The city can, but why cant I use my leaf blower?


LawnSite Bronze Member
Zone 10b
Whats next mowers, cars, boats? Imagine if you worked in this City?


Coral Gables has always been a city of rules.

House paint must be an approved color. Garbage can't go out until the night before pickup. And trucks must be concealed in garages, not left out in driveways -- or, heaven forbid, on the street.

But now city leaders have a new target for their disapproval: leaf blowers.

Commercial gardeners and lawn services won't be allowed to use them at all, while homeowners will be limited to using electric models during designated hours, if the City Commission gives final approval to a proposed new law later this month.

Lawn mowers and other noisy tools also will be prohibited at night.

City crews won't have to follow the rules, however.

Many residents of the City Beautiful are feeling downright ugly about the proposal.

``This is a clear case of over-regulation and government gone wild,'' said Jon Goldman, a resident who launched an e-mail campaign to dissuade the City Commission from passing the measure. ``I don't know a single neighbor or homeowner in the Gables who doesn't use a leaf blower to maintain his property in the pristine manner that is required by code.''

The commission tentatively approved the partial ban on leaf blowers in a 4-1 vote on Sept. 28. The final reading is scheduled for Oct. 26.

City Commissioner Ralph Cabrera is spearheading the measure. He said leaf blowers are a big problem because they create excessive noise and pollute the environment by spreading mold spores, pesticides and other chemicals.

He welcomes the return of rakes and brooms -- and peace and quiet.

``Some people look at leaf blowers as a necessity. I look at it as a convenience,'' Cabrera said. ``When people say they won't be able to keep their lawns tidy, I ask them, `How did the world stay tidy and clean before leaf blowers? It did.' ''

The ban includes two exceptions. First, homeowners can use electric -- as opposed to gasoline-powered -- leaf blowers between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; and between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

The other exemption: City workers and city contractors, who need to clean the streets, especially after a storm, could use the blowers during the specified hours.

The measure also would regulate the use of lawn mowers and other power tools, such as chain saws, weed trimmers, lawn-edgers and chippers during the same hours as leaf blowers.

Another no-no: people blowing their leaves and other yard debris from their property onto city streets, sidewalks, alleyways, curbs, gutters and drains.

Those who break the rules -- homeowner or lawn guy -- would receive a written warning to fix the problem or get fined. City spokeswoman Maria Higgins Fallon said she did not know the amounts of the proposed fines.

According to Cabrera, there are 400 cities nationwide that have restricted or banned leaf blowers. In California, bans are in place in Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, Hermosa Beach, Carmel and Berkeley. Here in Florida, Naples city leaders debated a ban in 2008, but decided against it, opting instead to enforce the city's noise laws.

Some people think Cabrera is on the right track.

``Look, we are behind the times,'' said resident Enrique Lopez. ``We are allowing these machines to operate between 70 to 75 decibels when the average noise level in residential areas is between 60 to 65 decibels.

``And we talk about being a green city, but these machines emit carbon dioxide and other contaminants,'' Lopez added. ``The people who are complaining about the ban don't know the harm these blowers cause.''

But he's in the minority. Detractors have sent angry e-mails to city leaders. Commissioner Maria Anderson said she's received at least 20 e-mails over the past two weeks -- with only one person supporting the ban.

``Please control noise by using time restrictions and not by eliminating a necessary tool for landscapers and homeowners,'' wrote Pablo Andrade, a resident. ``What's next? lawnmowers and boat engines? I hope you can let common sense prevail.''

Jose Perez, the owner of OrchidMan Landscape Artisans in Coral Gables, said if the ban passed, he would have to hire more workers and his crews would have to spend more time doing their work.

And those changes would likely force him to raise his prices.

``Honestly, it's funny because I really think the government should be worrying about other things right now instead of leaf blowers,'' Perez said.

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LawnSite Bronze Member
That's ridiculous. What the hell are they thinking go give some more tickets for loud music. There are too many other things to worry about besides leaf blowers like the one guy said. And if they are going to outlaw them why would they let people use them as early as 7:30 am Monday thru Thursday or whatever???


LawnSite Member
St. Louis, MO
Next it will be lawn mowers, due to their exhaust and noise. What a bunch of STUFF (saying it nicely):nono:. I guess we will all be back to rakes and push rotary mowers. Just to make some pick sob happy. Sorry to hear man. Thats sooo stupid:mad::realmad::gunsfirin


LawnSite Member
miami fl
This is where we do close to half our work!!!

This was the first thing I heard when I got in the truck this morning. This is a crazy city and is just getting worse. I allready called several customers to let them know we will drop them or raise prices AND lower standards if this passes. Called the loudest and most influential to try to get them to make noise at city hall. It is very hard to maintain houses that all range between 1 and 10 million dollars with no use of a blower. I have customers that range from federal judges to Miami Heat players and everything inbetween and they expect perfection most of the time. The blower and hedge trimmer are my most used tools.

What happened to freedom and equality in this country?:usflag:


LawnSite Member
miami fl
I know other places in the country have faced similar fights and won. I heard about stihl also filing a lawsuit in california a few years ago. Can anybody give some info on these things? What has been used in the past to fight lunatics like this? What has worked? What has not worked?

Input would be greatly appreciated.


LawnSite Platinum Member
very true, this country is becoming less and less a free one.

i completely disagree with the ban on blowers. although some of the things the law is proposing are things i have grown up with from day one.

ever since before i was born our city has had a noise ordance law that states no one can use power equipment of any kind outside of the hours of 8am to 9pm mon. thru sat. and 9am to 8pm on sun in residentially zones areas. commericially zoned areas are free game any time.

the part about blowing debris into the city street puzzles me though. i know people do it, unfortunately lco's are included. i disagree with blowing debris of any kind into a city street. i don't understand why so many people do it. it affects the appearance of your property. if you have sheot in the street infront of your property it doesn't matter how perfect your property looks, the sheot in the street will be noticed and take away from what your trying to accomplish by having a perfectly manicured property.


LawnSite Member
miami fl
They allready have the noise ordinance in place and do enforce it. We had the cops shut down one of our crews when they had 5 minutes or less to finish cleaning up after a 12 hour tree removal.


LawnSite Platinum Member
Northern KY
If they are going to ban them, they need to also ban their city crews from using them also, if the reason is spreading mold spores and the noise factor, then just because its a city worker using one, doesnt mean anything. You cant ban it for some and make it ok for some, doesnt work that way!


LawnSite Fanatic
Washington DC
guys you are looking at this the wrong way... it will take longer to do the you will need to charge more. think of the economic benefit to your bottom line. less fuel, less equipment, more billable hours...


I will say they have figured out to make a 600hp V8 run as quite as anything, maybe it time for the manufacturer to start doing better work on the mufflers to quiet them down a bit..


LawnSite Silver Member
Long Island
Man is that crazy. My BR500 backpack is quieter than an electric handheld leaf blower.
An if lawn mowers are allowed, what's to stop people from just buying push leaf vacuums. They're even louder, and raise even more dust and spores.

What is this world coming to?

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