After three years of research, revision and debates, a town in Northern Westchester voted unanimously to adopt restrictions limiting the usage of gas-powered leaf blowers within their community.
The new legislation approved in New Castle aims to reduce emissions and noise pollution, and will only prohibit the usage of the equipment between June 1 and Sept. 30, starting in 2021.
New Castle joins Yonkers, Bedford, Mamaroneck and most recently the village of Larchmont among Westchester communities enacting similar measures.
The ban on the usage of gas-powered leaf blowers in the manicuring of Chappaqua Central School District’s & Town of New Castle’s recreational fields, tennis courts, country clubs’ tennis courts, homeowner associations’ tennis courts, swim clubs’ tennis courts, golf, courses, and cemeteries. However, according to the wording of the ordinance, this usage will be "minimized to the maximum extent practicable."
The town's administrator will also have the ability to allow the usage of gas-powered leaf blowers on a case-by-case basis.
Officials hope that area residents will switch out their gas-powered blowers for electric ones, listing affordable electric alternatives in a presentation on the new law and suggesting a future partnership with the American Green Zone Alliance or Sustainable Westchester to devise a trade-in program for residents.
According to the town board's presentation, area residents who have asked their landscapers to switch to electric leaf blowers "have found no visual difference in their property appearance" and have only experienced a slight increase in their property maintenance costs.
Now, the board aims to post mailers, fliers and signs placed throughout town notifying residents about the ordinance. They are also developing an educational seminars to present to property owners and landscapers in the community.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.