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Local News in Brief : Leaf Blowers Banned

November 13, 1987

Citing the nuisance of high-pitched noise and flying dirt from backpack leaf blowers, the Hermosa Beach City Council Tuesday unanimously approved a citywide ban on the machines.

To become effective after July 1, 1988, the amendment to the municipal code allows the council to grant exceptions "when special circumstances including lot size, location or surroundings exist."

Mayor pro tem Jim Rosenberger opposed Councilwoman June Williams' suggestion that the ban apply only near residences, arguing that although all the complaints submitted to the city have come from residential areas, the most serious instances of machine-blown dirt have occurred in commercial areas.

A background report received by the council listed two maintenance contractors on the city's payroll who use leaf blowers. Specialty Maintenance Inc., which cleans the pier and downtown, and California Landscape Maintenance Inc., contracted to maintain city parks, claimed the ban would mean increased monthly service charges of $650 and $467, respectively.

A California Landscape spokesman estimated the average leaf blower user would need 50% more time to collect debris with a broom.

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