FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — The Fresno City Council Thursday passed the “Smoke Free Multi-Unit Housing Ordinance,” a bill that would ban smoking on most areas of Fresno rental properties, with few exceptions.

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.

According to the bill, property owners and renters can be held liable for violations of the new ordinance and may be cited for a violation. The penalty for a first violation is $250. For a second violation within one year of the first, a citation will cost $500. After the second, each subsequent violation within a year of the first will cost $1,000.

“This policy is about protecting the health of our community,” said Council Vice President Esparza.

“Our families deserve to live a healthy lifestyle regardless of where they live,” said Fresno City Council Member Tyler Maxwell.

The ordinance is expected to go into effect on Jan. 1.