By Sophie Gorman Oriani
At their June 21 meeting, the Hyattsville City Council adopted a new ordinance, banning the use of gas-powered leaf blowers within city limits, while also making other edits to the city’s noise ordinance.
The gas-powered leaf blower ban applies to both residents and contractors, and includes a rebate program to help offset the cost of purchasing an electric leaf blower. Initially, the rebate program will reimburse 75% of the cost of an electric leaf blower, gradually reducing down to 25%. The program will be open to city residents as well as contractors who serve at least 10 Hyattsville addresses.
The ban on gas-powered leaf blowers will take effect in about two years for residents, starting on July 1, 2024. The city and city contractors, however, will stop using gas-powered leaf blowers this upcoming August.
The city will give a person found to be violating the gas-powered leaf blower ban two warnings, then a $100 fine, then a $250 fine for each subsequent infraction.
While the council did not systematically overhaul city noise restrictions, the new ordinance did make some other changes to them, such as a removal of specifically prohibited decibel levels. Instead, the new ordinance restricts noise based on how far away from the property line it is able to be heard. The ordinance also amended the definitions of daytime, evening and nighttime hours.