SONOMA, Calif. — Two years after it declined to outlaw leaf blowers, the majority of the Sonoma City Council expressed support for a total ban on gas-powered leaf blowers and partial ban on electric blowers.
Council members Laurie Gallian, Rachel Hundley and Madolyn Agrimonti indicated support for a proposal to ban the use of gas-powered leaf blowers in town, and also prohibit electric blowers in residential neighborhoods. However, they were not ready to ban their use on commercial properties and in city parks, asking city employees to come back with more information at a future meeting.
It’s not the first time the council has debated the issue. It caused a stir five years ago, pitting landscapers and home gardeners against leaf blower opponents. After contentious debate, the council members tightened restrictions, outlawing the use of leaf blowers on Sundays and during city-observed holidays. They also reduced the maximum noise level from 90 decibels to 70 decibels.
The debate resurfaced in 2013. Led by screenwriter and author Darryl Ponicsan, opponents organized a petition hoping to get the town of 11,000 residents to join more than two-dozen cities around the state to ban gas-powered leaf blowers. It would have been the first in Sonoma County to do so.
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