Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Recent war against smoking in Foster City and some parts of unincorporated San Mateo County

Daily Journal, San Mateo County, 12/2/14,  Letter to the Editor/Joanne L. Rayner, Foster City.

No need, in this city
a NIMBY will pollute you.
"Editor:  As a longtime member and home owner of this community, I am writing a letter of protest to the Foster City Council for the first time. I am shocked and outraged at your expansion of our No Smoking Ordinance (“City bans smoking in apartments, continues to look at private property” in the Oct. 8 edition of the Daily Journal). 

What right do you think you have to usurp the Constitution of the United States and tell people what they can and cannot do in the privacy of their own homes? You are telling residents of our apartments, townhouses and condominiums that they may not smoke in their own homes. You do not have this right. I am not a smoker and do not
have a dog in this race, but I am a law-abiding American citizen that is fed up with those that think they can re-interpret our Constitution and bend the very foundation of the laws of our society to suit their own personal goals.

I am respectfully appealing to you as a responsible governing body of the community of Foster City to reconsider this unlawful action. I am further going to ask other residents of Foster City to protest this irresponsible action. Power is a corruptible force and when it is misused, it opens the door to more denial of citizen’s rights and that is not tolerable. What more will you tell us we are not allowed to do in the privacy and sanctity of our own homes? This kind of power abuse must stop before it becomes embedded in your council’s dealings."  Note:  the electronic version of the Daily Journal article referenced does not seem to be available. Also not much information other than studies on the Foster City website.

Related Foster City articles - Daily Journal (San Mateo), Samantha Weigel, 9/5/14, "City moving smoking prohibitions forwad:  Foster City moves to regulate apartments, not restaurants; moire discussion coming."  City of Foster City,"Smoking ordinance update." In 2014, the City Council undertook a comprehensive update of its Smoking Ordinance, which had been in place since 1994.  The City Council had held a number of public meetings on this topic." San Mateo County Association of Realtors (SAMCAR), Paul Stewart, Government Affairs Director, 9/30/14.  "Foster City reconsiders smoking ban in ownership units." "While the City Council of Foster City approved a smoking ordinance on a 3-2 vote, they withheld approval of a previous section wherein all ownership units are exempted. The Council is seeking to ban smoking in one's own house as pertains to townhomes and condominiums resolved within 30 days. ... SAMCAR is also considering an outreach campaign to ALL home owners in Foster City. (Imagine having to tell someone who just paid $800,000 for a townhome in Foster City—a bit less than the median home price of $1,280,000—that they are barred from smoking in their own home?) The ordinance not only applies to rental housing, but includes leased properties. The Council also changed the distance for a smoking ban at main entrances of defined structures from 20 feet to 50 feet and added that a change of ownership triggers a full smoking ban for non-residential properties."

Unelated unincorporated areas of San Mateo County No Smoking ordinance - Mercury News/Peninsula/Bonnie Eslinger, Staff, 10/22/14. "San Mateo County bans smoking inside apartments, condos and townhomes."  "Smoking either tobacco or electronic cigarettes will be prohibited inside apartments, condominiums and townhomes in unincorporated areas of San Mateo County under a ban approved 4-1 Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors." Redwood City-Woodside Patch, Paul Stewart (Open Post) 10/23/14, "County Supervisors ban smoking in your own home,."  "....  Only Supervisor Don Horsley stood up for private property rights. ... (Oh yeah, medicinal cannabis, however, is exempted.) What was exempted in the ordinance: Detached, single-family residences and detached, single-family homes with a detached or attached in-law or second units which was approved pursuant to code. What was NOT exempted: Townhomes - whether owned or rental; Condominiums - whether owned or rental; and, Apartments - which includes anything tri-plex and up. 

Note graphic:  Sign from the The BS Report, "NYC opens first non-smoking apartment building, 11.17/09."

 Posted by Kathy Meeh

1 comment:

A message from the Sturgeon General said...

When I was young, you could smoke in hospitals, Serramonte, restaurants, university libraries and movie theaters. I smoked for many years. Quitting nearly 10 years ago after 25 years of smoking a pack or two a day was the best thing I ever did. If you smoke, please consider quitting, like me, you'll be glad you quit.