Many residents are protesting the proposed leaf blower ordinance as it moves through the Representative Town Meeting.
Some residents want it to be passed to preserve peace. Others are opposed because it limits the time they can tend to their lawns.
One group was quiet: the leaf blowers.
They recently weighed-in. Here’s what the Connecticut Grounds Keepers Association — a non-profit serving “landscaping firms and their allied manufacturers and distributors” — says:
A proposed ordinance is working its way through Westport’s RTM committees pertaining to the use of leaf blowers. Although the idea to reduce noise is noble and worthwhile, the language and execution of this ordinance are not ideal.
One problem with this ordinance is: This ordinance does not allow electric or gas leaf blowers to be used within the given time limit. If you were to use even an electric leaf blower at 5:01 p.m. or later to clean the patio or clear your driveway, you could be subject to a $249 fine from Westport’s Conservation Department.
This means that commuters who are stuck in traffic or on the train after 5 p.m. can’t use any leaf blower during work week.
You can also use a gas-powered leaf-blower if your landscaper is using it between May 1st and October 14. You The homeowner could be subject
That $249 fine.
The reporting mechanism in this ordinance encourages a similar outcome.
Neighbors should videotape each other and document leaf blower use for submission and assessment.
The ordinance’s selective targeting of landscape professionals is another problem.
This ordinance allows the unlimited use of gas-powered leaf blowers on municipal properties and public or private-owned courses.
Several people expressed concern at the dust and emissions from leaf blowers during the RTM Health Committee meeting.
bystanders. It is hypocritical and unfair to limit gas powered leaf blowers for homeowners or landscapers, but to condone and encourage their usage by town employees and contractors.
This ordinance is binding on homeowners and landscape professionals. While battery-powered landscape equipment is an adequate solution for many homeowners with small yards to maintain, the equipment isn’t ready for high-volume professional use.
This is confirmed by exemptions to golf courses and public employees.
A homeowner might spend hundreds to purchase an electric leaf blower. Landscape professionals, however, can spend thousands to outfit the entire team.
If they were as efficient as their gas-powered counterparts, electric leaf blowers would have been adopted across the entire industry and town.
The gradual transition to the powering landscape and lawn equipment
Technology advances should be allowed to take place as they become economically feasible for small business owners.
The ordinance has not been passed. The goal was to create quieter Westport. It would be sensible to limit equipment usage and set acceptable working hours in residential areas.
Federal level will also have the ability to set zero emission equipment targets. This should not be different from one place to another.
The Connecticut Grounds Keepers Association
(The RTM’s Finance, Public Works Committee, and the Environment Committee, have met about this bill. The Ordinance, Parks & Recreation and Public Works Committees have meetings next week. The entire RTM will consider the proposal on October 11.
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