The critics of noisy leaf blowers on Hilton Head Island have scored a victory in their long-running campaign to eliminate — or at least mitigate — the loudest of the gas-powered equipment in Sea Pines.
The board of directors for Sea Pines’ Community Services Associates voted last month to approve a new policyThis ban will apply when landscaping companies use commercial grade leaf blower equipment exceeding 75 dBA (A weighteddecibels) in a gated community.
The town government has already implemented a ban on landscaping maintenance that causes noise throughout the island. More than 95 dBAAt the property line where such works are taking place.
The Sea Pines insurance will be effective January 1, 2023. “any individual or entity engaged in landscape maintenance or cleanup or removal for hire.”
Some exceptions to this policy exist, such as maintenance on golf courses and cleanup of residential properties after major storms.
The policy does not prohibit gas-powered leaf-blowers. These have been a problem at Sea Pines, a picturesque community in the south-end, for decades.
“We … recognize that many communities are now banning gas leaf blowers as being environmentally unfriendly,”Larry Movshin (chair of the CSA board) spoke at a Nov. 16 meeting. “We’re not prepared to do that yet. We haven’t studied the issue enough to know what the impacts will be on leaf blowers used in our community. However, this should also be a goal.
“I understand there will be … people in the community who think we failed. I ask them to (not look) at the glass as being half empty, but as being half full, with the goal of filling it up over the next several years with an even tighter standard.”
The board hopes to limit commercial grade leaf blowers. “manufacturers’ ratings over 65 dBA,”The quieter equipment will become more widely accessible.
Board members approved a resolution saying “CSA desires to further reduce the environmental effects of all leaf blowers used in the Sea Pines community, as soon as possible, but no later than the end of calendar year 2025.”
Beaufort Gazette reports the battle against Sea Pines leaf-blowers has been ongoing for years.
Mary Carol White is one example. According to the newspapers, this issue was brought up at a meeting in Sea Pines.
Gene Henry from Atlanta also complained about the noises in his 2015 letter.
“I think Sea Pines should put a leaf blower logo on its website as part of its brand,”Henry wrote. “These things need to be banned immediately.”
Sam Ogozalek reports for The Island Packet about COVID-19 rehab efforts. He is also a Report for America participant. He recently graduated from Syracuse University. He has been writing for The Tampa Bay Times and The Buffalo News as well as The Naples Daily News.