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Leaf It Alone!

Alert — and displeased — “06880” reader Carl Swanson writes:

Westport is beginning to sound like a war zone, with high- powered leaf blowers polluting the air nearly every day and all daylight hours.

Greenwich and Ridgefield have restricted their use. Fifteen states have put restrictions on the noise makers.

Our entire street (off North Avenue) was awakened on Sunday morning at 7 a.m. to a neighbor’s lawn crew. There were 4 leaf blowers in use, working on a lawn for nearly 2 hours. Noise pollution.

What about the good ol Wonder Years days, when we raked the damn leaves but then got to burn them!

Carl is not alone. Emily Cooper graduated from Staples High School in 2011, a few decades after Carl. She returned to Westport after 5 years in Manhattan, to wait out the pandemic. She writes:

While I know bigger concerns weigh on most townspeople, over the last 8 months here I’ve been at points surprised, frustrated and saddened to realize that the peace and solace of the “country” is continually marred by incessant lawn and construction noise.

Particularly, now that many of us spend significant time working from home, we are treated daily, from early each morning through late in the evening, to noise from leaf blowers, lawn-mowers, tree choppers and and rock grinders.

I’ve read that nearby towns, notably Larchmont, passed a ban on leaf blowers. Even towns that permit use appear to have more stringent noise ordinances.

I contacted 1st Selectman Jim Marpe on the issue. He said it was a matter for the RTM. I spoke with one of my District 7 reps, who said a petition with 20 signatures would require bringing the matter to RTM attention.

Even if not a full ban on leaf blowers (which, in addition to the noise, create environmental damage), a few points of improvement could be limiting the hours further, and prohibiting construction on Sunday or the entire weekend.

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