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West Hollywood Bans Leaf Blowers

September 25, 1986

The West Hollywood City Council has voted unanimously to ban gasoline-powered leaf blowers because of complaints about excessive noise, fumes and dust.

Councilman Alan Viterbi, in calling for the ban at last Thursday's meeting, said the machines are a nuisance and have become the most common topic of calls to his office.

Instead of a ban, Community Development Director Mark Winogrond had recommended limiting the use of blowers to daytime working hours to avoid placing a hardship on professional gardeners.

Viterbi, however, insisted that "a large number of people (are) being made ill by the fumes and also disturbed by the noise."

He said residents of a senior citizens complex at Fairfax Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard have complained of nausea and dizziness caused by the machine fumes.

Professional gardeners use both gasoline and electric leaf blowers to clear away litter and loose foliage. The ban would exempt electric blowers because they do not emit fumes and are less noisy than gasoline machines, which nearly match the decibel level of chain saws, a council aide said.

Some cities, including Beverly Hills, have banned gasoline-powered blowers, while others, such as Santa Monica, have limited their use.

The West Hollywood City Council will review a city attorney's draft of the proposed ordinance next Thursday, then vote on the ban on Oct.20, City Clerk Mary Tyson said.

The ordinance would go into effect 30 days after the vote.

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