Novato considers smoke ordinance


The ordinance declares secondhand smoke a public nuisance and prohibits it within 20 feet of more than a dozen facilities, including residential uses and structures, assisted living facilities, child daycare facilities, convalescent hospitals, dwellings or housing units, hospitals and other medical service facilities, according to the ordinance.

Smoking will be prohibited in recreation and public areas, and at public events including sports events, entertainment, speaking performances, ceremonies, pageants, fairs and farmers' markets.

The smoking ban also applies to common areas of multi-unit residence but a landlord may designate a portion of an outdoor area a smoking area with certain provisions. These areas must be a reasonable distance, defined as 20 feet, from where children swim or play.

The ordinance would also require that new multi-unit residences containing 10 or more units that are completed six months after the ordinance passes must contain 75 percent non-smoking units. Existing multi-unit residences of 10 or more units must contain 50 percent non-smoking units.

First violations of the ordinance carry a $100 fine and/or five days of community service. Second violations are punishable with a $200 fine and/or 10 days of community service and third violations or more carry a $500 fine and/or 15 days of community service. The ordinance takes effect 90 days after its passage.

The Novato City Council is scheduled to take action on the ordinance at 7:30 p.m. at the Novato Unified School District Education Center board room at 1015 Seventh St.

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