At its August 26 meeting, the Santa Rosa City Council was given a presentation by city planners about how they could enhance the city’s smoking ban by implementing further restrictions on where people are allowed to smoke as well as what they are allowed to smoke, a move that gained the support of the council as it heads towards public hearings and more presentations before returning for a vote, likely happening in December.
The move dates back to Resolution No. 28282, which was enacted on May 21, 2013 as the council’s goals and strategic objectives for 2013-15. The sixth item on that list was “Commit to Making Santa Rosa a Healthy Community Where People Feel Safe to Live, Work, and Play” with the second objective of that goal to expand the smoking ordinance for both public and private places. To do that, the council would need to revise the city’s current smoking ban, which was last updated in 2006 and can be found here.
Among the changes called for in the proposal are:
- Prohibiting smoking in attached multifamily housing, including duplexes, apartments, townhouses, and condominiums and any building that contains two or more attached residential units.
- Eliminating any allowance for smoking in recreational areas, which would remove an exemption for smoking on golf courses
- Prohibit smoking at all City‐owned properties including (but not limited to) office buildings, recreation centers, public safety facilities, parking garages, and parking lots.
- Prohibiting smoking at bus stops and within bus shelters
- Including electronic cigarettes in the smoking ban, as well as looking at the current zoning codes for changes needed regarding electronic cigarettes
- Evaluating an increase in the percentage of guest rooms within hotels and motels that must be smoke‐free from 50% to 75%
According to a report on PressDemocrat.com, the council showed a good deal of support for the proposal, with some members suggesting it could go even further to include a prohibition on smoking in lines at movie theaters or ATMs as an example.
The planners of the revised smoking ban have announced plans to hold a community meeting about the proposal in September, followed by a presentation to the Board of Community Services in October, with the plan to return to the city council in December.
Santa Rosa is the county seat of Sonoma County and is home to 170,685 residents according to 2012 estimates by the United States Census Bureau.