New Smoking Shelter Has Nearby Resident Fuming

A no smoking policy starting this month has tenants of a Douglas County Housing Authority community going outside and away from their subsidized town homes.

As a compromise an open air smoking shelter has recently been built. Its the only area of the town home community where smoking is allowed.

However it’s about 20-30 feet from the bedroom windows of Shelagh Smiths rented town home. Smith said, “I think it will come in and that’s going to keep us from opening the windows when it’s nice outside or sitting on our front patio.”

The director of the Douglas County Housing Authority declined an on camera interview for Fact Finders. However she said the location was the best in the community to allow handicapped and wheelchair bound smokers a place to go and light up.

The policy that took affect January first prohibits smoking anywhere on Douglas County Housing Authority property except under the covered shelter. No smoking on patios, sidewalks, or in cars on the Woodgate town homes property.

Shelagh Smith doesn’t smoke and wants the housing authority to reconsider moving the smoking shelter to other parts of the town home complex. Smith said, “I’m not against people smoking but when it goes up against my rights that’s when it upsets me.”

Smith plans to ask the County Board to look into the location of the smoking shelter.

The Housing Authority Director said that is the only complaint she's received about the smoking shelter. More than 100 residents live in the Woodgate Town home community.

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