FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — With the new year come new laws, some at the state level and some at a local level, including a new city ordinance that bans smoking inside apartment complexes.
The Fresno City Council voted on the measure last October and it took effect at the start of 2022.
The ordinance bans smoking in apartments and other multi-unit rental properties inside units, in common areas, and other outdoor areas.
Smoking is allowed in private outdoor areas like balconies, decks, porches or patios if the area is at least 20 feet from publicly accessible outdoor recreation areas, playgrounds or areas mainly used by children or entries to common areas, entryways, windows, ventilation systems or air conditioning units.
The ordinance applies not only to cigarettes and nicotine vapes but to recreational and medicinal marijuana as well.
“All of our folks who live in multi-family housing have the right to a healthy lifestyle,” said council vice president, Nelson Esparza. “This has been an issue across the city.”
Esparza and Councilmember Tyler Maxwell, who wrote this ordinance, say they pushed for the ordinance in the name of public health.
The law will be overseen by the city’s code enforcement, which Esparza says will now be enforcing the law.
The Fresno City Council in October passed the law in a 6 to 1 vote, the only ‘no’ vote was from Fresno city councilmember Garry Bredefeld.
“It’s their private residence and now we’ve weaponized this with code enforcement which we’ve done with a lot of things in terms of people’s private rights,” said Bredefeld during an October city council meeting.
Many apartment complexes have already sent out notices to residents that reflect the new guidelines.