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You Ask, Patch Answers: When Will Los Gatos Ban Leaf Blowers?

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"You Ask ... Patch Answers” is our Sunday column where we strive to find answers to all your questions—big, small and in-between—about the town we live and work in.

Whether it’s something you’ve always wondered about, some information you just can’t put your hands on or a sudden curiosity, we want to hear it.

Send your queries to sheila.sanchez@patch.com or leave them in the comments section below, and I will do my best to dig up an answer for you. You also can call me at 408-391-8725.

This week, Los Gatos Patch reader David J asked and commented: "I suffer from migraines. This is total noise pollution. On both sides of my home are condos. The leaf blowers seem like they are going for hours. They cause instant migraines in my case. A ban would not come too soon. Will the town ban them?"

Los Gatos Parks and Public Works Director Todd Capurso said the leaf blower issue has not yet been addressed by by the Los Gatos Town Council. It was touched upon a few months back because it is referenced in the town’s Sustainability Plan, which has been approved. It is likely to be considered by Council in the latter half of 2013.

Capurso explained the Sustainability Plan tells the town things it needs to pursue to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and most of its measures deal with how to reduce vehicle trips, how to build intersections and roads to prevent gridlock traffic causing pollution and others.

One of the plan's recommendations is that if the town wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a certain amount, it should consider banning gas-powered, two-stroke engines that power leaf blowers, Capurso said. "This doesn't mean they're banned. It means that in the next number of years the town will very likely have to consider the issue. It's not considering the issue now."

Peter Cook December 30, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Can they also ban two-stroke scooters on the sidewalk too ?
Jeffrey McClanahan, M.D. December 30, 2012 at 06:08 PM
It sounds like the Town Council is worried more about emissions and yet most of the resident's I speak with are concerned by the noise. I agree with the original question and suggest we take it up a notch and get a petition before the council sooner than "late in 2013" Anyone else interested?
Leon Pappanastos December 30, 2012 at 06:39 PM
I agree with the Dr. If noise is the problem there must be away to put a muffler on the machines. If emissions are the the concerns lets do something about the diesel trucks going up and down our streets. Living in our modern world there are many things that are irritating but I don't think things are lot worse than they were 10 years ago. Let people get their work done. How about getting contractors to reduce the noise when they are building homes!! Leon Pappanastos, DMD
LGResident December 30, 2012 at 07:57 PM
To be honest, all those leaf blowers do is blow leaves from one place to another, until the next gust of natural wind disperses them around again. Banning them would be beneficial for all sorts of reasons...
LGCRC Coffee drinker December 31, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Cars make a lot more noise and co2 than the leave blowers. We need to ban all cars and have people riding bikes. I still dont understand why we dont have parking meters. What about plastic bag ban? San Jose is doing it. Dublin is about to ban garbage bags and landfill unfriendly shoes. Shoes made of hemp are biodegradable.
Jeanne Rajabzadeh December 31, 2012 at 05:45 AM
In my neighborhood they come on different days for different homes, so I have to put up with hours of noise at least three days a week. Two of the gardeners blow leaves on to my property unless I am home to watch them. I do my own gardening and rake by hand. Putting up with the hours and hours of noise and the mess week after week is annoying. I would welcome the peace and quiet of a ban.
Michael Silva December 31, 2012 at 04:03 PM
MS, Ah yes, leaf blowers. Not only are they loud and noisy, they do throw emissions, into the air, they also spread various weed seeds into others yards as well. Blow n Go, what ever happen to a rake, broom and dust pan. Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up>>> I see it is the homeowners,you and your neighbors responsibility to ban the blowers away from your homes. After all, you have hired them. Come on people, what are you thinking, you need the town to do it for you. Step up, get a grip. ms
Bonnie Coburn January 01, 2013 at 10:53 PM
I think Los Gatos is a very bike UN-friendly town. It is impossible to ride a bike safely any where along Santa Cruz Ave and any where along University Avenue. Also, on Hwy 9/Los Gatos-Saratoga Road, it is so dangerous when crossing by the off & on ramps to Hwy 17. Who do we write to to see if something can be done? Do other bikers feel this way? At minimum, a standard sign indicating bikers-can-take- the-lane should appear. You see these signs on the roads all over Santa Cruz. Any thoughts/comments?
Sandy Vaurs June 12, 2013 at 04:29 PM
Banning the blowers cannot happen too soon IMO. They blow dirt all over the (my) place, make a horrible racket, cause the neighbors' dogs to bark and drive me up the wall. Who wants to join forces to bring this before the town council?

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