinance. It declared exposure to second-hand smoke a "nuisance" and uninvited, and said it can also be deemed as trespassing. Calabasas allows smoking in private residential property and in up to 20% of hotel guest rooms.

Glendale has a similar ordinance, which also includes prohibition of "smoking-related acts" such as tobacco disposal. The nonsmoking ordinance goes into detail about the number of smoking-permitted areas in a multiunit rental development and stipulates that a landlord must disclose to tenants if smoking is permitted.

Councilman William Phillips asked how the ordinance would be enforced and wanted the council to look into how Calabasas and Glendale do it. He also expressed concern over how possible it is to control smoke and said he was skeptical whether an ordinance could solve the problem.

The Orange County Fire Authority supports the ordinance. The OCFA's Polly Bowen cited information from the Centers for Disease Control, which said even though smoking is down to a ratio of 1 in 5, it is still one of the leading causes of residential fires and fire-related deaths.

Twitter: @joannaclay

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