Montclair Tightening Leaf Blower Law?

Reducing noise and and air pollution produced by leaf blowers – not banning them altogether – is being discussed at Montclair’s next council meeting, January 6. The town’s 1994 leaf blower ordinance is under review plus new amendments proposed and prepared by the Montclair Environmental Commission. The MEC proposal recommends when and what kind of leaf blowers should be allowed to operate in Montclair – and how to enforce rules of engagement.
The proposed ordinance amendments limit the noise output of leaf blowers to 65 dB (lower than a vacuum cleaner), allow only leaf blowers that meet the EPA’s Phase 2 standards (projected to reduce emissions 70%), allows the town Code Enforcement staff to issue citations for violations, and to rely on Montclair police as a backup for enforcement. Fines for third violation are $500 and loss of license,
The commission also provided the council with a document that provides a rationale for each of the proposed changes. Read the FAQs, here.

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  1. Nope. Pretty cool name though. We had a dog once who’s name was ‘Dark Star’. We called him Star. He was all black except for a white, star shaped blaze on his chest. He was a good singer that liked to sing along when I played harmonica. His intonation was pretty accurate and he followed the pitch up and down along with the harp. When the second dog ‘Burt’ joined in we had the beginnings of an orchestra. I recorded the three of us on a Tascam multitrack recorder over 20 years ago. Some day I’ll put the song on the internet so everyone can enjoy it and see what a phenomenal singer ‘Dark Star’ was.

  2. I’m all for this policy, but good luck enforcing it. Most landscapers don’t give a hoot when you tell them of the limitations. I guess we’ll all have to video document these transgressors.

  3. Bravo, Council. It’s about time there was more regulation of those damn things. Frankly, they are more annoying than a train whistle. And, no one will get run over by a quiet leaf blower. There should be enforcement of parking by the lawn services, too. They can occupy a whole street.

  4. How about enforcing stuff like the overnight parking prohibitions and egregious zoning violations re: blight and garbage (as so often pointed out by nana)?

  5. I wish GR would also enact such a law. The worst is when there are two bigger units on wheels and a backpack at the same time. It’s really loud, and the same company does 3 properties behind me, one after the other, goes on for hours.

  6. Nothing beats a leaf blower for getting a driveway really clean. I use an electric model on the low setting, and never for more than a few minutes.

  7. The ban applies to residents and scapers only. The Montclair town council voted to give the Montclair parks and recreation a pass on the blower ban.
    In their decision, they said it would cost too much to replace the old blowers with useless no wind, no noise blowers. The town would then go broke having to pay employees to rake what they used to blow. There was one dessenter.
    So if you bought a house near a park and complain when people use it. Spring clean up is right around the corner – Vroom Vroom.

  8. Where did ROC go? I was looking forward to “Big government is taking away my right to pollute the air, that’s my choice, not theirs”, or, perhaps ” this law smacks of socialism, this law will hurt small businesses that sell leaf blowers, etc”

  9. I use my leaf blower (electric) to totally dry my car after I wash it. 5 minutes & it’s totally dry. Using a chamois takes an hour, or more.

  10. I use my leaf blower (gas) to totally dry my hair after I wash it. 5 seconds & it’s totally dry. Using a chamois takes an hour, or more.

  11. The best quote from LaserMike’s link:
    Echo’s quietest power model, the PB-460LN Quiet 1, operates at a volume of 65 decibels, which is quieter than typical freeway traffic.
    So, when the average landscaper is using 2-4 of these on the typical postage-stamp sized Montclair lawn; does that mean the new blowers will only make it as loud as 2-4 freeways? Oh, rapture!

  12. Or, mikey, we coud utilize your own considerable if idle and unfocused windpower. We could put you in a harness, kind of like the “bike” used in harness racing, and you could blow the leaves away with your hollow rhetoric. And earn pin money in the process!
    This, too, is a case of hey, I’m just presenting the options.

  13. “Let them eat cake!”–Marie Antoinette
    “Let them use rakes!”–Lasermike
    Mikey: I hope you don’t suffer the same fate as the former.

  14. I use a leaf blower. I don’t have problem with them. Fortunately, I live in Bloomfield directly over the boarder from Montclair. I can crank up my leaf blower, leave it on my front lawn, drink a cup of coffee while watching Montclair folks frown.
    Neighbors should be considerate and not make too much noise during inappropriate times. And other neighbors should be able to handle a leaf blower from time to time.

  15. “…not make too much noise during inappropriate times…”
    Yet the times when you do, mikeypal, are all the times!

  16. I hate the sound of leafblowers but until something is done about dorky Harley Davidsons and compact Japanese cars with loud performance mufflers, I can’t knock someone who uses a leaf blower that makes comparable noise but is using it to beautify the scenery.

  17. .. and don’t forget the rolling stereo systems with subwoofers that can broadcast a ‘thump’ for 1/2 a mile ..

  18. Yea right, subjecting your plants to hurricane force+ winds beautifies the scenery.
    I guess that’s along the lines of “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.

  19. MB, I was picking up stuff in an industrial section of Brooklyn in the late 80’s when, for what seemed like 5 min. you heard this BOOM,BOOM,BOOM getting closer and closer. A pick-up truck with three large stage speakers facing left, right and back finally passed by, shook the friken’ buildings.
    Then this little guy shouting in whatever language comes running out of a building with shotgun and fires off a couple of rounds after the truck. A min. later 3 cop cars show up, full lights and sirens, but apparently nothing was actually hit and “nobody saw nothin'”
    Was very glad to get out of there.

  20. Pokey,
    That’s an awesome story!
    In the summertime I can hear these cars from great distances. Some of these cars must be sporting huge speaker cabinets in their trunks and rear seats.

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