John Habib: Leave the leafs?

On May 12th Manager King issued an amendment to the April 8, 2020 Emergency Order banning the use of leaf blowers within the Village boundaries. The ban no longer applies to weekends. Leaf blower use is permitted again on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m., and on Sundays from 10:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m.

It is important to remember that the Emergency Order was always meant to be temporary. It was issued in response to residents’ complaints. The goal was to mitigate leaf blowers’ noise and air quality impacts, at a time when so many residents are home

almost 24/7 due to NY’s “Pause”.

Even before issuing the Order, the Board and the Village Manager planned to re-evaluate the ban during and after the Pause. Following discussion of the issue at the Board of Trustees Work Session held last Monday night, Ms. King amended the ban to balance quality of life issues with owners’ desires to properly maintain their property.

The temporary Emergency Order initiated a larger community conversation about leaf blowers. The Board and the Village Manager agree that any permanent policy changes concerning this subject must be enacted through the normal process of adopting a local law. Croton has regulated leaf blower usage under its Code chapter restricting excessive, unnecessary and unusually loud noises. (https://ecode360.com/9143210). As has been pointed out in The Gazette across the past few weeks, it is a trend in local government regulation to reconsider such laws. Communities are analyzing many relevant issues, including whether gas-powered leaf blowers should be banned altogether or phased out in favor of electric leaf blowers, and whether the use of leaf blowers should be limited to certain hours of the day and/or months of the year.

The Village government’s Conservation Advisory Committee, chaired by Ms. Janet Monahan, is now being asked by the Board to take a fresh look at both the letter and intent of the relevant Code language and provide recommendations. As part of this review process, the Board and the CAC welcome comments from the public to ensure diverse perspectives are considered. Kindly send your comments to boardoftrustees@crotononhudson-ny.gov, or call (914) 271-4848.

John Habib, Trustee

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