Council to mull leaf-blower ban

Opponents of gasoline-powered leaf blowers scored a victory Wednesday when the Sonoma City Council agreed to consider a ban of the noisy devices.

A persistent group of opponents, led by author and screenwriter Darryl Ponicsan, presented its views to the council, but not all were happy with the outcome.

Among the parade of speakers were several who asked for bans on all types of leaf blowers, citing health concerns. But the council was not yet ready to take that step, nor was it inclined to send the issue back to the Community Services and Environment Commission.

When the city’s noise ordinance was modified in 2011, the commission held several hearings and made recommendations. As a result, hours of allowable residential operation were set from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Saturday, with use banned on Sundays and holidays.

Commercial use is limited to the hours of 7 to 11 a.m., and in parks and public places, blowers are allowed from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and are banned on weekends and holidays

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