The Petaluma City Council will seat its newest member Monday and formally vote on new garbage-hauling and smoking ordinances tentatively approved last year by the previous council.
No more smoking at the bus stop in Petaluma. No more hunting bears with dogs. And banks can no longer work with a home owner on a mortgage modification while simultaneously moving toward foreclosing.
Facing a statewide advertising barrage aimed at defeating Prop. 29, local supporters of the cigarette tax initiative are waging their own voter information blitz through phone banks aimed at reaching voters directly. With only three days left before Tuesday’s election, the final skirmishes over the initiative are playing out all over the state, including Sonoma County, where the new county health officer made a public appeal to voters.
Users of medical marijuana have been exempted from a smoking ban that Sebastopol has imposed on apartment dwellers. The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved an amendment to its July anti-smoking ordinance that removes medical marijuana from the definition of smoking.
Sonoma County supervisors unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday that will ban smoking inside apartments and condominiums in the county’s jurisdiction. A vote on a proposal that would have banned smoking on county property and unenclosed areas such as restaurant and bar patios was delayed until October to give food and beverage businesses more time to brace for the change.
Sonoma County is considering banning smoking in apartments and condominiums, on county-owned property, in parks, campgrounds and beaches and at many other outdoor public and private areas. The ordinance, which seeks to reduce the effects of second-hand smoke, would affect all areas of the county outside city limits. “We have essentially been denying 85 percent of the population that doesn’t smoke the right to breathe clean air,” county Supervisor Shirlee Zane said.
Anti-smoking advocates emboldened by the passage of Sebastopol’s smoking ban for multi-unit dwellings are eying a similar ban in Sonoma County’s largest city. Santa Rosa, which already restricts smoking in outdoor patios and public places, may soon be asked to take the ban indoors by restricting residents of apartment buildings and other multi-unit complexes from smoking inside their residences.
UPDATE (9:30 AM): The Sebastopol City Council approved the county’s toughest smoking ordinance on Tuesday, extending the smoking ban to apartments. The council, however, excluded medical marijuana from the city’s smoking ban. Reaction is mixed.
The county supervisor wants to make all county properties, including outdoors, smoke free. The proposed ban would also apply in county parks. The exceptions would be the Sonoma County Fair, which has its own policies on tobacco use, and the Spud Point Marina in Bodega Bay.