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Current Ordinance: Blowers are allowed between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. The noise level, as measured 50 feet from the blower, cannot exceed 70 decibels (dBA) for blowers acquired before November 1995, or 65 dBA for blowers acquired after that time. Violations can be reported to the city at 264-5948.

City Council: The Council's Law & Legislation Committee (Council Members Heather Fargo, Steve Cohn, Robert Kerth, and Darrell Steinberg) discussed leaf blower regulation on February 3, 1998 but made no final decisions. The hearing's most significant outcome was that the issue will be back in six months.

Following a request from Cohn, the Sacramento Environmental Commission (SEC), an advisory body, had developed an eight-point list of recommendations for improving enforcement of the City's current leaf blower restrictions. These included educating the public and lawn care industry about the City's current ordinance, enforcing the noise limits (something not currently done), and eliminating the higher limit on older blowers. City staff, however, advised against any enforcement of noise limits, stating that "enforcement of dBA limits is not practical in actual field practice." They also pointed out that over the last year they had only received 125 complaints about leaf blower noise, a number they consider insignificant.

Cohn commented that he favored a ban, but knew that consensus did not exist among council members. He asked city staff to report back in six months with a more extensive analysis of alternatives and a report on experience in the 20 other California cities with bans. Fargo said she favored a middle step; that having blowers going all day, seven days a week was too much.


1999 Update of California State legislative action pertaining to leafblower regulation.

SB1651, a bill designed to regulate blowers on a statewide basis and prevent local governments from banning them, was withdrawn by the author on May 26, 1998. Click here to read a letter of thanks to all citizens who helped defeat the bill from lobbyist Leslie McFadden.

Read more about the defeat of SB1651 in NPC Success Stories.

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