Town of Palm Beach News

A Leaf Blower Ban Possibly Coming to Palm Beach

Town of Palm Beach residents may soon not see (or hear) leaf blowers anymore, as a leaf blower ban has been recommended by the Town’s Ordinances, Rules and Standards Committee.

Bobbie Lindsay and Danielle Moore said the decision has gained a lot of support in the past few months due to safety and health concerns as well as the noise the leaf blowers make. Reportedly, at least 20 residents have sent letters stating they support a ban or stricter regulation over the past month.

Danielle Moore believes this will benefit the community. “All residents of the island prefer peace and tranquility. A ban on leaf blowers is a way to partially achieve that goal,” she said.

Bobbie Lindsay is of the same opinion. “I believe the majority of Palm Beach residents consider leaf blowers an almost daily intrusion into the quiet enjoyment of their home and neighborhood,” said Lindsay. “They are tired of the noise, emissions and wasteful blowing around of leaves and debris. They want blowers banned from Palm Beach.”

A Leaf Blower Ban Possibly Coming to Palm Beach

Apparently, they are correct, as most residents who have voiced their opinion on the issue agree that leaf blowers are loud, dangerous for workers who can’t hear what is going on around them, and overall bad for the quality of life in Palm Beach. Also, residents believe that since leaf blowers are easily replaced with rakes or other yard implements, banning the leaf blowers would be a win-win situation for everyone.

But landscapers disagree, and fervently oppose the ban. The representatives of two landscaping companies asked the board to delay this decision, as they believe that better enforcement of existing regulations might resolve the complaints of residents.

Still, Town Code Enforcement manager Ben Alma said officers have been increasing vigilance after complaints they were too lenient before, and apparently that hasn’t made much difference. Residents also believe that leaf blowers are extremely difficult to regulate, and that the past 25 years can serve as proof of that claim. It was 1991 when the leaf blower ban was first discussed, and in 2006, the town’s attempt to regulate leaf blowers with a sound decibel limit eventually proved not efficient enough.

Still, the landscapers claim they are being discriminated against compared to other noise-making industries, such as construction. As the final argument, they use decreased efficiency and increased need for manpower, which would make the costs of landscaping higher.

However, according to Moore, even though some residents have expressed concerns about the higher costs, most would be willing to pay more in order to preserve their peace and quiet.

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Jess

Jess

Jess specializes in local news coverage. She is a hands on reporter attending every event and meeting she can in the community.

1 Comment

  1. Dr. B. L. Sager
    January 21, 2017 at 12:48 pm — Reply

    The treat of increased prices is bogus. In the hundreds of municipalities that have gone to bans/restrictions none have reported increases. It is a competitive market and when no one can use a gas leaf blower, it is a level playing field. Commercial grade lithium battery blowers are now available so there is no reason to use highly polluting, toxic, noisy blowers anymore. Landscaper actually save money when going to battery equipment, no cost for gas or oil, no tunes ups using spark plugs, belts , hoses, etc. The only cost is a the charge per kilowatt of power to recharge the battery. Commercial grade blowers get 90 minutes of constant use on a charge so any landscaper can simply have a backup battery and he will get through his day without any problem.
    AGZA (American Green Zone Alliance) states that with the cost of fuel , oil and maintenance at $2.45/hr a company operating a GLB for 850 hrs/yr. will save $1954/yr if the cost of electric is 15 cents/hr.
    Terry Joshi, of the Yonkers, NY planning board states ” A potential for fee increases to a proposed ban is a common tactic by landscapers in all communities. However”our city officials, including elected officials, have not reported back that residents have been assessed with higher fees , nor have received complaints of this nature through the city hotline.”
    Ban GLBs now so we can all breathe easier , the landscape worker included.

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