INITIATIVE MEASURE TO BE SUBMITTED DIRECTLY TO THE VOTERS
NOTICE OF INTENT TO CIRCULATE INITIATIVE PETITION
Notice is hereby given by the persons whose names appear hereon of their intention to circulate the petition within the City of Santa Barbara for the purpose of placing on the ballot a proposal giving the people of Santa Barbara an opportunity to enact a law banning the ise of portable gasoline-powered blowers. A statment of reasons of the proposed action as contemplated in the petition is as follows:
For many years, strong objections have been raised against the use of gas-powered blowers, particularly on the grounds of noise, dust, and pollution.
Gas-powered blowersgenerate up to 70 decibels of noise at 50 feet, and 109 decibels at "ground zero". For increasing numbers of people, these machines are a terrible nuisance. Night workers who sleep during the day, retired perosns, students, telecommuters, and other people who work at home, all need to minimize the loud noises which increasingly assail them during the daylight hours. In addition, people should not have to wash their cars, their windows, and sweep their walks repeatedly simply because using a blower is more convenient to their neighbor's gardener.
A two-stroke commercial blower generates 277 lbs. of volatile organic compounds, 825 lbs. of carbon monoxide and 3.3 lbs.of particulates per year. A gasoline-powered blower generates as much tailpipe emissions in one hour as an automobile traveling 100 miles.
Gas blowers have a muzzle velocity of 150 miles perhour or more. They blow away topsoil and ground cover which, if left in place, would help soil to hold precious moisture, and would minimize the number of times plants have to be watered. They spread herbicides and pesticides, making them airborne. This is especially serious for asmatics or people with other breathing difficulties (about 10% of the population) and for those with allergies. They spread fecal contaminants, thus increasing the threat from airborne diseases such as the Hanta Virus.
Gas blowers, as generally used, don't remove leaves, dust, and other debris, but simply blow them somewhere else, often onto neighbors' property (where other gardeners often blow them back) or into the street, creating maintenance problems for the city, or into storm drains, adding to the waste deposit problem on our beaches.
At least 43 other California cities, with a total of over 6.4 million people, already have blower bans, or are in the process of adopting them. The list includes Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, Pasadena, Beverly hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Laguna Beach, Claremont, Berkeley, Los Altos, Piedmont, and Carmel.
The only significant local resistance to a blower ban has come from users of the machines. The proposed law gives them a gnerous three months to convert to other methods of removing debris, methods which can include electric blowers, which are cheaper, lighter, quieter, and non-polluting. There is no evidence of economic hardship to gardeners or to anyone else in any of the cities which have already banned blowers.
The proposed law would be much easier to enforce than any attempt to regulate hours or methods of use, and would therefore save valuable police time.
Above all, banning gas-powered blowers will substantially improve the quality of life in our city.
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