Click below for information on:
Bans Are Working in California Cities
(a brief overview)
Cities With Leaf Blower Bans
(a list of cities and quotes from their ordinances)
Citizen's Groups Supporting Leaf Blower Bans
(a list of groups in the community)
Approximately 20 California cities have banned leaf blowers. Citizens for a Quieter Sacramento's volunteers interviewed 14 of these cities in October, 1997, with a combined population of more than 350,000, to learn more about how their bans are working. We excluded Los Angeles and Santa Barbara because their bans are so recently implemented. The cities we contacted were Belvedere (population 2,500), Berkeley (105,000), Beverly Hills (32,000), Carmel (4,200), Claremont (50,000), Del Mar (5,000), Indian Wells (3,300), Laguna Beach (24,000), Lawndale (29,000), Los Altos (28,000), Malibu (12,000), Mill Valley (13,000), Piedmont (10,000), and Santa Monica (90,000). We have verified that bans exist in Hermosa Beach (18,600) and West Hollywood (36,700). Organized efforts to ban blowers are also under way in Palo Alto, Portola Valley, and Sunnyvale.
Our contacts included city officials from departments such as police, planning, public works, environmental health, and parks and recreation. Below is a brief summary of our discussions. We can provide more detailed information on request.
Are leaf blower bans enforceable? A typical response was that the bans are 90-95 percent effective. In most cities, enforcement is performed in response to citizen complaints (i.e., police do not seek out violators in the absence of complaints). There continue to be some offenders as new people, unaware of the blower ban, enter the yard care industry or come in from neighboring towns. However, cities report that the number of complaints diminishes over time.
Is enforcement a major burden for the responsible agency? The vast majority of cities reported that enforcement was not a large burden.
Were gardeners driven out of business or did they raise their rates? There were no reports of gardeners going out of business or raising their rates, though not all respondents could answer that question. Responses included "There are still plenty of gardeners working in Berkeley" and "Gardeners are alive and well in Los Altos...there have been no complaints from the public [about higher rates]."
Are citizens satisfied? When we asked if citizens were satisfied and if the cities considered their programs successful, the response was 100 percent positive.
Caution: This information is taken from city ordinances, but may not always be complete or current. Please let us know of any needed changes.
|Belvedere (1987)||It shall be unlawful for any person within the city limits to operate any portable machine powered with a gasoline engine used to blow leaves, dirt and other debris off sidewalks, driveways, lawns or other surfaces.|
|Berkeley (1991)||...it shall be unlawful for any person, including any city employee, to operate any portable machine powered with a gasoline engine used to blow leaves, dirt, and other debris off sidewalks, driveways, lawns, or other surfaces within the City limits.|
|Beverly Hills (1976)||It shall be unlawful for any person within the City to use or operate any portable machine powered with a gasoline engine used to blow leaves, dirt, and other debris off sidewalks, driveways, lawns, or other surfaces.|
|Carmel (1975)||The operation of a combustion engine blower for the purpose of displacing, removing or blowing any materials from or about public or private property in a manner which allows the engine to be heard on public property and causes the materials to be blown into the air in a manner which allows them to settle on public property or on private property not belonging to the same owner on which the blower is being operated is declared to be a public nuisance and unlawful.|
|Claremont (1991)||...Whereas, the city council finds the operation of gasoline powered leaf blower use results in dust, engine emissions, and noise pollution...Whereas, the city council finds that gasoline powered leaf blowers exceed the noise standards as set forth in Chapter 5 of the Land Use and Development Code...Whereas, the Air Quality Management District (AQMD) in its twenty year Clean Air Plan recommends a ban on gasoline powered blowers...Now, therefore, the city council does ordain...Internal combustion engine (gasoline) powered leaf blowers shall be prohibited in the city after March 1, 1991...Use of any type of leaf blower on any city owned or maintained property is prohibited...|
|Del Mar (total ban)||It shall be unlawful for any person to use or operate within the City, any portable machine, powered with a gasoline engine or electric motor, to blow leaves, dirt and other debris off sidewalks, driveways, lawns, and other surfaces.|
|Hermosa Beach (total ban)||It is unlawful to use within the city limits or cause to be used electrical or gasoline powered backpack/leafblowers, such as commonly used by gardeners, landscapers and other persons.|
|Indian Wells (1990)||Leaf blowers shall be prohibited in all zones within the City except : (i) individual property occupants may operate a single electrically powered leaf blower with use confined to his/her property; (ii) golf course operators may operate gasoline powered leaf blowers during the months of September 15th through December 1st of each year.|
|Lawndale (1997)||(not yet obtained)|
|Laguna Beach (total ban - 1993)||The use of electrical or gasoline powered blowers, such as commonly used by gardeners and other persons for cleaning lawns, yards, driveways, gutters, and other property is prohibited at any time within the city limits.|
|Los Altos (1991)||...it shall be unlawful for any person within the City to use or operate any portable machine powered with a gasoline engine used to blow leaves, dirt, and other debris off sidewalks, driveways, lawns, landscape areas or other surface.|
|Los Angeles (1998)||(to be provided later)|
|Malibu||...the following acts and the causing or permitting thereof, are declared to be in violation of this Chapter:...Leaf Blowers. The use or operation of any portable machine powered with a combustion or gasoline engine used to blow leaves, dirt and other debris off sidewalks, driveways, lawns and other surfaces.|
|Menlo Park (1998)||To be provided|
|Mill Valley (1993)||It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a gas-powered device to blow leaves, dirt or other debris off sidewalks, driveways, lawns or other surfaces within any area of the City.|
|Piedmont (1990)||It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a gasoline-powered device used to blow leaves, dirt or other debris off sidewalks, driveways, lawns or other surfaces within any area of the City except that gasoline-powered leaf blowers may be used by public agencies on publicly-owned or operated facilities.|
|Santa Barbara (1997)||It shall be unlawful for any person within the City to use or operate any portable machine powered with a gasoline engine, or gasoline powered generator, to blow leaves, dirt, and other debris off sidewalks, driveways, lawns, or other surfaces.|
|Santa Monica (total ban)||No person shall operate any motorized leafblower within the City.|
|West Hollywood (1986)||The purpose of this Ordinance is to prohibit the use and operation of gasoline powered leaf blowers in the City of West Hollywood. These devices, used to blow leaves, dirt and debris, create an excessive and unusual amount of noise, often operating at up to ninety decibels. The sustained operation of leaf blowers at this decibel level is literally deafening to persons who reside and work within earshot of the many gardeners and property owners who utilize the devices. The sound is extremely annoying and distracting and not only causes disturbance of those in the vicinity of users of leaf blowers but has the potential to cause hearing damage. In addition, leaf blowers tend to blow dirt, dust and other particulate matter in the air, thereby reducing the air quality in West Hollywood, aggravating persons with allergies and asthmatic conditions and depositing such debris on other public and private property. There are many alternate methods of disposing of leaves available to gardeners and property owners, including electric blowers, rakes, brooms, vacuums and water. The use of gasoline powered blowers is hereby declared to constitute a public nuisance by virtue of the detrimental effect such blowers have on the community and residents of West Hollywood.|
Groups Supporting Blower Bans
(alphabetical by city)
Laguna Beach - Laguna North Neighborhood Association
P.O. Box 292
Laguna Beach, CA 92652
Long Beach - Residents for Less Pollution
Los Altos - Blowers Annoy Neighbors (BAN)
Contact Myra Orta ate-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
ZAP - Zero Air Pollution (Los Angeles Chapter)
P.O. Box 3441
Santa Monica, CA 90408
ZAP - Zero Air Pollution (Manhattan Beach Chapter)
web site: http://www.nonoise.org/quietnet/zap/index.htm
Menlo Park - Citizens Against Leafblowers in Menlo (CALM)
Mountain View - Blowers Out Of Town (BOOT)
Palo Alto - Magic
P.O. Box 5894
Stanford, CA 94309
Piedmont - Peace In Our Town
Santa Barbara - Ban Leafblowers And Save our Town (BLAST)
P.O. Box 55
Santa Barbara, CA 93102
web site: http://www.nonoise.org/resource/activist/blast/blast.htm
Walnut Creek - Walnut Creek Citizens Against Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers
web site: http://www.radiocamp.com/leaf/
Note: This list will be updated as information is available. If no contact is listed, you can e-mail email@example.com and ask to have a message forwarded to a particular group.
Citizens for a Quieter Sacramento:
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