City mulls restricting hours landscape workers can operate

Updated Jun 21, 2016
Council members have received a number of complaints from residents about the noise caused by landscaping equipment. Photo: GreenPalCouncil members have received a number of complaints from residents about the noise caused by landscaping equipment.
Photo: GreenPal

The city of Naperville, Illinois, is considering trimming the hours that landscape workers will be allowed to work after receiving noise complaints from residents.

The city council discussed the complaints they had received, noting that most of the time people didn’t like being awakened by the loud machinery or having their evenings disturbed.

“Summer’s upon us, and I am hearing from residents about the noise in their neighborhoods from commercial contractors doing landscape work very early in the morning,” Councilwoman Rebecca Boyd-Obarski told the Naperville Sun.

It’s becoming a familiar story, but not one landscapers want to hear. Currently the city allows commercial landscapers to work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

Mayor Steve Chirico has suggested the time restriction be the same as the one in place for construction companies. Landscaping businesses would be allowed to continue to work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays when in 90 feet of a residential areas, but only work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

Workers would be prohibited from doing any landscape maintenance on Sundays.

Chirico said that the noise “is very annoying on a Sunday afternoon when you’re trying to enjoy your back yard.”

The proposed ordinance only targets the professional landscapers, according to Naperville spokeswoman Linda LaCloche. Residents and local teens wishing to mow lawns will not face any time restrictions.

“I would say a teenager with a side business isn’t going to come with a truck,” LaCloche said. “In general, the type of equipment (commercial landscapers) use is a higher decibel of sound.”

The council members still have to work out the details as to what areas the restrictions will apply to, but Erick Valle, owner of Sunset Landscaping, can already tell this cut on hours could be bad for business.

“I think it would be a problem,” he said. “Everything is dependent on the weather. There (are) only so many days.”

The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce and Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation will also add their input after the proposal has been drafted.

The confederation has asked residents to weigh in on two polls on their website. Currently 77 percent are for changing the start time to 8 a.m. on Saturday and the second poll is divided between forbidding work on Sunday and keeping the stop time at 7 p.m. as usual.

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