, May 21, 2022

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Vallejo City Council to mull smoking, vaping ban in multi-unit residences


  •   3 min reads
Vallejo City Council to mull smoking, vaping ban in multi-unit residences
Longshore Cove apartments in Vallejo. The city is considering a ban on smoking in such multi-unit residences. Photo: John Glidden.

VALLEJO – The Vallejo City Council will get its first look at a proposed plan on Tuesday to prohibit smoking in apartments, townhomes, duplexes, and assisted living facilities.

Several community groups and residents have pushed the council to amend the city’s smoking ordinance to include stronger measures to protect residents from secondhand smoke in multi-unit buildings.

The ban would include vaping and cannabis. It would declare secondhand smoke a “nuisance '' and empower a private citizen to initiate legal action to stop the nuisance, such as a lawsuit.

“Secondhand smoke in multi-unit housing drifts through doorways, cracks in walls, electrical lines, ventilation systems and plumbing,” wrote City Attorney Veronica Nebb in a report to the city council. “The Surgeon General has stated that eliminating smoking in indoor spaces is the only way to fully protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke exposure.”

The city defines a multi-unit residence as “any attached housing, including apartment, co-op, condominium, townhome, duplex, triplex, senior and assisted living facilities and long-term health facilities that contain two (2) or more dwelling units.”

Single-family detached homes without an accessory dwelling unit, and mobile homes are excluded under the proposed ordinance.

Smoking would be banned inside all units, common areas accessible and used by residents or the public, such as laundry rooms, community rooms, lobbies, paths, hallways, outdoor eating areas, play areas, and swimming pools. Designated outdoor smoking areas would be allowed.

Council asked to approve amendment to demolition contract

The city council is scheduled to retroactively approve a $54,000 increase to a demolition contract following the discovery of hazardous materials inside two buildings that are being demolished to allow for construction of 75 permanent supportive housing units.  

The Cerritos-based company Resource Environmental was originally awarded an $85,500 contract in April 2020 to demolish the buildings at 2118 and 2134/2136 Sacramento Street to make way for the new housing units. That work began in May 2021 with most of the demolition completed by November.

“Additional hazardous materials were discovered in one of the buildings and needed to be removed,” Acting Public Works Director Melissa Tigbao wrote in a report to the council.

“In addition, a fire in one of the buildings produced debris that had to be treated as hazardous material,” Tigbao added. “The Contractor was directed to proceed with these changes to the contract to avoid any delays to the project.”

In an email to the Vallejo Sun on Monday, Tigbao said, “The additional costs were for the removal and disposal of additional flooring and mastic that had asbestos present.” Tigbao wrote.

The final contract amount is estimated to be about $140k.

Hayward-based Eden Housing is proposing to build 75-units at the location for Vallejo’s homeless, veterans and low-income residents. Eden was selected as the master developer for the project by the city council in June 2018.

The $50 million project has drawn some concern as questions were raised about the projected $672,570 development cost for each unit. Eden defended the costs saying the per unit cost also includes amenities being offered to residents.

The city is also looking to build similar supportive housing for North Vallejo. In January, the council authorized the city to apply for $20 million in state funding to build a 48-unit permanent supportive housing project on Broadway Street near the city line with American Canyon in North Vallejo, next to the American Canyon Dog Park.

The Vallejo City Council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m., Tuesday inside the Vallejo City Hall Council Chambers,  555 Santa Clara St.

Members of the public will be able to participate in-person or remotely via Zoom.

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