Don Bergmann is a longtime Westporter. A close observer of the town, his regular comments on “06880” are always clear and concise.
Today — with fall (unfortunately) right around the corner — he’s thinking about leaf blowers. Here’s a copy of an email sent to all RTM members, 1st selectman Jim Marpe, and challengers Melissa Kane and John Suggs. Bergmann writes:
Noise in Westport bothers many, with many items of concern. My only interest is leaf blowers. I do not seek to complicate noise issues with a broad-based approach or decibel measurements, though a manufacturer’s decibel standard could apply to leaf blowers.
I would like to see Westport adopt an ordinance that would ban the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers by commercial users from May 1 through October 15. The ban would not apply to individual homeowners or renters for their own properties.
Gas-powered leaf blowers have become very noisy, and in my judgment are overused. They address minimal meaningful needs, other than for the clearing of leaves in the fall and general cleanup in early spring.
The gas units are especially environmentally undesirable. The noise is extremely annoying, particularly in areas of Westport zoned other than 2 acres. (Those living in 2-acre zones who believe the problem exists there as well should advise all.)
The noise is a a quality of life issue. The banning of gas-powered leaf blowers has received a fair amount of attention over the years, with communities looking into the issue and many, I believe, taking action.
I have accumulated some useful background information. I am aware that Save Westport Now has, independently of me, raised the same issue and is compiling relevant research. I believe SWN would make available that research if requested.
Bergmann asked each RTM member and candidate to respond. Meanwhile, “06880” readers: What do you think? Click “Comments” below.