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The original item was published from 3/9/2021 7:43:46 PM to 3/11/2021 12:00:00 AM.

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News & Town Board Reports (gblist)

Posted on: March 9, 2021

[ARCHIVED] hearing tomorrow evening on leaf blower proposal--your comments are welcome

No vote tomorrow evening


    Over the year I have received a huge amount of emails from residents complaining about blowers.     Since the Conservation Advisory Council advises the Town Board on environmental matters, I asked the CAC to make a recommendation.   That will be discussed at Wednesday’s public hearing.   No vote will be taken on Wednesday. Comments will be taken, and then considered by the Town Board and CAC, and a  second public hearing will be held again not less than two weeks from Wednesday.
Larchmont has adopted a new law banning blowers except for relatively short spring and fall clean-up periods and does not permit gas blowers to be used in those periods. The law developed by the CAC has longer spring and fall clean-up periods and allows both gas and electric blowers to be used in those periods.
In addition to the formal public notice, I have distributed the proposed law on the Town’s email list, NextDoor, in mailings to civic associations, and again below. If you want to speak at the hearing tomorrow (which begins after 7:30 PM) please e mail We welcome comments for the proposed law, against the proposed law and additional compromise ideas. Our meeting is held remotely over zoom so you don't have to leave your house to participate.
                 Local Law No.           /2021

1.  Enactment of Chapter XXX Entitled "Regulation of Yard and Leaf Blowers"
Section XXX-1.     Legislative Intent.
Section XXX-2.    Definition.
Section XXX-3.    Restrictions on Use of Blowers.
Section XXX-4.    Exemptions.
Section XXX-5.    Suspension.
Section XXX-6.    Fines.
Section XXX-7.     Expiration.

2.  Severability.

3.  Effective Date.
Section 1.   The Town Board of the Town of Greenburgh hereby adopts a new Chapter XXX entitled "Regulation of Yard and Leaf Blowers" as follows:

Section XXX-1.  Legislative Intent.

A.  Virtually all bowers, both gas and electric, emit hurricane force winds and annoying noise.  They involuntarily expose residents to air-borne particulates and noise pollution, as well as disturbing regeneration of the soil.

B.   The wind force from blowers is directed towards the ground, and lifts particulate matter from the ground and throws them into the air.   From vegetated areas, these air-borne particulates can include animal waste (feces and urine), fungi, spores, mold, herbicides, pesticides, rodenticides and substances such as lead, mercury, copper and arsenic.   From impervious surfaces, these air-borne particulates additionally can include petroleum distillates, metals from brake linings, and paint dust which may include lead.   These air-borne particulates can lodge in the lungs.   The elderly, children and those walking or exercising outdoors are particularly at risk.    In addition to involuntarily exposing residents to air-borne particulates, blowers involuntarily expose residents to uncomfortable noise levels.    Blowers' hurricane level wind force also disturbs and disrupts regeneration of the soil, which are beneficial to healthy vegetation, as well as flood mitigation.

C.   The intent of this law is to balance the interests of property owners, residents' interest in being protected while outdoors in residential areas in the warmer months from involuntary exposure to air-borne particulates and involuntarily exposure to uncomfortable levels of noise, and the community's interest in healthy soil.

D.   The law does not regulate the use of blowers during the specified spring and fall clean-up periods.   The law does not regulate care of yards, only one means of doing so outside of the specified spring and fall clean-up periods.

Section XXX-2.  Definition.

For purposes of this chapter, blower shall mean any equipment, tool or other device which propels air for the purpose of blowing leaves, grass, waste or other debris, regardless of how the equipment, tool or device is powered.

Section XXX-3. Restrictions on Use of Blowers.

Blowers may not be used at any time except during the following periods:   (a) March 1 - May 15 and (ii) October 15 - December 15.    During those specified periods, blowers may be used during the hours Monday - Friday 9 am - 3 pm and weekends and legal holidays 10 am - 5 pm.

Section XXX-4.  Exemptions.

A.  The restrictions provided by Section 3 shall not apply to use of blowers (i) for debris clean-up resulting from tree removals authorized under Chapter 260 Trees, Community Management and (ii) within 2 feet of outdoor equipment such as air conditioning compressors, generators and other outdoor machinery and related piping and/or wiring exposed above ground.

B.  The restrictions provided by Section 3 shall not apply to use of blowers for activities of the Department of Public Works affecting public safety on roadways, walkways and road islands and, upon the authorization of the Commissioner (recorded in a DPW log), for extenuating circumstances such as special events, equipment malfunctions, equipment shortages and personnel shortages

C.  The restrictions provided by Section 3 shall not apply to use of blowers for activities of the Department of Parks & Recreation affecting public safety on park roadways, park walkways and road islands and, upon the authorization of the Commissioner (recorded in a Parks Department log), for extenuating circumstances such as special events, equipment malfunctions, equipment shortages and personnel shortages.

Section XXX-5.  Suspension.

Upon a weather emergency occurring or about to occur in the town, the Town Supervision may issue a directive ordering the restrictions provided by Section 3  to be suspended for the period of time specified in the directive.   The Town Supervisor may, for cause, extend any suspension for a further specified period of time.   Such directives shall be posted on the town website, and transmitted to the Police Department and Department of Community Development & Conservation.

Section XXX-6.  Fines.

A.  This law shall be enforced by the Greenburgh Police Department, the Department of Community Development & Conservation, the Building Department and such others as the Town Board may designate.

B.  Any person operating a blower in violation of this chapter shall be subject to fines per occurrence as follows:
For the first occurrence:  $ [50]
For the second occurrence:  $ [200]
For the third and each subsequent occurrence:  $ [500].
If the owner or renter of the property on which the violation occurs is not the person operating the blower, such owner or renter shall also be subject to a separate fine in the same amount.

Section XXX-7.  Expiration.

This law will automatically expire two years following from its effective date, unless the Town Board after notice and a public hearing, extends or extends with amendment the law.

Section 2.  Severability.

If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstances shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such order or judgment shall be confined in its operation to the controversy in which it was rendered and shall not affect or invalidate the remainder or any part hereof to any other person or circumstance, and to this end the provisions of each section of this law are hereby declared to be severable.

Section 3.   Effective Date.

This law shall take effect 30 days after filing in the office of the Secretary of State of New York in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Home Rule Law.

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