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Patch Chat: Shhh! Should Noise Restrictions Be Placed on Lawn Equipment?

What do you think about the City’s expanded leaf blower law, and new decibel level restrictions for landscaping equipment? Tell us in the comments!

The White Plains Common Council approved legislation Monday night that would increase existing restrictions on the use of gas powered leaf blowers, as well as create new decibel-level limits for landscape maintenance equipment.

“This law represents an effort to reduce loud, unnecessary and unwanted noise in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Tom Roach, in a press release. “Newer model gasoline powered leaf blowers will meet the decibel level restrictions, so this law is not expected to impose a hardship on landscape businesses nor directly impact the cost of landscaping services.”

According to a City press release, the White Plains Police Department will distribute informational flyers to landscapers they encounter during routine patrol. The flyers and a link to the law will be also posted on the City’s website.

Here are the details on the law:

Blower Ban: White Plains’ previous leaf blower law banned the machines from June 15 through Sept. 30, allowing residents to only use them between Oct. 1 and June 14.

The law now extends the ban from May 1 through Sept. 30 and from Dec. 16 to March 14. Leaf blowers can now only be used in White Plains between March 15 and May 14, and again between Oct. 1 and Dec. 15.

The machines can still be used between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays, and 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Only one leaf blower can be used on a property 5,000 sq. ft. or less.

Noise Restrictions: Decibel levels for leaf blowers must remain at 70 decibels or less for gas powered leaf blowers and 85 decibels or less for gasoline powered landscape equipment; such as lawn mowers, chain saws and trimmers.

What do you think?

  • Are you glad to see the increased restrictions? If so, why?
  • Do you think the restrictions are too aggressive? If so, why?
  • Do you think the restrictions are not aggressive enough? If so, why?
  • How do you think this law will affect landscapers?
  • How do you think the law will affect homeowner?
  • What's wrong with using a rake?

Tell us what you think in the comments box below

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WPNative August 03, 2011 at 11:39 PM
Yes, leaf blowers are loud, but they do serve a purpose. Today I had a massive tree taken down and the stump ground out - MUCH louder than a leaf blower yet we're not legislating away the rights of citizens to remove trees. My yard was littered with sawdust and the team used a leaf blower for clean-up. Back in June, this same tree (a maple) dropped thousands of seed pods ("twirly-birds") which we gathered up with - yes - a leaf blower. There was no way we could have swept- or raked-up the pods. The ones we missed would have been saplings requiring manual pulling or harsh chemicals for removal. Ten minutes of noise is all it took. Haven't we got more important quality-of-life issues to deal with?
Peter Griffin August 04, 2011 at 01:43 AM
Roach and his cronies are quacks. Maybe he should be more concerned with illegal immigrants, drug dealers and other quality of life issues. Get a life Roach,
WAYNE STUETZ August 04, 2011 at 01:10 PM
This law is just not right. What if we took a chain saw away from tree guy. The work can't be done right without blowers. Let's stop the harassment on the landscapers and let them keep WP clean.
Little Red August 04, 2011 at 01:24 PM
What are they thinking??? I understand noise issues b/4 8am and after 5; but as I get older it's harder to rake or sweep to clear my property. I love my blower. Landscapers come and go at a pretty quick pace around here so they don't bother me (I actually wish I could afford to have one!!). The problem is these 'guys' making the rules aren't out there working their own property and seeing how hard it is! Let's move on to the more important stuff.
Raymond Nahl August 04, 2011 at 01:27 PM
Yes, I am glad this law was passed. I live next to a condominium that constantly uses the leaf blowers and their telephone number doesn't work. Additionally, no one is in their office to discuss this matter. The leaf blowers also smell bad when used. They only have used them occassionally at my condominium.
Kristoff Lukas August 04, 2011 at 01:39 PM
MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL NONSENSE. The very first WP City Charter Leaf Blower law was introduced in 1994, 17 years later it has never been enforced and it never will be enforced by any city council or any law this administration decides to make. Call WP police 422-6111 to enforce the law, a waste of WPPD time and taxpayer money. Get real use the DPW - environmental officer we pay for. ENFORCE THE LAW, TAKE AN ACTION MR. MAYOR CITY COUNCIL, DO NOTHING DO NOTHING LAW. Carl Albanese
Kristoff Lukas August 04, 2011 at 01:40 PM
MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL NONSENSE. The very first WP City Charter Leaf Blower law was introduced in 1994, 17 years later it has never been enforced and it never will be enforced by any city council or any law this administration decides to make. Call WP police 422-6111 to enforce the law, a waste of WPPD time and taxpayer money. Get real use the DPW - environmental officer we pay for. ENFORCE THE LAW, TAKE AN ACTION MR. MAYOR CITY COUNCIL, DO NOTHING DO NOTHING LAW. Carl Albanese
Robert Cooke August 04, 2011 at 01:59 PM
It is a law that even in its current version is not enforced. The police will not respond to a call about it. Why waste the time even discussing it further. WP has other more pressing issues to attend to.
Kristoff Lukas August 04, 2011 at 02:09 PM
ENFORCE THE LAW. Many may think this is nonsense, yes the city council has serious pending issues, our budget and rising taxes, wasting our money. But be a senior citizen, work home, and hear everyday four times a week constantly, 7AM weekends these noise levels 40 feet fro your home and environmental gasoline and noise pollution. We have a right to our privacy and quality of life. We pay our taxes. ENFORCE THE LAW, STOP MAKING FEEL GOOD DO NOTHING LAWS MR. MAYOR!
David August 04, 2011 at 04:35 PM
Ever watch how they blow the parks and schools? Do you think they have electric blowers? How about the city tree guys? This is a waste of time and energy.
elizabeth December 07, 2012 at 11:41 AM
I grew up with rakes, and nobody ever died of a heart attack by raking their lawns, nor did any of the landscapers go out of business. I do remember a lot less noise!

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