Three out of five council members from Sonoma County, California, have indicated they favor banning the use of gas-powered leaf blowers in town and a partial ban on the use of electric blowers in residential neighborhoods.
The council, which decided not to outlaw leaf blowers two years ago, is revisiting the issue after residents concerned about noise, allergens and potentially harmful particles continued to push for the ban.
“I look at this as a call and cry from the public,” Laurie Gallian, one of the council members in favor of the ban, told the Press Democrat.
Although there are currently restrictions in place on the times and days the machines may be operated, proponents of the complete ban say the existing rules are unenforceable. Landscapers and other opponents of the possible ban, however, argue it isn’t fair to punish those who follow the rules.
Conny Gustafsson, owner of Scandia Landscaping, urged the city to enforce the current time and day restrictions. “None of us likes blowers, especially carrying them on the back, but they’re good help,” he said.
Council members in favor of the ban would not go so far as to block the use of blowers on commercial properties and in city parks, but asked the city to report back with more information at a future meeting.