Condominium owners in Ariel West, a 32-story glass tower at Broadway and 99th Street, voted 47 to 3 to approve a smoking ban late last month, according to a New York Times report. There is a total of 68 owners in the building; 46 votes constituted the supermajority required to change the bylaws.
The ban will be enforced by neighbor complaints. The first will draw a $150 fine and will graduate by $150 with each succeeding complaint.
The idea is obviously a controversial one, tenant Bruce Littlefield, who voted for the ban, told the Times, because people's domain is their home, and they certainly should be able to enjoy what they do within the walls of their home. But sometimes what people do seeps outside their walls and into other people's environment, and it becomes a quality-of-life issue.
Gideon Stein, the president of the condo board at Ariel West, said people do not have a constitutional right to smoke. When Stein took a staw poll in March, only 33 tenants indicated they would vote for the ban. He campaigned for the balance of the neccessary votes, and eventually convinced holdouts that clean, healthy air is more important than individual liberties.
Tenant Geoffrey Porges told the Times he had been ambivalent about the about a ban when Mr. Stein initially suggested it.. We have a big dog, Mr. Porges said to the newspaper. Is the next restriction going to be about big dogs, or chewing gum, or noisy teenagers, or stinky cheese?