The city of Las Vegas is considering changing its odor nuisance ordinance.
Currently, code enforcement officers have no way of measuring the strength of an odor when a complaint about smell is filed. It posed a problem two years ago.
"We had a cat hoarder case where you would approach the property and you could smell the odor of cat urine and feces," said Vicki Ozuna, code enforcement supervisor for the city.
The owner was removed, but the stench remained.
"We really had nothing in our ordinances that allowed us to address the remaining odor."
The city has since invested in a device called "Nasal Ranger." It allows code enforcement officers to scientifically measure a particular smell. If a business or resident is found in violation of the odor nuisance ordinance, they could be fined up to $1,000.
"I think that's crazy because one you don't know where the odor is necessarily coming from, what caused it, how long that's been going on," said Deborah Armstrong, who owns a coffee shop.
Ozuna said the ordinance would be enforced on a complaint basis.
"We will not proactively be out looking for odors," she said.
Food preparation operations of restaurants would be exempt from the ordinance.
The changes will be introduced to the city council for the first time at Wednesday's regular meeting. The council could vote on the ordinance as soon as next month.