Leafblowers, the loud and noisy yard gardening tool, are still legal in Sebastopol after a proposed ban on the motorized raking machines failed to gain traction at the City Council.
“I just don't think we need a new ordinance; this can be incorporated into our noise ordinance,” said Councilwoman Kathleen Shaffer, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
This marks a reversal for the North Bay city, as councilmembers in March had asked city staff to draft an ordinance banning leaf blowers outright.
However, Sebastopol is far from the Wild Wild West when it comes to operating the roaring tree waste removers. Residents and landscapers may be restricted to operate leafblowers only during certain hours; a city task force will study whether the city should restrict or ban outright the use of leaf blowers on paved areas.
Leaf blowers were subject of a three-hour debate at the Council's latest meeting, with the majority of residents and neighbors opposing a ban.
The subject became vogue after a group of neighbors complained about excessive leaf blower use.
Some residents testified that the dust raised by leaf blowers is toxic, and that the mechanized yard waste tools are a health hazard.