I don’t know about your neighborhood, but in mine, the gas blowers are continuing like nothing has changed.
We spoke with our gardeners when the law passed. There was some grumbling and a comment that the consumer would pay more in the end, but it was understood. But guess what – nothing changed: nothing, nada, zilch, zip, niente.
This week I spoke about this with our gardener, whom we have hired to mow and blow for years. He shrugged it off, saying that he worked in all kinds of places with leaf blower ordinances, and they were NEVER enforced. And besides, the electric ones don’t do a good job. Oh, and he doesn’t own an electric one to boot.
I let him know that it does matter to me and that I don’t want gas blowers used. He said he’d use a rake and buy an electric blower.
My sense is that this is what it’s going to take – not a law so much as home owners saying that we care about the noise and the pollution.
That was last week. We will see what this week brings. Meanwhile, my neighbors’ gardeners are continuing to make a racket. I’m hoping that they will step up and talk to their gardeners, too.
FAQs on the Los Gatos Leaf Blower Ordinance:
Almost every neighborhood has (at least) one house that either isn’t kept up or is somehow an eyesore. You know the sort of thing that drives neighbors a little crazy: cars parked on the front lawn, junk piled up which is visible to the street, homes or yards in a sorry state of disrepair, appliances stored outdoors – though clearly not usable, and many other things too numerous to list.
While this is perhaps less true in Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Almaden, or Saratoga than in some other parts of Silicon Valley, our scenic and upscale areas near the foothills are not immune. What does the town say about it? What are the regulations? Being a “go to the source” type of writer, I did just that and looked up the Town of Los Gatos’ ordinance for property condition requirements. (Click the link to see the text on the municode site.)
While some issues named below are cosmetic, many, perhaps most, are safety related and represent nuisances if not stopped. Most surprising to me is that dumpsters and pods are not supposed to be in the driveway for more than 72 hours at a stretch (item J below).
Have you ever read it? Have a read – and if any of it surprises you, please leave a comment!
Sec. 30.10.030. – Conditions of property.
An owner of real property shall not allow or maintain any of the following on his or her property:
a. Overgrown, diseased, dead or decayed trees, weeds or other vegetation, which:
(i) In the opinion of the Fire Marshal constitutes a fire hazard; or
(ii) In the opinion of the Town Engineer constitutes a danger to those using the property or adjacent public or private property.
b. The storage of equipment, materials, standing water, and/or vegetation overgrowth which are likely to harbor or provide habitat for rats, vermin, mosquitoes, and other pests;
c. Garbage, refuse, trash, debris or waste, except as stored in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 11 of the Town of Los Gatos Municipal Code;
d. Garbage receptacles in view from a public right-of-way, except within twenty-four (24) hours of the designated day and time the garbage is scheduled to be collected;
e. Graffiti which remains for a period longer than ten (10) days;
f. Conditions which, due to their accessibility to the public, may prove hazardous or dangerous, including, but not limited to:
(1) Unused and/or broken equipment;
(2) Abandoned wells, shafts or basements;
(3) Hazardous or unprotected pools, ponds or excavations;
(4) Structurally unsound fences or other structures;
(5) Machinery which is inadequately secured or protected;
(6) Lumber, trash, or debris;
(7) Storing or keeping of chemicals or motor oil;
(8) Refrigerators or appliances with the door(s) still attached.
g. Any airplane or other aircraft, or any parts thereof on residentially zoned property; Continue reading
April 21, 2014
Does the sound of leaf blowers annoy you? The Los Gatos Town Council plans to review a proposed ordinance on May 5th that proposes to limit their use in town. For the details, please use the following link and read the summary on the town’s website: