Council Moves Forward on Gas-Powered Leaf Blower Ban

by SC Reporter Reese Holiday
photo by SC Associate Publisher Chuck Larsen

Sanibel City Council brought back the issue of gas-powered leaf blowers in its June 1 meeting.

In December 2019, council passed an ordinance that restricted the commercial use of these leaf blowers to only be used during the time frame of 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and completely restricting the use of the machinery during the nationally recognized holidays of New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

In April of this year, the Santiva Chronicle concluded a poll that saw two-thirds of the poll’s responders wanting more restrictions to gas-powered leaf blowers than those the ordinance had put in place.

Councilman Dr. Scott Crater, who advocated the ban of gas-powered leaf blowers during his city council campaign this year, explained the machinery causes both noise and air pollution, which can be detrimental to the environment and health of those who are using the leaf blowers.

Instead of gas-powered leaf blowers, Crater promoted the use of electric or battery-powered leaf blowers, supporting their ability to do the same job effectively.

With that, council approved to move forward with a new ordinance that will ban the use of gas-powered leaf blowers all together. The original date for this ban was Aug. 31, 2022, but council agreed to change the date to Jan. 1, 2023 to allow more time for the islands’ landscapers to make the switch to electrical.

However, before the ordinance is fully in affect, it will have to go through a first reading in July, as well as a second reading in August by council.

While Vice Mayor Johnson is concerned with other gas-powered landscaping equipment causing problems, he believes this ordinance is a first step to eliminating all pollution caused by lawn maintenance machinery on the island.

We’re focused on gas powered leaf blowers, and then we have all of these other pieces of lawn equipment that are just as polluting and just as noisy, in some cases,” Johnson said. “I have a concern there, but I also recognize that this may be a first step.”

Comments (7)

  1. This brief article specifically mentions banning “commercial use” of leaf blowers. One question from an island homeowner: Will this ordinance apply to “homeowner use” of leaf blowers as well?

  2. Power saws, wood choppers, etc. All important, as are blowers. Why maintain our lawns ? Let all go natural ? You guys a crazy.

  3. With regard to electric blower, has consideration been given to homes that do not have exterior outlets that accessible when home owner isn’t present.

  4. Susan R Kriegshauser

    Good job and thank you!!!

  5. Thanks much to the Council for this logical and common sense move. Giving the companies 18 months to make this simple change, however, seems a bit exaggerated. Factoring the increased performance of more powerful batteries, and the annual cost of oil/fuel and maintenance of obsolete gas-driven tools, the landscaping firms could see cost benefit within just a few months. And, their workers would sure welcome the change. Why endure a year and a half more of noise and exhaust fumes?

  6. So a few dozen leaf blowers are a pollution issue but thousands of cars per day sitting gridlocked on Periwinkle are no big deal? If pollution is such a concern then the City needs to implement a limitation on auto access or a maximum allowed occupancy of the island if you will. Battery operated equipment is extremely expensive and landscapers will have no choice but to pass these costs to customers as “recommended” at the recent City workshop. The gall..

  7. ROBERT FREEMAN

    IT IS HARD TO BELEIVE THAT ALL THE COUNCIL HAS TO DO IS MICRO MANAGE THE USE OF LEAF BLOWERS. THERE ARE SO MANY MORE IMPORTANT ISSUES TO ADDRESS THAN THIS, AND IF THAT IS ALL THEY HAVE TO CONSIDER…MAYBE WE DON’T NEED A COUNCIL.
    AS AN OWNER OF PROPERTY ON THE ISLAND, I FULLY SUPPORT MAINTAINING THE QUALITY OF THE ISLAND, BUT THIS ALONG WITH OTHER ISSUES YOU HAVE ADDRESSED INFRINGE ON THE RIGHTS OF HOMEOWNERS.
    IT IS ALMOST LAUGHABLE….AND DISGUSTING.
    PRIOR TO VOTING ON THIS, SEND OUT A MEMO TO ALL OWNERS OF PROPERTY… WHETHER THEY OWN CONDO’S OR HOMES… WHETHER THEY LIVE FULL TIME OR NOT ON THE ISLAND.
    IT IS MY FEELING THE RESULTS WOULD BE DIFFERENT. IT IS NOT ABOUT LEAF BLOWERS, BUT RATHER GOING OVER THE LINE ON WHAT SHOULD AND WHAT SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED.

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