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Councilman Looks to 'Control Leaf Blower Noise'

Stefan Armington wants to work with commercial gardeners and landscapers to regulate the use of leaf blowers in mornings and over weekends.

Morristown Councilman Stefan Armington and Councilwoman Rebecca Feldman have agreed to look at a reasonable set of policies to regulate noise from leaf blowers.

"Leaf blowers ... are disturbing to residents who live nearby," Armington said, and he asked if anyone on the council or in the administration wanted to help "develop regulations to better manage them."

Armington said he wanted to regulate the use of high capacity leaf blowers, which are typically used as a backpack unit with a hose. These are mostly in use by commercial landscapers, but the noise can be deafening.

Morristown does have a noise ordinance, but it does not specifically speak to leaf blowers or to particular decibel levels.

"I have no interest in banning leaf blowers by any means," Armington said, only to "better control leaf blower noise."

Feldman offered to work with him. "It's been a longstanding issue," she said, and one that will become more important as the newly formed Shade Tree Commission works to "rebuild the urban canopy."

Armington said he knows of landscapers and leaf blower manufacturers who have created best practices recommendations for interacting with suburban communities, and he intends to reach out to them and to individual businesses who service the area.

Mary Martinez February 20, 2013 at 09:58 PM
This is outrageous. Does Armington know that the town workers use backpacks to clean the streets around the green?? And other parts of the town?? Why would an elected councilman want to change things in the town that he lives and enjoys? He probably has people cleaning his lawn that use the same devices. I think there are other issues in town that need focusing, for example bullying in the schools and in public places.
Jack Cutler February 20, 2013 at 11:20 PM
Not a bad initiative, but certainly not the most important issue. I would much rather congratulate the property owners for their landscaping and property upkeep regardless of the time and spend the time dealing with the illegal immigrants that are ruining Armington`s neighborhood with stacking and ruining old home by slicing them up into illegal boarding mg houses. While he is at it, he could tackle the traffic problems on Speedwell Avenue caused by the makeshift crosswalks put up because the illegal immigrants apparently can't walk to the closest corner to cross the street. Glad you care Armington, but not the wisest use of your time.
Roseann Loia February 21, 2013 at 11:55 AM
Town government efforts well spent on one of the more crucial issues in town!
margret brady February 21, 2013 at 10:05 PM
Besides noise and sleep disturbance, there is potential hearing loss. The workers blowing those leaves that somehow wind up in my yard all wear sound blocking gear. The professionals business men who hire them don't want their clients and workers disturbed, so they have their yard work done on the weekends and early in the morning. They also put down a lot of chemicals to try and make their grass grow back but its the blowers blowing away all the top soil that causes their problems. I have the greenest grass in the neighborhood as a result of their efforts and the allergic reactions to prove it..
Kathryn March 22, 2013 at 06:24 PM
Montclair has a "ban" on leaf blowers in July and August but there is absolutely zero enforcement. So, beware--you can make the rules, but most landscapers don't care one bit about them. I have complained to landscapers working on my block that there is an ordinance against leaf blowers, but they just show up again the next week.

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