Re: Smoking Policies
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2011 10:21:20 -0800 (PST)
On 23 Nov 2011, at 12:32 PM, Diana Carroll wrote:

> Are there HOAs other than cohousing that prevent smoking in privately owned
> homes?

I can't imagine that any HOA would try to ban anything in homes as long as they 
do not seep into someone else's home or cause a clear potential danger to 
others like poisonous snakes or storage of flammable materials. It would be 
unenforceable anyway unless you had regular inspections of units.

Before we moved in we had a woman who wanted the HOA to declare itself a 
drug-free zone. People refused not because they planned to use drugs 
specifically but on the principle that cohousing was based on providing privacy 
as well as a shared   life. No one should be regulating private homes except in 
the cases of law breaking behavior like storing stolen goods or child abuse.

We have talked of doing inspections for fire sprinklers because the fire code 
requires that nothing be stored within 18 inches of them in order for the spray 
to work properly. This was an obvious problem in the shared basement spaces. 
But no one wanted to police their neighbors.

I remain fascinated by this conversation about smoking rules. I can't imagine 
anyone attempting to smoke in a common area anywhere. Smoking is against the 
law here in any area that is not exclusive.

I checked our bylaws and found this:

> 9.4 Nuisances. No nuisance or use or practice which is a source of annoyance 
> to, or a health or safety hazard for, the Condominium residents or which 
> interferes with the peaceful possession or proper use of the Condominium by 
> its residents shall be allowed in the Condominium.
> No one, including but not limited to Unit Owners, lessees, renters, 
> residents, guests, representatives of the Management Agent, contractors, 
> workers, employees or members of the public may, under any circumstances, 
> smoke in the Common Elements of the Condominium. The exceptions are the 
> open-air corridors, the greenway, the piazza, the parking lot, and other 
> areas open to the sky.

Our bylaws have lots of hidden gems. I read them often but usually do a search 
of the online version for a specific subject. I hadn't remembered we had this 
and certainly no one has had to remind people about it publically. I have a 
vague memory of one guest lighting up after a Thanksgiving dinner. He would 
have been asked to go outside and must not have raised a stink about it or I 
would remember.

For forming communities, I think there are many more important things to worry 
about like clean air in the CH in general. A good ventilation and filtration 
system. Imposing values in private homes and in uninhabited spaces is a heated 
argument with no good result — and not sustainable.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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