Poll: Ban Gas Powered Leaf Blowers? Other Noise Regulations?


During last week’s RSF Association strategic planning meeting, I once again asked fellow Board members whether we should ask Association staff to research what could go into a noise regulation. And once again, I got significant push back and little support.

The irony of this situation is not lost on me. For years I’ve been whining in these pages about how various Boards have been regulation happy, restricting our ability to use Hardy Board (now repealed), or tasteful landscape lighting (we’re currently in a truce). So when I come along and propose just researching a possible noise regulation, I should be happy that this current Board is ideologically adverse to any new regulations (as some Board members baldly stated during the meeting).

And I am happy. I truly am. But I still have this nagging feeling that some sort of noise regulation would be appreciated by the majority of members.

So, since none of us really knows the sentiments of thousands of members, let’s do a poll and see what you think.

Ban Gasoline Powered Leaf Blowers?

The first question is pretty simple. Should we outright ban gasoline powered leaf blowers, restricting leaf blowers to battery powered ones?

Various cities around us have instituted such a ban. Pasadena is only the latest city to do so. Encinitas did so way back in 2020. Del Mar actually bans all leaf blowers, gas or battery powered. Finally, the state of California will ban the sale (but not the use, yet) of gas powered lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and other small engines starting in January 2024.

And yet, here we are in a supposedly high end residential community and we still allow noisy, neighbor annoying, environmentally hazardous leaf blowers to run at any hour of day or night, seven days a week.

I personally switched my yard maintenance crew over to battery powered ones and I now never hear the loud blare anymore, even after “hurricane” cleanups. Manufacturers now make very strong backpack ones (which are still much more silent) with batteries that last a very long time. Yes, they cost more initially, but actually cost way less in operating costs and maintenance, not to mention the convenience and safety of not having to schlep gasoline everywhere. By the way, I also switched over to battery powered lawn mowers, and that too has been an acoustic blessing.

Such a ban could have a three month (or whatever) transition time to allow people to switch over. Anyways, that’s the first question, what do you think, give your answer below.

Other Noise Ordinance

Imagine trying to enjoy a peaceful Sunday and your neighbor hires a tile cutter to cut tile in their yard. That actually happened to an Association member recently and there was nothing the Patrol could do about it. It isn’t even against County noise regulations according to the Patrol officer contacted that day.

And I’m sure we’ve all been inundated at various times on weekends by the loud blaring of a wood chipper, and chainsaws too for that matter.

I don’t know what kind of weekend noise regulation makes sense for us, but I’m pretty sure something rather than nothing makes sense.

So, that’s the second question. Should Association staff research and make recommendations on what kind of general noise ordinance would be appropriate for the RSFA?

I’ve also included an anonymous comment section below since the comments tend to be very interesting reading. Re-visit this page often to see results/new comments.

Oh, and if the response to this poll is lukewarm, I promise I shall never speak of it again…

This poll is no longer accepting votes

Should the Association ban gas powered leaf blowers?
Should the Board ask staff to make a recommendation on a general noise regulation?
Optional Comments
147 votes