SLO City Council votes to outlaw odors

April 1, 2015
Mayor Jan Marx

Mayor Jan Marx


The San Luis Obispo City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday to enact an ordinance that allows the city to prosecute people who allow foul odors to creep across their property lines for a misdemeanor.

During public comment, a handful of people asked the council to vote against the ordinance, calling it vague and poorly assembled. In addition, speakers said it was unfair, unenforceable, and could be used indiscriminately.

Several speakers questioned how the ordinance would be enforced when residents share property lines at apartment complexes and duplexes. No one from the public spoke in favor of the ordinance.

Last year, the city had several complaints about an undesirable scent emanating from a medical marijuana grow in the backyard of a San Luis Obispo home. When the council failed to adopt a proposed medical marijuana ban, staff responded by drafting the foul odor ordinance. An ordinance that includes an exemption for all city owned properties.

On Tuesday, when asked how many odor complaints the city has received in the past, Community Development Director Derek Johnson said there had been two.

As a result of the new odor ordinance, city code enforcers are mandated to respond to odor complaints. If a property owner receives three verified complaints from neighboring property owners, code enforcers can issue citations to the property owner.

Mayor Jan Marx, Councilman John Ashbaugh and Councilwoman Carlyn Christianson, two of whom are attorneys and one of whom is married to an attorney, voted in favor of the “odor nuisance” ordinance at Tuesday’s council meeting. Councilmen Dan Carpenter and Dan Rivoire cast the two dissenting votes.

Don’t miss breaking news, like CCN on Facebook.


Hows about making a LAW against the offensive, draining, expensive practice of BAD POLITICS? If you get caught doing something patently stupid, you get arrested.



Stupid is as stupid does….


Wow what’s next….odor police and a new odor department….I remember when we had

the water police during the last drought….they never went away and it resulted in a new

water department separated from under the public works department.

I visualize request for funding down the road….imagine getting fined for letting

off some some “air” in public!!

We deserve what we get from who we vote for.


Does this mean city hall will have to close…or be fined.


This is just more chickens— overkill from SLO city hall, a place that’s totally out of touch with reality, but totally in line with the interests of developers.

The original problem was a stinking MJ grow — remember the photos? this was an amazing sight and smell. The smell had shut down a daycare center down the street.

That’s a public nuisance. The city already had public nuisance abatement procedures it could have used.

But, no, staff wouldn’t go there. So first they wrote an ordinance to ban outright medical MJ growing in the city. That blew up when a 100 people showed up to raise hell..

Then they decided they would write an ordinance to prohibit stinks.

Neither ordinance was requested by the Council, but this stupid, ignorant Council is so manipulated by staff that they allowed the ordinances to go to public hearing.

Why do they operate this way? Because this ignorant Council thinks staff’s in charge, that they’re on staff’s team, and it’s not nice not to do what staff wants.

How screwed up can a group of elected officials get? Not much more than this crew.


Just another reason to live in “The People’s Republic of SLO.”


foul odors? let’s see the list. cigarette smoke? steer manure? how about my charcoal smoker or my gas grill? how about adopting a neighborhood mediation program?


This idea stinks. Won’t it be banned? ASH has room for the perpetrators of this idea.


On a serious note, does the ordinance apply to personal body odor. Can we file a complaint against an individual if he or she stinks.? It will make for a warm wonderful community atmosphere here in the happiest town in america. I would like to file the first odor complaint….against this ordinance…it stinks….and will cost an incredible amount of money in legal fees.