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Angeles County | Community News File / West Los Angeles

Gardeners Organize Caravan to Fight Leaf Blower Ban

August 05, 1998

The Assn. of Latin American Gardeners Los Angeles will lead a caravan of trucks to the state Capitol today to show support for a bill that would supplant city codes that prohibit the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers near residential areas.

The Los Angeles City Council earlier this year passed such an ordinance, citing concerns over noise and pollution. The action drew protests from many gardeners who feel the tool is essential for their economic survival.

The group announced the caravan Tuesday in front of West Los Angeles Municipal Court, where a lawyer representing a gardener ticketed for using the device filed papers to fight the citation.

The gardener argued that he was using a methanol-powered leaf blower, which is not banned by the ordinance. Methanol is an alcohol derivative, not gasoline. In three previous cases, the municipal court found in favor of gardeners using the same argument.

The court cases may soon become moot, however, if a bill introduced by state Sen. Richard Polanco (D-Los Angeles) passes. The measure seeks to override the Los Angeles ordinance and other similar statutes in some 20 California cities by allowing gas-powered leaf blowers, albeit with noise restrictions.

Alvaro Huerta, secretary general of the Los Angeles' gardeners group, said his association is hoping for passage of Polanco's bill because it would eliminate the need to fight citations in court.

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