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Davis, California

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Davis group urges leaf blower ban

The local group Davisites for Less Noise and Particle Pollution (DLNPP) has been urging Davis residents to help persuade the Davis city council to ban leaf blowers in the city.

“[Leaf blowers] have awoken many Davisites, ruined quiet studying at home, interrupted business meetings … and much more,” said the DLNPP Facebook page.

Other concerns about leaf blowers include the facts that they raise dust and particle pollution, reach loud sound levels and use too much gas, said DLNPP. DLNPP encourages the use of traditional rakes to clean up leaves instead.

DLNPP created the Facebook page to help promote their movement in early October and is trying to get as many “likes” on the page by January 2011 to persuade the city council to make a regulation. Currently, there are 51 “likes,” however, the council is not yet aware of any movement to ban leaf blowers.

“The folks at the city manager’s office aren’t aware of anything regarding a leaf blower ban,” said Kelly Stachowicz, Davis deputy city manager. “None of the council members are aware of it either.”

There was a similar movement in Davis about 10 years ago to ban leaf blowers, which the city is aware of, Stachowicz said. In addition, the issue was raised last June when city council candidate Daniel Watts mentioned a leaf blower ban as one of his goals.

Davis Municipal Code Chapter 24 cites individual powered blowers (IPB) in their Noise Regulations. IPB cannot produce a noise level exceeding 70 decibels at a distance of 50 feet. They also cannot be operated within 100 feet of another IPB.

As far as the noise regulations are concerned, however, leaf blowers are not considered a violation of the municipal code.

The leaf blower police aren’t out there regulating,” Stachowicz said. “[Leaf blowers] don’t meet the numbers that correspond to our noise regulations.”

The movement to ban leaf blowers in Davis follows similar movements throughout California. Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and Berkeley each have had comparable movements, many which have led to legislative changes.

“Let’s make Davis even more pleasant than it already is,” said DLNPP, “and catch-up to all the other cities that have solved this issue.”

ASHLEY NEWMAN can be reached at city@theaggie.org.

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