Town forms committee to help draft landscape equipment law

Town forms committee to help draft landscape equipment law
Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth listens as a resident speaks at a town board meeting. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

The Town of North Hempstead has created an advisory committee to help draft a gas-powered landscape equipment law, officials said on Wednesday, months after first announcing it at a September meeting where regulations were first proposed.

At that September meeting, councilmembers proposed a law barring the use of gas-powered leaf blowers between June 1 and Sept. 30, which would have excluded homeowners using gas-powered leaf-blowers and not gone into effect until June 2019 so “battery powered equipment” could improve.

The meeting room was packed with landscapers, residents and some medical professionals, with every seat filled and dozens of people standing on the side or just outside the meeting room.

Landscapers and business owners at the time argued switching to battery or electric-powered blowers would add several hours of work, in turn pushing additional costs onto consumers.

They also said their equipment meets professional guidelines on noise and environmental requirements and that issues residents face primarily come from unlicensed operators.

Residents and medical doctors had argued that gas-powered leaf blowers are nonetheless spewing toxic chemicals, and excessive sound into the air and said battery-powered leaf-blowers could reduce these hazards and still get the job done.

The town then decided to keep the hearing open and put together the 15-person advisory committee, consisting of landscapers, environmentalists, residents, and town representatives to work with the Town Attorney’s office to draft revised legislation.

Carole Trottere, a spokeswoman for the Town of North Hempstead, said the committee’s first meeting “was productive” and that they hope to have legislation drafted by the summer.

Once a revised law is drafted the Town will publish a date for a public hearing.

“The goal of this advisory committee will be to give input and suggestions so that we can proceed with a wide range of knowledge,” Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said. “We are proceeding on this issue with thoughtfulness and patience.”

Currently the only prohibition with using leaf blowers comes with the times they can be operated, according to the town code. Motorized leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other landscaping equipment cannot be used prior to 8 a.m. or after 7 p.m. on a weekday, or prior to 10 a.m. or after 5 p.m. on a weekend or legal holiday.

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here