I think EVERYONE should read the proposed Allen County Smoking Ban:
Scott Greider correctly points out that there is an exemption for "Private residences" in the ordinance; but, what does this exception really mean?
I spent an hour this morning trying to find out what it means. I talked to County officials in Zoning, Planning, and the Commissioners office. Interestingly enough, they do not know what it means either. We could not find the term "Private Residence" in the Allen County Code and it is not defined in the ordinance. After my calls they are supposed to "look into it."
This is where it gets tricky, how will they define "Private Residence?"
In my opinion some home owners who run small business will be allowed to smoke in their homes and others will not...
If you have a business in your home and you have had to get your home REZONED then guess what, your home is NOT a private residence. There are quite a few home owners and small business owners that this will apply to! As soon as you have your house REZONED it is not a "private residence" anymore in my opinion...
You can also get a "Use variance." I am not sure how this would be handled...
For example: One of my neighbors put a SMALL photo developing shop in his basement. He had to get his home rezoned to allow him to run that business in his home. This was a time consuming process that cost him some money. His house was rezoned commercial a few years ago. If the Allen County Smoking Ban as proposed is passed, I do not think he can smoke in his house at all because I do not think his house will be considered a "Private Residence." In fact, after re-reading the ordinance, he will not be able to allowed to smoke ANYWHERE in his house since his entire house was rezoned commercial!
There are some other things I noticed:
1. Lets say you have a business in your home and your home has NOT been rezoned. By the ordinance as I read it people can smoke in your home office due to the exception that Scott pointed out; however, per 10-8-4 you will be required to post on the main entrance of your house the following sign "Warning: This is a smoking establishment" if you plan on smoking or allowing smoking in your own house.
This is 100% absurd. You are telling thousands of local home owners that they have to post a sign on the front door of their house. Let me give you a couple of examples:
Lets say you are a Realtor. There are HUNDREDS of Realtors in Allen County. Lets say you have a home office. You will have to post a sign on the front door of your house saying that "Warning: This is a smoking establishment" if you allow smoking in your own house...
Who is still for this Smoking Ordinance as written?