Newton’s Board of Aldermen are proposing an ordinance to limit the use of leaf blowers and ultimately ban their use altogether. An upated version of the draft Leaf Blower Ordinance under consideration is available on the city’s website
In summary, the draft ordinance proposes the following changes to the City’s Noise Ordinance:
TIME, DATE AND SEASON RESTRICTIONS
Current allowed use:
- Mondays – Fridays from 7am – 8pm
- Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays from 9:30am – 8pm
- No seasonal restrictions
Proposed allowed use:
- Mondays – Fridays from 8:30am – 5:30pm
- Saturdays from 9:30am – 5:30pm
- Prohibited on Sundays and legal holidays
- Seasonal ban would allow use from March 15 – May 1; and October 15 – December 1 only
DEFINITION OF LEAF BLOWER
Current definition of leaf blower
- No definition in current ordinance
Proposed definition of leaf blower
- Any portable hand-held or backpack style motorized device, whether powered by gasoline or other fuel, electricity or battery, used in any landscape or property construction or maintenance activity, for the purpose of blowing, dispersing, vacuuming, redistributing, or removing dust, dirt, leaves, grass or plant clippings, litter or other debris.
RESTRICTIONS ON TYPES OF LEAF BLOWER EQUIPMENT
Current restrictions on equipment
- Decibel level testing is performed to determine if leaf blower is louder than 65dB when complaint is filed.
Proposed restrictions on equipment
Each piece of equipment must meet the following requirements:
- Leaf blowers must be manufactured after January 1, 2005 for EPA Class 4 engines and after January 1, 2008 for EPA Class 5 engines;
- Leaf blowers must bear an affixed manufacturer’s label indicating the model number of the leaf blower;
- Leaf blowers must bear an affixed manufacturer’s label documenting a noise rating of 65 dB(A) or less; and
- Leaf blowers may only be used with any muffler, full extension tube and sound attenuating devices supplied by the manufacturer of the leaf blower.
- During times of emergency caused by a storm or other special circumstance, the Mayor may temporarily suspend application of this section for purposes of cleaning up from such storm or other special circumstance.
- The current draft DOES NOT provide any other exemptions. Everyone, including the City of Newton and its contractors would be subject to this ordinance except for the Emergency Exemption listed above.
TOTAL BAN TO GO INTO EFFECT JUNE 1, 2018
A public comment session is scheduled for Wednesday, June 10th at 7:00pm in the Aldermanic Chamber, Newton City Hall. A sign-up sheet for speakers will be made available at 6:30pm at the podium in the Aldermanic Chamber.
Two groups have requested and have been granted an allotment of 15 minutes each to provide a brief presentation regarding the proposed ordinance: Newton Safe and Sound; and a group representing landscaping companies who provide service in the City of Newton. These presentations will open the meeting at 7:00pm, after which the Chair will take public comment.
Each speaker will provide their name and address and will be given 3 minutes to speak. The meeting will adjourn at 11:00pm. If members of the public have written comments, please submit them to Committee Clerk, Karyn Dean at the meeting, or via email at [email protected] for distribution to the full Board of Aldermen.
THERE WILL BE NO VOTE ON THE ORDINANCE AT THIS MEETING.