Newton City Council Considering Changes to the Leafblower Ordinance

Newton City Councilor Alicia Bowman wrote in her latest newsletter (April 12, 2021) of the discussion underway on changes to the existing Leafblower Ordinance.

The City Council is considering changes to the current leaf blower ordinance. We heard from many residents in the last week about this item. Interestingly enough, many seem to be unaware that Newton already has a leaf blower ordinance. The current ordinance limits the use of gas powered blowers to spring and fall cleanup, only electric only leaf blowers may be used from Memorial Day to Labor Day, as well as limits the noise level and number of machines that can be used on standard home lots throughout the year. While I strongly support transitioning to more environmentally sustainable and quieter landscaping practices, it is important that this is done is a way that is better adhered to than the current ordinance. More work is needed on education and the process should not rely heavily on enforcement. Consensus is to create a process for landscapers to register with the city and thus provided with the rules regulating landscaping in Newton. More work needs to be done to ensure there is a workable administrative process in place before this goes into effect (suggested timing is Labor Day). It is also important that there is sufficient time before enacting the changes to inform landscapers and homeowners of the new rules. If you would like to know more about this, Councilor Humphrey’s April 9th newsletter is very informative and provides much more detail on this.