City rejects smoking ban for apartments in Omaha suburb

AP News
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Posted: Sep 27, 2016 8:09 AM
City rejects smoking ban for apartments in Omaha suburb

BELLEVUE, Neb. (AP) — The City Council has rejected a proposed ban on smoking and propane grills at apartments in the Omaha suburb of Bellevue.

The council voted 5-1 Monday night against the proposal to amend the city's fire code.

The proposal wasn't meant to protect the health of the city's 50,000 residents, but instead to prevent fires. Councilman Don Preister proposed the ban, which wouldn't affect duplexes and single-family homes, in August after cigarette smoking at a Bellevue apartment complex led to two fires a month earlier. The second fire destroyed the building, displacing dozens of people, and injured four, including a firefighter.

On Monday, the council members raised question about enforcement problems, property rights and city intrusion.