Some Ridgefield residents are up in arms over the use of gas-powered leaf blowers.

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Concerned citizens circulated a petition with the goal of ammeding town regulations to restrict the use of leaf blowers. The petition ended up with 411 signatures and caught the attention of Ridgefield leaders who scheduled a public hearing and town meeting to vote on the ordinance.

 

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According to the Patch, the petition was organized by individuals from the Energy Task Force and the Ridgefield Action Committee for the Environment who say these leaf blowers are far too loud.

If the amendment passes the vote, there will be strict guidelines on when an individual could use a gas-powered leaf blower. The amendment also calls for violators to be hit with a warning on the first offense, a $250 fine on the second offense and a $250 fine for any subsequent offense.

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What brought this on? When will the matter be resolved?

  • A couple of weeks ago a resident went to a Board of Selectman meeting, requesting the town, ban internal combustion leaf blowers.
  • Subsequent to that meeting, the individual petitioned 411 signatures from registered voters In an effort to create an ordinance.
  • The Board of Selectman were required to hold a public hearing and a town meeting to vote on the proposed ordinance (11/29/23).
  • The selectmen will set the date for the vote during the Wednesday (11/29/23) BOS meeting.
  • The vote that resolves the matter will likely take place some time in December.

NOTE: This article was being written hours before the first public hearing. We will share the results of that meeting as soon as we have them. 

UPDATE: Below is audio from the (11/29/23) meeting where they scheduled a public hearing for December 13th. 

They also set a Town Meeting for January 3, 2024 for the proposed amendments to the Town Code of Ordinances.

We spoke about this on the Wednesday (11/29/23) edition of the I-95 Morning Show and I took an awesone/extreme stance.

 

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After we spoke about the issue on the I-95 Morning Show, our listeners weighed in on the I-95 Rock Mobile app, here are some of their comments.

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John - Roxbury, CT: "Ridgefield people should just burn the leaves."

Everyone is a Snowflake - Roxbury, CT: "The problem is when they ban leaf blowers the money people who hire them to have their leaves cleaned up won't pay anymore money to clean their leaves up and expect the contractor to do it for less. Typical haves and have nots."

Jim - Pawling, NY: "Leaf blowers should be banned gas powered only. Loud noisy use rakes much quieter. Mulching is a good option. We need to rethink the entire leaf removal operation, there is too much emphasis on blowers. Replant different species of trees, then there are less droppings and less waste. Designate areas of property composting leafs mixing yard waste as a future use soil. Simply be aware of your environment protecting earth natural resources, air quality noise reduction and less pollution in whatever you do. Think globally, Happy Holidays."

Lurch - Prospect: "You should all show up in Ridgefield with leaf blowers." 

Vesig - Stratford, CT: "Ridgefield is late to the leaf blower party. Westport and Norwalk already banned gas powered blowers and they set the hours they can use them." 

On November 16, 2023 a Ridgefield resident posted the following on Ridgefield Facebook group and got over 150 responses.

"Hi there! I don't mean to complain and I realize and am grateful that we all live in Connecticut which has the most beautiful fall season..... but is anyone else having an issue with the CONSTANT SOUND OF BLOWERS?!?! Perhaps there could be an ordinance of a day without that noise? Saturday? Sunday? I'll take any day of the week"

Lets just say the comments she got back were enough to make her post this later:

"I'm certain a percentage of the adult men and women of this particular group won't care and will make snide comments about this post I'm making now. Go for it. I'm just as certain that another percentage are shocked and saddened by the rude and snide comments posted to an earlier comment of mine. Thank you for your support and words of kindness. It meant more than you could know. I'm going to leave this group because I don't like hanging out where bullies hang out. Particularly adult bullies.
What a shame for Ridgefield."
It appears there are some strong opinions on this one.

EDITORIAL: Over the years I've worked many, many hours on leaf removal and all I can think about is the back-breaking labor. The difference between using a leaf blower and not using one is tremendous. The work is so much easier with a leaf blower and it's soul sucking without one.

Then, you'll have someone who will say, don't use a gas-powered leaf blower. Which is an awesome answer unless you're a landscaper who has to replace every unit in their fleet and deal with the cost and aggravation of battery packs. Good luck to us all, we can't even get this s-- straight.

It is creating some hilarious content, a friend sent me this.

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Check the Town of Ridgefield website for video of the meeting/vote on the leaf blower issue.

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