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<br />Ms. Bettman agreed with Ms. Ortiz that there were many sources of noise pollution and they were not all <br />created by leaf and mulch blowers. She would not support a ban but would consider expansion of EC <br />4.083(h), which listed pile drivers, hammers and lawn mowers, to include leaf blowers and mulch blowers in <br />order to limit operations to a reasonable timeframe. She did not want to drastically impact landscaping <br />businesses, gardeners and people’s ability to care for their property. <br /> <br />Mr. Kelly observed that city dwellers should expect some noise although that did not mean residents should <br />have to tolerate unlimited noise. He said there was a balance point in government regulation and he hoped <br />that most noise problems were resolved through neighbor-to-neighbor conversation and courtesy. He <br />acknowledged that was not always the case. He received complaints from constituents about loud music <br />from parties or car stereos and, in particular, leaf blowers. He asked how other communities enforced <br />decibel-based codes. City Manager Taylor replied that the code was primarily decibel-based in the three <br />communities he lived in prior to Eugene and it required that enforcement officers responding to a complaint <br />use a device to measure the decibel level. He said it was easier to enforce time limits. <br /> <br />Mr. Kelly agreed with Ms. Bettman’s suggestion for expanding the number and type of devices restricted to <br />specific times. He said an issue with respect to leaf and mulch blowers was frequency; leaf blowers might <br />be used once a week and mulch blowers once or twice a season. He was not interested in imposing <br />restrictions on mulch blowers beyond prohibiting use between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. He was interested in <br />considering leaf blowers in greater detail both in terms of noise and the pollution from the fuel consumed by <br />inefficient engines. He asked for more details about the Davis, California ordinance. <br /> <br />Mr. Papé concurred with Ms. Ortiz, Ms. Bettman and Mr. Kelly. He noted that noise concerns were greater <br />in the summer when people had their windows open and lawn equipment was used and as the City densified, <br />those problems would be exacerbated. He would support adding leaf blowers to the code as well as Mr. <br />Kelly’s suggestion to expand the current list, but would not support a ban. <br /> <br />Mr. Poling stated he would not support banning mulch and leaf blowers. He said there were standards in <br />place that seemed to be working. He questioned the need for more regulations when the City had difficulty <br />enforcing those it now had. He was in favor of perhaps expanding the current ordinance to include devices <br />such as leaf blowers and power washers in restricted times. He would not support a ban because some <br />people were unable to perform manual labor on their own property and the cost to hire someone would be <br />prohibitive. He said mulch blowers actually did the community a service by distributing mulch efficiently <br />and reducing waste and runoff. <br /> <br />Ms. Piercy said she was in favor of expanding the list instead of banning. She encouraged businesses that <br />used those devices to find ways to lower the noise level. <br /> <br />Mr. Pryor declared that he owned an electric leaf blower and a power washer. He acknowledged the devices <br />made noise and operators wore hearing protection, although noise dissipated quickly over distance. He <br />agreed that the level of noise that was acceptable was an extremely subjective issue; however, a limitation on <br />hours of operation was not subjective. He agreed with previous speakers that there should not be a ban but <br />would favor a public hearing to determine what could be done to mitigate or control noise pollution. <br /> <br />Ms. Taylor said a ban on operation of leaf and mulch blowers from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. was ridiculous as <br />people were not mowing their lawns or using leaf blowers at 11 o’clock at night. She said there was more to <br />quality of life than sleeping. She said she was less bothered by noise when sleeping than when she was <br />having a cookout on the deck. She agreed that noise in an urban environment was unavoidable but reiterated <br />that leaf blowers did not seem to serve an obvious purpose as the leaves just went elsewhere. <br /> <br />MINUTES—City Council August 16, 2006 Page 2 <br /> Work Session <br /> <br />