Local News

Chapel Hill Town Council To Consider Blower Ban

Posted September 27, 2004 6:14 a.m. EDT

— It's almost that time of year, when leaves start falling and collecting on lawns and driveways. That means quite a bit of yard work and lawn equipment, some of which can be rather loud.

"They're incredibly noisy and irritating," said Chapel Hill Town Council member Cam Hill.

That's why Hill will introduce a proposal Monday night to ban gas-powered leaf blowers.

"All they do is move leaves, dirt and dust from one place to another," he said. "They don't subtract it from the environment; they just move it around."

Hill is also worried about the impact on the environment.

"We've got the 11th worse air quality in the nation, and leaf blowers are inordinately large producers of pollution," he said.

People in the lawn maintenance business say they love leaf blowers because they can get up a big pile of leaves quickly. And for them, time is money."

Landscaper Geary Blackwood lives outside town limits but does work in Chapel HIll. He says his customers will have to pay more if a ban on leaf blowers is passed.

"It would impact us greatly from the simple standpoint of labor, labor costs going up," he said.

Blackwood thinks the council should keep things in the proper perspective.

"It seems there could be something else that's a little more important," Blackwood said. "Not to say that his (Hill's) idea doesn't have some importance to him, but it certainly should be thought about a little more before it's voted on.

The town council will not vote on a ban until after the public has a chance to comment on it.