“Leaf” Us Alone – Santino Proposal Limits Weekend Use of Noisy Leaf Blowers and Mowers, Town Announces Crackdown on Those Who Blow Grass and Debris into Roadways/onto Other Properties

Standing in front of a beautifully maintained home on a tranquil suburban street in Roosevelt, Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino asked, “Is there anything more annoying than being awakened early on a weekend morning by the clatter and drone of noisy leaf blowers and lawn mowers?” The Supervisor, joined by Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby and Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, demonstrated a rackety leaf blower as he announced his proposal to further restrict the weekend morning hours during which leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other noisy landscaping equipment can be used. Further, Santino announced a crackdown on the common practice of blowing leaves and debris into local roadways or onto adjacent properties.

“Part of the suburban experience is being able to enjoy the peace and quiet that should accompany the residential lifestyle in our township,” said Santino. “After a long, hard work week, the last thing that homeowners want to endure is being awakened on a weekend morning by noisy leaf blowers and other loud landscaping equipment.

Under a proposal being introduced by the Supervisor, the use of leaf blowers and other noisy landscape equipment would not be permitted before 8 a.m. on weekend days. Currently, the town code permits this type of activity between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. on both weekdays and weekends. The officials have indicated that local residents have registered concerns about the early morning racket on weekends, and have asked for relief. The Supervisor also stated that the proposed law would not unduly burden local landscapers while also giving neighbors and extra hour to sleep or relax on weekends without noisy disturbances.

“Our residents work hard all week long, and they deserve a little respite on the weekends,” said Goosby. “This law will go a long way toward creating a more tranquil quality of life for our homeowners.”

Santino also announced that town officials would be cracking down on a related landscaping issue that has resulted in numerous complaints from residents. In specific, town code enforcement officers will be aggressively writing summonses to individuals and businesses that use leaf blowers to blow leaves, grass clippings and debris into roadways or onto properties that are adjacent to parcels that are being landscaped.

“It is the height of disrespect to blow leaves and grass clippings into roadways or onto other people’s properties,” stated Santino. “This type of behavior evokes memories of my mom teaching me one of life’s most basic lessons as a young boy…Mom always said, ‘clean up after yourself, don’t expect others to do it.’ She was right and some people who misuse leaf blowers need to take a basic lesson in common courtesy from my mom.”

The officials noted that, in addition to being inconsiderate, blowing grass clippings and leaves into roadways causes a variety of problem to drivers and local government. Santino noted that leaves and grass clippings that are blown into roadways clog area storm drains. As a result, the drains can “back up,” causing flooding on area streets. Additionally, blowing leaves and grass can contribute to slick road surfaces, especially during the fall when trees shed their leaves.

“We’re asking those people who use leaf blowers to be good neighbors,” commented D’Esposito. “By cleaning up lawn debris and keeping it out of the roads, we can keep storm drains clear of leaves, maintain safer roadways and improve the appearance of local communities.”

Santino called for a hearing on his “leaf blower” proposal at the May 22nd Town Board meeting and a hearing on the issue is scheduled for June 20th.

“The suburban experience is alive and well in Hempstead Town,” concluded Santino. “By pursuing important quality-of-life legislation like my leaf blower proposal, we can ensure that the idyllic suburban lifestyle will be preserved for generations to come.”