On February 5, 2019, Santa Clara City Council adopted a Smoking and Tobacco Regulations Ordinance that expanded smoking restrictions in many public areas and multi-unit residences. These regulations aim to protect Santa Clara residents, employees and visitors from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.
New smoking restricted areas in Santa Clara include:
- Open air dining areas
- Public parks
- Service areas, such as ATMs and transit stops
- Public places when being used for a public event
- Within 30 feet of any operable doorway, window opening, and vent into any enclosed or unenclosed areas in which smoking is prohibited
- Multi-unit residences *Effective August 1, 2019
What does "smoking" include?
For the purposes of the law, smoking includes:
- Cigarettes, cigars, or pipes
- Electronic and/or battery operated cigarette or vaporize devices
Santa Clara’s Smoking and Tobacco Regulations Ordinance include requirements for multi-unit residences. Multi-unit residences includes all properties with two or more units, including apartments, condominiums, and townhomes. Effective August 1, 2019, smoking will be prohibited inside multi-unit residences, which includes the following:
- Any new or existing unit of a multi-unit residence, including areas such as a private balcony, porch, deck or patio
- Any common areas of a multi-unit residence
- Within 30 feet of any operable doorway, window, opening, or vent of a multi-unit residence
The law does not apply to single-family homes, single-family homes with a detached or attached in-law or second unit, or hotels or motels satisfying the requirements of State and local law.
Landlord, Operators, Property Managers’ Obligations
Landlords, operators, property managers and officers of homeowners’ associations for multi-unit residential properties, whether rental or owner-occupied, will be required to:
- Post “No-Smoking” signage in every building, as well as on the entrances, or other places where smoking is prohibited. The minimum allowable size for signs is six inches by four inches.
- Include the following items in every lease or other rental agreement for the occupancy of a new or existing unit in a multi-unit residence entered into, renewed, or continued month-to-month after the effective date of the Ordinance:
- A true and correct copy of the full text of the Chapter 8.35 (“Smoking and Tobacco Regulations”) of the Santa Clara Municipal Code
- A description of and/or image depicting the location(s) of any designated smoking area(s) on the property, if any
- A clause conveying third-party beneficiary status to all occupants of residences or residence units within 30 feet, as to the smoking provisions of the lease or other rental agreement, such that an aggrieved third party beneficiary may institute a private civil action against violator(s) to enforce Chapter 8.35 (“Smoking and Tobacco Regulations”) of the Santa Clara Municipal Code
- Provide notice to residents or tenants or their guests of the requirements of the Smoking and Tobacco Regulations Ordinance
- Give written notice to violator(s) that the violator(s) actions are in violation of the Smoking and Tobacco Regulations Ordinance
Anyone with legal control over a common area, or their authorized representative, may designate a portion of the common area as a designated smoking area as long as they meet the requirements contained in the Ordinance.
The City will work with landlords and property managers to implement Ordinance’s requirements for smokefree multi-unit residences by the August 1, 2019 deadline through educational outreach materials and landlord/property owner educational workshops.
The educational outreach materials and workshop dates will be posted soon on this webpage, so please be sure to check back soon!
Where is smoking permitted?
- In outdoor areas that are farther than 30 feet from a place where smoking is prohibited
- In a private residence (unless it is in multi-family housing or when being used as a child care facility or health care facility)
- In smoking-designated hotel or motel guest rooms
- In tobacco shops (retail or wholesale)
- Vehicles, as permitted by applicable laws
Relevant Documents and Information
For questions, please contact the City Manager’s Office at (408) 615-2210.