Union Square Condo Goes Smokefree

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Homeowners in Zeckendorf Towers, the 29-story, 647-unit pyramid-topped building right on Union Square, voted overwhelmingly to become the largest completely smoke-free condominium in the city. Eighty-five percent of unit owners voted on the policy, and 83.5 percent voted in favor of the amendment to prohibit smoking in both residential units and public areas for all new residents, with a grandfather clause granting existing owner-residents who smoke a three-year interval before their units are subject to the smoke-free policy.

While several new condominiums in New York City have prohibited smoking since their opening, Zeckendorf Towers is one of only a handful of condominiums whose unit owners have voted to transition their building to smoke-free status.

The building's board first began to explore going smoke-free in 2010, following numerous complaints from residents about cigarette smoke. After confirming that they could legally prohibit smoking by amending the building's bylaws, the board partnered with the New York City Department of Health and Manhattan Smoke-Free Partnership, part of the NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City, a health advocacy group that supports the efforts of buildings adopting smoke-free policies.

The vote comes on the heels of a recent Quinnipiac Poll revealing that 59 percent of New Yorkers would prefer to live in a smoke-free building, yet a majority would also prefer that the restriction not be dictated by the city.

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