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POLL: Should San Mateo Ban Leaf Blowers?

San Mateo Mayor Brandt Grotte plans to ask his colleagues on the council to ban them outright.

San Mateo Mayor Brandt Grotte is planning to ask the rest of the city council to ban leaf blowers in San Mateo.

According to an article in the San Mateo Daily Journal, the city’s Community Development Department is currently seeking council direction regarding municipal code and the use of leaf blowers with a focus on reducing carbon emissions and noise.

Should San Mateo ban leaf blowers, the city would join the ranks of Burlingame, which to restrict the use of leaf blowers by day, hour and zone. 

Do you think the city of San Mateo should ban leaf blowers? Tell us in the comments and take our poll.

Philip King August 03, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Are you claiming that people are hiring gardeners now because those gardeners can't use leaf blowers? So people who used to hire a "mow and blow" crew for their home or business are now doing what, not having their lawns mowed? What evidence is there to support this? The obvious replacement for a noisy, often ineffective blower is a broom or a rake. This is what people use in other parts of the country where hired lawn mowers are less common - they work quite well and don't just spread the mess out into the street (a common problem you cite in your example). They take a few minutes longer and require some actual effort to use, but that should just help some laborers work up an appetite for sandwiches.
Kathleen September 13, 2012 at 10:33 PM
The gardeners are small businesspeople, who make a living by charging for their services in 20 minute or so increments. I've never been particularly bothered by the blowers. They come, they go. Quickly. As long as the rules about time of day are being observed, I can survive a short period of noise. Let them make a living for heaven's sake!
MIKE SCHOEBEN November 02, 2012 at 02:56 PM
I don't agree with the premiss for outlawing leaf blowers. I don't think anyone should be able to bring forth a proposal without also bringing a cost effective alternative to what they want changed. I want my property to look good, and I believe that is a benefit to the community. Let's try some common sense first.
Felix Darknite November 06, 2012 at 05:21 PM
The problem with this initiative is that it doesn't seem to take on board the opinion of the very people it purports to be protecting. While it is all fine and good to say that the ban is in an effort to protect low-wage workers due to health concerns, let's be clear that the job of clearing leaves isn't going to go away. Leaf blowers, even with all their inherent flaws, make it easier to contain leaf-debris. No alternatives are being suggested for how gardeners and others in similar professions will have to deal with the strain of leaf-picking in lieu of the blowers.
Mike Lillis November 09, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Bravo to the Council for taking the initiative on this! Leaf blowers are a nuisance in our neighborhoods and a detriment to our lifestyle in California. It has been shown that many times a broom and a rake is faster. A landscape vacuum is a wonderful alternative on the larger jobs. Gas leaf blowers are Gross polluters, both in noise and air quality. Can't we site the property owner or the lease holder for disturbing the peace? The police will not chase down little gardener trucks to give them a ticket. Ultimately, the properly holder is in charge of the situation. Plausible enforcement mechanics are key to the success of this measure. I think they are right on with the education approach. Perhaps the Parks & Rec Dept could lead the way on this and voluntarily give theirs up. They could be an information base on how the gardeners could advance to an alternate technology. We used to rake our leaves out to the curb and burn them .....Things change. Cheers Mike Lillis

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