In the rest of the world, my chief claim to fame is as the author of Pot-Shots. But in Santa Barbara, California, where I've lived since 1973, I am also known as the man who got rid of the leaf blowers. This reputation is not entirely deserved, since for one thing I had plenty of help, and for another, the leaf blowers were not entirely got rid of. But I did lead a successful campaign in 1997 which required the gathering of over 9000 signatures to place on the local ballot a measure banning all use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers within the City limits. The voters approved this law by a substantial majority, and it has been part of our Municipal Code ever since.
Electric-powered machines, being marginally less noisy and less polluting, were allowed to remain legal.
The leaf blower problem is widespread, but
in many places it is only seasonal. In our part of the world,
however, thanks to a congenial climate, it was a year-round plague.
Here is the actual wording of the law, as
embodied in Chapter 9.16 of the Santa Barbara Municipal Code:
Measure D97, adopted November 4, 1997, provides:
In order to secure and promote the public health, comfort, safety
and welfare, and to protect the rights of its citizens to privacy
and freedom from nuisance, it is the purpose of this ordinance
to prohibit unnecessary, excessive and annoying noises at levels
which are detrimental to the health and welfare of the community,
and to minimize airborne dust and pollen.
In the City of Santa Barbara, it is illegal to use gas powered leaf blowers at any time. (Municipal Code 9.16.020-021)
En la Ciudad de Santa Barbara, es illegal que se usen las sopladores de gas a cualquier hora. (El Código Municipal 9.16.020-021).