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Tougher smoking limits weighed
Town Council may opt for restrictions in outside areas, apartments, condos

  • Bobby Swaving smokes in front of the new Windsor Depot on Tuesday. (CHRISTOPHER CHUNG / The Press Democrat)

WINDSOR -- As he smoked a cigarette and leaned against his shuttle van Tuesday afternoon in Windsor, Bobby Swaving said he understands why the Town Council may crack down on secondhand smoke.

"I respect people who don't smoke. If they want to make it (smoking) illegal, I understand," he said.

The council this evening is reviewing Windsor's smoking ordinance and will discuss restricting smoking in outdoor locations, including streets and sidewalks, and in ATM and bus lines.

At least two council members are willing to consider going further, perhaps banning smoking in apartments, condominiums and townhouses, part of a growing movement to prevent smoke from wafting into people's homes from adjacent units.

Mayor Warin Parker said he could support such a ban, similar to two California cities -- Belmont and Temecula -- that have passed laws restricting smoking inside multi-unit residential buildings.

"I want to bring it up for public discussion and get public input," Parker said of the smoking ordinance, which will be discussed at 6 p.m.

He said he doesn't want to take away people's right to smoke inside their own homes, but if it affects others in adjoining residences, he's willing to consider it.

"It's not my intent to go around restricting the rights of other people. But when individual rights impact collective rights, you have to take a look at it to see what's best for the community as a whole," he said.

Last year, Windsor passed an ordinance prohibiting smoking on the Town Green during community events such as concerts and plays.

At tonight's meeting, the council will consider whether smoking prohibitions should be extended to parks, as in Santa Rosa and Healdsburg, and whether to prohibit it in outdoor workplaces such as construction sites.

Windsor's community services staff has suggested the council discuss restricting smoking around sports fields, on recreation trails and at shopping malls. The council could also restrict smoking near windows and entryways of buildings.

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