Wednesday, February 8, 2017


The Township Committee will consider tighter restrictions on leaf blowers that would include a longer commercial ban from May to October, fines of up to $1,000 for non-compliance and no Sunday use.

The tighter controls were reported by Township Committee member Nancy Adams, who said they were the result of a special subcommittee that had been created to study the issue after the one-time ban was put in place last summer.

Nancy Adams
She said it included input from residents, commercial landscapers and public officials.  

The initial recommended restrictions would:

1. Ban gas-powered commercial leaf blowers from May 15, 2017 to Oct. 15, 2017. This expands the ban put in place for last summer that ran only from June through August.

2. Restrict the number of commercial blowers to be used on any one property to two at a time.

3. Restrict hours for the use of all gas-powered leaf blowers to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays; and none on Sundays. No ban on electric leaf blowers.

4. Requirements that commercial workers wear hearing and other safety equipment.

5. Increase fines for non-compliance to $500 to $1,000.

"Several members spoke about the daily interruptions on their lives  from the regular business of landscaping companies in their neighborhoods," Adams said, later adding, "There was extensive discussion on the negative impact the use of leaf blowers has on the quality of soil, water, trees, shrubs, plants, in other words on a healthy yard."

See Adams' complete report below:

The recommendations followed last summer's ban that barred the use of commercial leaf blowers in Maplewood between June and August. That ban drew both positive and negative reaction from residents and landscaping firms. 

No specific legislation has been created or considered yet for the tighter controls and Mayor Vic Deluca directed that the issue be placed for discussion at the next Township Committee meeting on Feb. 21.

Several TC members said they wanted to make sure that any restrictions are properly enforced. "If it isn't well-enforced, it may as well not exist," TC Member Greg Lembrich said.

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