Whether you light up a cigarette inside a Glendale apartment or try to avoid inhaling, there could be a new smoking ordinance impacting Montrose and La Crescenta residents.
City Council may require larger Glendale bars and restaurants to designate larger, more distinct, smoking and non-smoking sections.
The current range of a non-smoking area is 25 percent of the outdoor seating capacity for businesses 5,000 square feet or less, according to the 2008 Glendale Fresh Air Ordinance (see page 40).
Under the proposed new rule, an outdoor dining area of 5,000 square feet or more would have 50 percent of its area for smoking or nonsmoking, said Director of Community Development Hassan Haghani.
The current 10-foot distance from non-smoking tables would remain, including other regulations from the ordinance, according to the city council ordinance introduction.
Businesses can expect the ordinance before holidays, Haghani said.
Glendale City Council members are also interested in discussing options for all new multi-family buildings to be smoke-free and heard from several locals who wanted their apartments or condos to cut back on smoking.
Several residents asked for the council to create ordinance that would require all new multi-family buildings.
Roxanna Perez, whose family is non-smoking, said her daughter would do her homework near a window while her neighbor smoked outside. Perez said she moved to get away from the secondhand smoke.
"It does filter through the wall cracks. I do have air conditioning, but it’s an old building. But I’m basically pleading for our lives and the other lives that have been exposed to [smoking]," Perez said.
The council reached a consensus that it will consider two routes in the future, Hasani said. The first is legislation that could allow civic action in relation to smoking violations and could go to small claims court. The second option could be to require apartment buildings to designate smoking or nonsmoking areas.
“I recently lived in a multi-family unit and once in a while, the lady that lived below me had a son who was a smoker… ,” said Councilmember Ara Najarian.
Najarian explained that the smell of cigarette smoke was in his carpet and clothing.
“It was pretty raunchy, so I sympathize with that.”
The only difficulty in implementing potential municipal codes for smoking in apartments would be enforcement of potential regulations.
The council could invoke "private right of enforcement," meaning locals would have to report smokers using a municipal code, said Glendale City Attorney Michael Garcia.
"Only three inspectors [are] available with neighborhood services, who handle all issues for the city," Najarian said. “I think enforcement is an issue.”