On July 27, 2010, the Santa Monica City Council voted to adopt a city ordinance banning smoking within 25 feet of a door or window in any multi-unit residential building. This new city ordinance will go into effect in September 2010 and will effectively bar residents of condominiums and apartment buildings from smoking on patios, balconies and terraces adjacent to their dwelling, whether or not those areas are considered a part of the unit/apartment or exclusive use common area. Currently under the ordinance, there is no fine by the City for violation of the ordinance, but violators can be taken to small claims court for a violation, which could result in the court imposing penalties. The City is currently exploring other enforcement options.
This new ordinance is indicative of Santa Monica’s history of restricting smoking in public places and trying to diminish the effects of secondhand smoke. Santa Monica previously enacted a City ordinance that bans smoking in the common areas of all multi-unit developments. It is unclear whether this ordinance will be adopted by other cities, but it points to the anti-smoking direction that many cities and communities are heading towards. The Santa Monica Daily Press recently published an article regarding the new ordinance.
This blog post by SwedelsonGottlieb, Community Association Attorneys.