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Blow Hard Blues

[whitespace] Most local efforts to ban leaf blowers have fallen on deaf ears

By Will Harper

Eighteen cities in California have either banned or restricted the use of gas-powered leaf blowers. Below is a sample of what some cities in the South Bay are doing.

Carmel: In 1975, it became the first city in the state to ban blowers.

Mountain View: In 1992, the City Council decided against a ban.

Palo Alto: The current ordinance restricts the hours of use. Blowers can be used between 9am and 5pm Monday through Saturday, and between 10am and 4pm on Sundays and holidays. The city is debating whether to impose a total ban.

Los Altos: A ban was enacted by voters in 1991.

Menlo Park: The City Council imposed a ban earlier this year. However, gardeners collected enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot. And residents voted by an almost 10-point margin to overturn the ban.

San Jose: Imposes no restrictions; a ban is not being considered.

Santa Clara: The noise ordinance doesn't apply to portable power equipment like leaf blowers.

Santa Cruz: The City Council has given the go-ahead for staff to explore ways to restrict the use of blowers.

Sunnyvale: The City Council is holding public hearings to discuss the possibility of restricting the use of leaf blowers and other power tools.

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From the November 12-18, 1998 issue of Metro.

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