Palm Springs backtracks on proposal to ban all leaf blowers

Gardener Worker Leaf BlowerAlthough Palm Springs, California, was originally considering banning all forms of leaf blowers, both gas and electric, public outcry caused it to scale back its drastic thinking.

It was after the city staff demonstrated the different leaf blowers’ decibel levels in June that the city council began considering banning both types of blowers when they did not find battery-powered models noticeably quieter.

Yet an outpouring of people voiced their opinions concerning the extra work load if all leaf blowers were outlawed.

“We’re trying to make the city beautiful and we can’t do it without those machines,” Tony Vega, a landscaper, told Desert Sun. “One of those machines paid for me to go to college.”

The landscapers noted that this isn’t the first time they’ve had to change elements of their business, including cutting back on water and switching to desert landscaping. Yet desert landscaping is part of the reason why other tools aren’t as helpful as a leaf blower.

Eddie Flores spoke during city council meeting saying that the gardens and yards that feature desert landscaping require leaf blowers for maintenance and large brooms can’t do the job.

Another landscaper, Mark Logan, shared that his family had been working in the desert since 1939 and that customers on fixed incomes might not be able to afford the increased prices the business would have to charge to offset the costs of no longer having blowers.

In a 3-2 vote, the city council eventually decided to ban the usage of only gas-powered blowers.

Council member Geoff Kors feels the new ban is a good compromise by lessening heath concerns while not being unfair to landscapers, but there are still plenty who aren’t happy with the rule.

Unlike some towns where the ordinance to ban gas-powered blower goes into effect almost immediately, landscapers and homeowners alike have until 2019 to phase out their gas-powered models.

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