September 10, 2010 - Two large Glendale companies have recently banned smoking on their campuses - which is good for people's health but apparently bad for nearby homeowners. The two businesses in the spotlight are the AAA Regional Center on Bell Road and 53rd Avenue and Banner Thunderbird Medical Center on Thunderbird Road and 55th Avenue.
Displaced smokers are now lighting up in nearby neighborhoods, where they leave behind cigarette butts and ashes, much to homeowners consternation. Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs: The smokers are now in front of people's homes, "flicking ashes and leaving cigarette butts and in general collecting and talking. Maybe your kids want to play in the front yard but you have these people strolling back and forth," the mayor said. "So it seems like their property rights, their right to enjoy their property is being severely diminished."
Scruggs wants businesses that opt to go smoke-free to accommodate its smokers. She said now is the time to address the issue: Glendale is updating its zoning ordinance as non-smoking facilities are becoming the norm. Planning Director Jon Froke said Arizona statute doesn't require an employer to provide a smoking area, and cities in Maricopa County generally defer to state law.
Reference: Smoking ban at 2 companies irks Glendale neighborhood by Cecilia Chan, The Arizona Republic, 9/10/2010.