Fate of Leaf Blower Ban Still Undecided in Two Communities - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Fate of Leaf Blower Ban Still Undecided in Two Communities

Two communities on opposite sides of the country are still trying to determine what to do about leaf blowers. In Newton (MA) the City Council has decided that they will not take action on proposed leaf blower restrictions until the fall. Council members have already been debating the ordinance for more than a year and had initially hoped for a vote this spring. The draft regulations would ban leaf blowers during the summer, limit to one the number of leaf blowers per 10,000 square feet, and place a renewed emphasis on enforcing regulations related to noise limits.

Meanwhile this week in Sonoma (CA) the City Council will once again discuss how to dispense with the leaf blower issue. In March, on a 3-2 divided vote, the City Council adopted a ban on all gas-powered leaf blowers and placed further restrictions on the use of electric blowers. However, landscape professionals and other supporters launched a petition drive to place the issue on the ballot for a vote by members of the community. Initially, the ban was scheduled to take effect on July 1, but once the petition was verified the rule is automatically suspended until an election takes place or the council repeals the ordinance.

At their meeting this week, the Council will weigh the merits of 3 options:  to repeal the March 21 gas-blower ban; to place the referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot; or to schedule a special election for the referendum. NALP will continue to work with local stakeholders to overturn the ban and will keep members apprised of the outcome of the council meeting.