By Phil Trubey
October 2, 2022
We’ve had a robust discussion in our forums about a possible gas powered leaf blower ban and a possible general purpose noise regulation for the RSF Association. I’d suggest at least reading the thread to learn more about the topic. I certainly learned a lot from it.
The next step would be for an RSFA Board member (probably me since I started this) to request a discussion agenda item for an upcoming Board meeting whereupon we would debate whether or not to send this to staff for them to research and hammer out a noise regulation.
And research they would have to do. It is a complex topic. For instance, you might think a no leaf blower edict on weekends might work … but then you have people who work during the week and the weekends is the only time they have to do yardwork. We are a diverse community and we don’t all employ gardener workforces.
But here’s the problem. You may remember that the last few years, the Board’s priorities skewed very much towards regulations. So much so that we have no less than six regulations and guidelines that staff are still working on as a holdover from that Board focus:
- Gates and Pilasters
- Architectural Styles
- Residential Design Guidelines
That’s just off the top of my head, there may be more.
And this new Board has different priorities. We want to enhance member amenities among other things, and creating new regulations isn’t on the priority list. Yes, we can do more than one thing at a time, but there is a limit, especially considering our regulation workload is already full, full, full just as a holdover.
So until we can finish some of the above work, we will have to wait on starting something new.
In The Meantime…
In the meantime, you can help. One of the things I learned from that leaf blower thread (you did read it, right?), is that every type of gas powered leaf blower can be replaced by a much quieter and long lasting battery powered one. Even the really noisy big backpack gas powered blowers can be replaced by backpack battery powered ones. They are far less polluting, preserve the ears of your workers, are less heavy and less hot on the back, and are far quieter. They also are far easier to use, don’t require keeping explosive gasoline/oil mixtures in a toolshed, far safer in a wildfire, and on and on.
For me personally, we had been using a handheld battery powered blower before, and after reading the thread, I decided to buy my gardeners a battery powered replacement for their gas powered backpack blower. The reviews came back and they said they liked it better. Just as powerful and with the big extended battery I got (which is interchangeable with other lawn tools), lasted for the entire property even after the wind storm we got a few weeks back. EGO is just one brand, there are several others, and they all typically have many garden tools that work with the same rechargeable battery packs: Hedge trimmers, lawn mowers, weed wackers, etc.
So, here’s your chance to help out the community. Look into replacing your noisy, polluting, dangerous, and hot lawn tools with battery powered ones. We will all thank you.