The TC voted, 5-0, to approve an ordinance on final passage that was initially spearheaded by TC member Nancy Adams, but backed by all committee members.
The ordinance states that gas-powered leaf blowers are banned for use by commercial entities from May 15 to September 30; requires the use of safety equipment by those entities; and limits the placement of such leaves in the street to within seven days of the scheduled pick-up.
In addition, it limits the use of gas-powered leaf blowers by any person between October 1 and May 14 to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays for residents. Commercial entities are not allowed to use them at all on Sundays.
The ordinance does not affect the use of electric or battery-powered leaf blowers. It sets fines for violation at $500 for the first offense, $1,000 for the second, and $1,500 for the third.
It expands a pilot program that was instituted last summer that barred the use of such blowers by commercial entities from June to August.
Both supporter and opponents -- many of them landscapers -- spoke up at the meeting with mixed views on its impact and need. See some of those below:
In the end, however, the TC chose to approve it. Mayor Vic Deluca pointed out that the Township has had an ordinance in place since 2003 specifically to regulate noise from the blowers, which limits them to 65 decibels. But he said the landscapers who agreed to it are among those who had not been abiding by it.
See his comments below: