“There’s been a slow but steady stream of complaints by many residents about leaf blowers, particularly with the noise level,” said Pacific Grove Mayor Bill Peake.
Landscapers and gardeners decry the move but acknowledge that banning blowers seem to be inevitable. Geovanni Oseguera has owned and operated Greener Bay Landscaping for 20 years. The company serves customers from the Monterey Peninsula to San Francisco, including Pacific Grove. He has seen bans go into effect in Palo Alto, Redwood City, Los Gatos, Los Altos and Sunnyvale.
He said he has had to explain to his customers that he will need to charge higher prices because his crews will need to stay on-site longer to clean up leaves that otherwise would have been removed faster with a leaf blower. But he said his customers have been accommodating about the need to raise prices.
One hired landscaper blows debris one way and another blows it back. Battery and electric blowers get a pass.
“The direction we are moving in is enforceable, better for the environment, and will bring some noise relief to our neighborhoods,” councilwoman Jenny McAdams told The Pine Cone Sept. 19. “Carmel has had a successful prohibition of gas-powered leaf blowers since 1975. This is long overdue for Pacific Grove and I am grateful for Mayor Pro-Tem Robert Huitt’s leadership on this issue.”
The council’s unanimous decision directed city staff to work with the city attorney on amending its municipal code and return with a draft ordinance to be considered by the council. Councilmen Nick Smith and Joe Amelio were absent at the meeting.