Leaf Blower Ban
|Leaf blowers pose multiple health risks due to air pollution attributed to their use. The pollution comes in the form of unburned fuel, from the inefficient combustion process inherent in such devices, and from a mixture of fine particles blown into the air, particles that can go deep into the human lungs. To address these concerns and others, many cities have banned leaf blowers; and Santa Monica has recently renewed its commitment to the enforcement of its leaf blower ban, which has been in place since 1991.
No person shall operate any leaf blower (gas, electric, or battery
powered) within the City. A leaf blower is defined as any
motorized tool (gas, electric, or battery powered) used to propel fallen
leaves and debris for removal. Infractions will be punishable by
substantial fines to property owners, property and landscape management
companies, individual operators, and/or water customers.
Six-month Report on Implementation of the Amended Leaf Blower Ordinance May 24, 2011
Use alternatives like push brooms, rakes, and manual leaf sweeping
machines. Leaf vacuums may be an option for larger properties.
- Put your leaves to good use. Leaves left in place help soil retain moisture, thus minimizing irrigation requirements. Leaves used as a mulch eventually decompose and enrich the soil.
- Hosing down paved surfaces or sweeping debris into the gutter is NOT acceptable however, and also violates city code.
- Grants and rebates are available for a limited
time to help Santa Monica property owners transform their lawns into colorful
sustainable gardens that don’t need mowing, edging or blowing. Click here
| An individual gas
powered leaf blower
emits 500 times the level of hydrocarbons of a modern automobile
Air Resources Board).
And, with a muzzle velocity of 150
miles per hour, blowers blow dust particles, including herbicides,
pesticides, and other contaminants up from the ground into the air,
especially troubling asthmatics and allergy sufferers.
||To help find your best alternative, this printable Leaf_Blower_Flyer (in English and Spanish) has a tear-off section to give to your
gardeners for those that use a professional service.
More information on the Leaf
Blower Facts page.
Reporting Leaf Blower Use
Report violations with your iPhone or Android phone, online using GO Santa Monica, by email, or by telephone. Please provide an address, date and time of day. Staff will promptly follow-up all inquiries.
Download GORequest iPhone App
Download GORequest Android App
Policy: I’ve reported it…. now what happens?
- The City of Santa
Monica’s Office of Sustainability and the Environment will be enforcing this
law. A full-time staff member has just been hired to help enforce this law.
- Staff will act on
reported violations as well as patrolling the City throughout the week.
- Staff will inform
operators of leaf blowers at the time the violation is occurring about the leaf
blower ban and follow-up with a warning letter to the property owner and/or
property management company and the gardening company (assuming the gardener
information is obtained from the gardener or property owner/manager).
Staff will also send a warning letter if violations are reported by phone,
email, or the City’s GO on-line reporting system.
- Generally, two warning letters are issued as a courtesy before a citation/fine is issued. This will allow the responsible parties time to work together to find alternatives in order to comply. However, any of the responsible parties involved in the violation may be cited by the Police or Code Compliance Officers without being issued a warning letter first.
- Property owners and/or property management companies
may provide City Staff with the gardener’s contact information so that future
warnings and/or citations are issued to the leaf blower operator.
deadline is two weeks from the date the letter is issued.
- Please continue
to report violations as they occur. Each report is recorded, monitored and
acted upon accordingly.
Last updated: Monday, 03/05/2012