Home NEWS Government Lafayette Ponders Leaf Blower Ban

Lafayette Ponders Leaf Blower Ban


The City of Lafayette, citing common knowledge accepted by many for some time, is considering adding its name to the list of Bay Area cities and towns banning the use of gasoline powered leaf blowers within city limits.

Ordinance No. 688 – “Prohibiting the Use of Gasoline Powered Leaf Blowers” – has been scheduled for discussion by the City Council at its Sept. 26 meeting.

City staff recommends the council introduce the ordinance, hear public comments, waive the first reading, and continue the matter to October 10, 2023 for second reading and adoption.

If adopted, 688 will prohibit the use of gasoline powered leaf blowers within the City of Lafayette effective July 1, 2024. City staff, residents, and commercial landscape businesses will be prohibited from using gas powered leaf blowers except in emergency cases as authorized by the City.

By putting the ordinance in play, city officials say they seek to reduce community exposure to high levels of noise, hazardous exhaust, and evaporative emissions the machines are known to produce. Through implementation, city officials said they hope to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure compliance with AB 1346 – which prohibits the sale of gasoline powered small off-road engines (SORES) beginning January 1, 2024.

The City’s Environmental Task Force developed Ordinance No. 688 at the direction of the City Council and recommends its adoption.

Putting their money where their mouth is city officials said their staff and contractors will also be required to abide by the new law. Both the Public Works Department and Parks, Trails, and Recreation Department have added battery powered leaf blowers to their inventory. Public Works has five “rarely used” gas powered leaf blowers in its inventory and they are being phased out, according to city staff.

Despite what many believe to be an immediately beneficial impact to such a ban, Lafayette does expect resistance to its ordinance and plans to launch an educational campaign prior to any enforcement effort.

City officials admit enforcement will be “challenging” as landscape crews move from site to site and the duration of use for leaf blowers is generally not long. City staff anticipates a sharp rise in the number and frequency of complaints if the ordinance is implemented as expected. Complaints may be filed using the city’s existing online request form through GoGov. When a complaint is received, Code Enforcement staff will follow a standardized procedure designed to ensure compliance.

If No. 688 passes, Lafayette will become the latest of hundreds of cities and counties that have enacted laws restricting leaf blowers and other landscape equipment nationwide. More than 40 California cities have already enacted such laws, including Carmel (1975) as well as the Bay Area municipalities of Belvedere (1987), Piedmont (1990), Los Altos and Berkeley (both 1991).

Other Bay Area cities with restrictions on gas leaf blowers include Mill Valley, Tiburon, Los Gatos, Sebastopol, Sonoma, Portola Valley, Alameda, Palo Alto, Novato, and Menlo Park.


    • Nope.

      Contrary to the flood of propaganda on social media, stealing less than $950 in California is petty theft, a misdemeanor criminal offense punishable by up to 6 months in county jail and a $1,000 fine. See Cal. Penal Code sections 488 and 490.

      Lafayette’s proposed Ordinance No. 688 is an administrative (non-criminal) infraction, and violations subject offenders to citations which start at up to $100 for the first violation.

      Stealing less than $950 will be more serious than using a gasoline powered leaf blower, even if Lafayette adopts the proposal.

      • “Campo Cougar” since you keep responding to these posts… it’s not propaganda because it’s the same people and targeted groups robbing people and keep getting out again and again. But since you clearly live in a sheltered area and are worried about the sound of leaf blowers… how would you know?

        • Rest assured, contentions that petty theft is not a crime in California are indeed baseless propaganda. See Cal. Penal Code sections 488 and 490.

          Whether police officers diligently enforce criminal statutes AND present prosecutors with colorable evidence sufficient to sustain criminal charges is quite another matter.

  1. So if you have a landscaping business you are going to be doing fewer yards in a day due to battery recharging or raking. More batteries used up will go into a landfill? I HATE blowers…but the government telling people how to manage their businesses is bs. Landscapers make money on many yards they can mow and blow in a day.
    First world problems for sure KARENS….

    • More of the usual tired and divisive arguments: The fix for air pollution we can SEE will cause more pollution. The poor landscapers will go out of business (they won’t). Anyone arguing for a cleaner, quiet environment is a whiner. But – above all – government intervention. Sound familiar???

      PASS 688!!!

      • Those poor landscapers! I think similar tears were shed for all the bars and restaurants when smoking was prohibited inside. Pass 688 and maybe Walnut Creek will follow. The day has come folks.

        • I sent an email a month ago to WC Mayor/City Council asking them to get rid of gas powered leaf blowers in WC. I would encourage anyone who feels the same to do the same thing.

    • Mowed green lawns. Buffed nails and pedicures. The coiffure. These are among life’s non-essentials, first-world perquisites most often provided by recent immigrants trying to gain a toehold on economic survival in a new world. The freedom lovers newly discovered interest in their well-being and success is amusing. Also, no responsible person dumps batteries in the landfill. Why suggest that will be the outcome? Weak argument.

    • You mean a community that carefully considers residents’ quality of life, overall health and cherishes serene its naturally serene aesthetic?

      Yep, “so Lafayette.”

  2. Makes far too much sense to implement. Some chucklehead will complain about their rahhgt to chase a leaf around their driveway at six in the morning.

  3. Every other town has this. Up in Calistoga, it hasn’t affected business users and they launched a rebate program where business and residents could get $150 for a new leaf blower. Honestly about time and I hope Moraga joins.

  4. There are now viable options to gas powered leaf blowers and no need for them. All they do is create noise/air pollution. Get rid of them!

  5. About time! Love this and hope the surrounding communities follow suit. Per the reflexive whining about “freedom” from opponents, the analogy above to the cigarette ban in bars and restaurants is spot on. Your freedom should not include the freedom to pollute the air and noise level for others, especially when cleaner and quieter options are readily available.

  6. Battery powered ones will STILL blow dust!
    Mental giants!
    Where do they think the power for the batteries come from??

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