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Apr 22, 2019 4:16 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Village Approves Ban On Summertime Gas-Powered Leaf Blower Use

Dieter von Lehsten spoke in favor of a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers during a public hearing on March 14. GREG WEHNER
Apr 25, 2019 7:13 AM

Southampton Village officials have approved two laws aimed at regulating the landscaping industry, after listening to and weighing the concerns of both landscapers and members of the community.

“That is going to completely outlaw the use of gas-powered leaf blowers … during the summertime,” Southampton Village Mayor Michael Irving said following the unanimous votes on April 11, for which Village Trustee Richard Yastrzemski was not in attendance. “I think it’s a much needed thing. There were numerous complaints on the leaf blowers.”

One of the laws, which goes into effect in May, places a ban on the use of gas-powered leaf blowers during the summer season. The other, which will not go into effect until January 1, 2020, requires landscapers to register annually if they want to work in the village.

By requiring landscapers to register, village officials say they will be able to monitor which are properly licensed and insured. Not only that, the registry ensures that landscapers understand the other law that was passed—one dealing with the noise and nuisance associated with gas-powered landscaping equipment—before they can work in the village.

The cost to register with the village is $75 annually, which can be modified from time to time by the Village Board

Under the nuisance law, landscapers—though the law also applies to homeowners themselves as well—only will be permitted to use gas-powered leaf blowers from September 21 through May 19, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday. The use of the equipment will be prohibited on Sundays throughout the year, as well as federal and state holidays.

The restrictions also apply to tennis and beach clubs, as well as to municipal employees.

The equipment may be used if the mayor declares a state of emergency after a major storm, when more powerful gas-powered equipment is preferred over electric-powered equipment.

Only two handheld or backpack leaf blowers are allowed to be used at a single property smaller than a half acre, according to the law.

Mr. Irving said police will not necessarily be out enforcing the new law, but if someone complains, the police will be dispatched.

“I suspect that the landscapers themselves are going to be enforcing it,” the mayor said of the new law. “A lot of them are making a concerted effort to switch to battery-powered, so they aren’t going to put up with somebody using a gas-powered unit.”

Anyone who violates the nuisance law could face a fine of up to $1,000, up to 15 days in jail, or a combination of both.

The main reason the registry law is being put off until January 1, Mr. Irving said, is because the village does not have the ability to enforce it. He added that the village is in the process of hiring additional personnel in the Building Department to do so.

Once in place, a first-time violation of the registration could carry a fine of $250 to $500, a second offense could carry a fine of between $500 and $2,500, and a third offense could be carry a fine as high as $5,000.

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Empty Village. Empty Streets.
By Draggerman (890), Southampton on Apr 22, 19 6:11 PM
Definition of "landscaping business"? Criteria for licensing ?
By bigfresh (4304), north sea on Apr 22, 19 6:46 PM
Can you imagine how many licenses and permits it requires to work in any capacity in SH? Think of the lunacy. They charge $75.00 to get this particular permit then the village has to go out and hire additional personnel to enforce the new code. Anyone think the fines generated will ever be enough to pay the salaries and benefits for the new hires? Ha!

And the geniuses wonder why there are so many vacancies on Main Street and real estate prices are dropping like a rock.
By BillWillConn3 (177), Southampton on Apr 22, 19 7:18 PM
Where exactly in the village are real estate prices dropping like a rock? I know someone who pays $1500/month to rent a one bedroom apartment in the village and that's about as cheap as you'll get out here.
By Enviro Guy (28), Southampton on Apr 23, 19 8:07 AM
1 member liked this comment
$70,000 for a person to enforce leaf blowers? Now my taxes have to go up to pay for battery powered blowers that are not yet proven... How about chain saws, weed wackers etc?
Better break out the banjos and go to 7-11 for help...
By knitter (1684), Southampton on Apr 22, 19 7:47 PM
nail guns, power washers, air compressors, lawn mowers, weed whackers, power saws??!! Hope the Village has budgeted for the legal fees that will be incurred when someone decides to fight being fined.
By bigfresh (4304), north sea on Apr 22, 19 8:10 PM
2 members liked this comment
String trimmers (weed wachkers) hedge trimmers and chain saws can cause as much noise as the blowers. Not sure this will solve the problem
By Cercis (6), hampton bays on Apr 22, 19 8:10 PM
as much and much more
By bmr80 (30), east quogue on Apr 23, 19 7:07 PM
Government by amateurs
By CPalmer (61), Southampton on Apr 22, 19 9:28 PM
Not just amateurs but by DUMB AMATEURS
By jediscuba (64), Suthampton on Apr 25, 19 1:02 PM
Bravo! These machines detract from the peace and beauty that people live here for. They pollute the environment and a ready replacement is available. I applaud the Village and hope the Town follows.
By rouff11 (8), water mill on Apr 22, 19 10:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
Are you aware of how many local ppl here own legal registered landscaping companies and what that would do do this area if the Town followed suit?

Think about what a Town wide ban would do to the hardworking local people who either own gas blowers or who cant afford to buy electric or pay for the electricity. FYI, an electric plower plugged in can be costly if your on a budget. And think about all those lil ticks that are hibernating in your leaf piles.

P.S. This place is NO ...more
By toes in the water (804), southampton on Apr 23, 19 6:34 AM
2 members liked this comment
If the cost of performing the service increases b/c of new equipment and or electric costs - this should be reflected in the rate that the business charges their customers.

Also - some people like to preserve whats left of our quiet - a place that does still exist.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (660), southampton on Apr 23, 19 6:59 AM
Born and raised an very well aware of what little quiet is left here. This place is NOT the same. Replacing one noisy machine with another nosey machine isn't preserving the quiet. TY .
By toes in the water (804), southampton on Apr 23, 19 7:10 AM
1 member liked this comment
Do these fools realize how loud electric blowers are? Lmfao
By CaptainSig (707), Dutch Harbor on Apr 23, 19 5:18 AM
SILENCE!! you must be quiet! Its tourist season. Shhhhh!
By toes in the water (804), southampton on Apr 23, 19 6:19 AM
2 members liked this comment
Economic Socialism is here...private ownership with Government control. Anything to get a fee, anything to control business, anything to invade privacy. Horrible. Restrict hours through an ordinance. Easy and done. No need for another permit. Just a way to raise revenue. You can't fix stupid.
By The Real World (363), southampton on Apr 23, 19 7:30 AM
Neofeudalism.
By Mr. Z (11254), North Sea on Apr 25, 19 2:36 AM
Good one, I’d like to hear leaf blowers day and night. Every aspect of everyone’s life has rules and regulations to live by, its not socialism, what you want is anarchy.heres the simple definition of socialism.Socialism is an economic and political system where the ways of making a living (factories, offices, etc.) are owned by the workers who run them and the people who depend on them, meaning the value made belongs to the people who make it, instead of a group of private owners...... ...more
By Fred s (2449), Southampton on Apr 23, 19 7:36 AM
Next will be the proposal to install diesel powered generators in the Village for the summer to offset the high demand of electricity. Yet diesel emissions are worse than gas....
By toes in the water (804), southampton on Apr 23, 19 8:10 AM
1 member liked this comment
When someone is using their leaf blower at midnight tell them to get a life. Simple times of use would work, just like other villages. M-f 9-5 something like that. Seems fine and proven to be adhered to. The bigger point is the "banning" and charging fees and more governmental control.
By The Real World (363), southampton on Apr 23, 19 8:34 AM
1 member liked this comment
Licensing fees, everyone pays them. This law is a good thing. Everyone acts like it’s the end of the world, no noisy leaf blowers.a good law against a crappy machine.
By Fred s (2449), Southampton on Apr 23, 19 8:51 AM
First Wold Problems! The Villages out east worry about the most insignificant issues. Electric leaf blowers make noise! They don't work as well, so it will take longer to clean up. So now you have slightly less noise, but for longer durations. The east end Villages don't have real problems, so they have to invent them.
By deelove (147), Bridgehampton on Apr 23, 19 8:56 AM
1 member liked this comment
Based on this reporting the new law only places leaf blower restrictions on landscapers. Homeowners are not restricted.Right?
By V.Tomanoku (725), southampton on Apr 23, 19 9:48 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By toes in the water (804), southampton on Apr 24, 19 6:50 AM
We hope Mike Irving likes the view from where his head is.
Apr 23, 19 10:09 AM appended by themarlinspike
The law is unenforceable. Protest by using your already owned gas equipment. Send a loud & clear message.
By themarlinspike (304), Northern Hemisphere on Apr 23, 19 10:09 AM
"Bravo! These machines detract from the peace and beauty that people live here for. They pollute the environment and a ready replacement is available. I applaud the Village "

If it truly was about noise and air pollution it would be a year round ban.
Once again, the part time summer people dictating the agenda.
By Thedudes (2), East Hampton on Apr 23, 19 11:37 AM
Homeowners can still use gas powered blowers and landscapers can use battery powered blowers which aren't much quieter. Southampton Village Police Dept is going to be inundated with calls this summer because people think "blowers are banned".
By cmac (175), East Quogue on Apr 23, 19 3:31 PM
The summertime ban on gas-powered leaf blowers is for everyone--that includes property owners and landscapers. Hope this clears up the confusion.
By gwehner (2), Southampton on Apr 23, 19 3:53 PM
1 member liked this comment
Thanks for the clarification. May I suggest edit to paragraph 6:"Under the nuisance law, landscapers as well as property owners will only be permitted to use gas-powered leaf blowers from September 21 through May 19...or drop landscapers and replace with everyone...:)
By V.Tomanoku (725), southampton on Apr 23, 19 6:29 PM
Absolute morons, They could have just banned their use on the weekends but like most morons they wanted to spite everyone and went to far... so i will make sure to blow my own house on Sunday mornings and for 3 times as long as necessary until this madness is met with a compromise !

My house my blower... try and stop me Mr. Cummings !
By Undocumented Democrat (1929), southampton on Apr 23, 19 6:04 PM
The power of the rake !!!!!
By Local247 (28), Southampton on Apr 23, 19 10:34 PM
You know where you can store that rake when your not using it right.
By Undocumented Democrat (1929), southampton on Apr 24, 19 2:02 AM
2 members liked this comment
Just remember , this ban is BIAS. It appeals to the Summer crowd only. Do they also get golden beach parking stickers that will allow them to have the parking spaces closest to the beach? Or to park in any parking space they want to for as long as they want bc they are more valuable than a local?

Bias. Shameful.
By toes in the water (804), southampton on Apr 24, 19 6:49 AM
It’s a noise ordinance, plain and simple. I’m sure many year round residents are happy with it. I live here yr round, leaf blowers are loud obnoxious pies of junk. Do you really think the worlds gonna end because people can’t blow non existent leaves off their lawn all summer?
By Fred s (2449), Southampton on Apr 24, 19 7:42 AM
This is great - from a year round resident the buzz of leaf blowers is non-stop all season. If it's not one neighbor is the next one from early morning till end of day. They are a great tool for spring cleanup and fall cleanup when there are actual leaves to blow into a pile to collect, but most of the season they are simply blowing dirt, dust, and all kinds of other debris right up into the air which comes back down again or over into the neighbors yard.
By SHResident (56), Southampton on Apr 24, 19 7:58 AM
2 members liked this comment
What a JOKE!! Enough RULES, LAWS !! How about bring back
"Old Southampton" Where people who live here year round enjoyed meeting friends in town, where you were able to afford to go out to eat.
More and more locals are leaving because it SUCKS being swallowed up by so many restrictions.
By mychildmatters (63), SOUTHAMPTON on Apr 24, 19 1:38 PM
Its understandable . I dont live in the village. We have all seen guys walking around with a blower full throttle and accomplishing absolutely nothing. It's a shame it has come to this . If people were a little more considerate and a little less worried about charging out hours it may not have come to this. It seems to be against our basic rights to enjoy our properties especially if we do not hire help. Oh well , another notch for the fun being taken away.
By SHD management (10), on Apr 24, 19 1:50 PM
"We have all seen guys walking around with a blower full throttle and accomplishing absolutely nothing."

Some people are so ignorant of what they are railing against. This machine serves a purpose it cleans up the grit and dirt the rest of the job leaves behind.

You want to talk about billing out hours ??? Just wait until you get the bill for an extra two to three guys it will take to replace what this machine does. It takes 3 men 5 times as long to rake and broom the dirt, ...more
By 27dan (2690), Shinnecock Hills on Apr 24, 19 4:58 PM
exactly! well said!! serves a purpose is even an understatement. These people are not going to be happy with how their properties come out and/or their sky high bills when blowers are not part of the equation.
By bmr80 (30), east quogue on Apr 24, 19 5:58 PM
The people pushing for this ban do not care... and there is no one representing the others that it will effect!

Its time someone forms a action commie to fight back against these people who want to kill progress at every turn. both in the ARBs ridiculous re vegetation regulations, No fences, or square footage and a town board out of control in their attempts to recreate a silent and no cell phone world of yesteryear!

See you at the lemonade social on Sunday bitter Fred. Maybe ...more
By joe hampton (3339), The Hamptons on Apr 24, 19 6:55 PM
Joe, bring your “A” game to the horseshoe throwing. I’m a one rotation on the money ringer guy. Spare me the bitter part , your long winded spiel about the end of the world because sensible people came up with a noise regulation. Long overdue , I might add. Someone has to come up with a quieter machine, simple as that. Then feel free to blow dust and crap all over your yard.
By Fred s (2449), Southampton on Apr 25, 19 1:21 PM
Exactly - why should we care?
- year round residents also don't like the noise
- year round residents also work in this field
- summer residents and year round residents complain about the noise
- people will now be charged more for a service because more time or equipment investment is required
- businesses will be properly compensated
- noise will be less

what is the problem?
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (660), southampton on Apr 24, 19 9:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
Its hard enough for us landscaping company's to get done in time for the weekend during the season with the traffic and the D O T .....add in a rain day or god forbid two and now this !

You have no consideration for what we do because you loath what you call the 1 Percent !

Would you feel the same way if the town outlawed blow dryers at salons and said the stylist would have to use a Chinese fan to dry your hair? I think not, but since it is the "rich " and there over the top ...more
Apr 25, 19 2:06 AM appended by Undocumented Democrat
I would be willing to bet good $ that Dieter von Lehstens lawn is weeds and dirt and could care less
By Undocumented Democrat (1929), southampton on Apr 25, 19 2:06 AM
If you can't get your work done on time you need to hire more workers. And make sure all are citizens or otherwise eligible to work here. It's all very simple.

I also disagree with you about the guy's lawn. I don't believe his lawn is capable of caring at all.
By VOS (1183), WHB on Apr 25, 19 3:18 AM
1 member liked this comment
Why are you so against charging your customers more if you have to invest in additional capital to do the job or the job requires more time or employees to do.
The ban effects everyone so the playing field is level.

By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (660), southampton on Apr 25, 19 6:51 AM
Hey Vos don't you worry about weather my man are legal or not, If you want them out then do work raids and deport anyone you find that is breaking the law.

I will be raising the price of my services in the village 20% across the board to cover the added aggravation ....There ! Now everyone is happy !

Morons best not complain about the increase because all of us landscapers talk and the price just went way up to do business in the village of Southampton !
By Undocumented Democrat (1929), southampton on Apr 25, 19 8:25 AM
I’m sure your customers will be thrilled you consider them morons.
By Fred s (2449), Southampton on Apr 25, 19 8:44 AM
1 member liked this comment
Proof that it's not only the blowers that are loud, but the people that operate them too! I can feel the hot air swirling around my neck this very moment. I'm a year round Village resident and business owner and I couldn't be more happy that the Village board passed the noise ordinance law. I counted five men blowing a 1/4 acre lot next to me last week and it was absolutely unnecessary. It's not just the 1% who who want peace and quiet.
By ArturoBandini (26), on Apr 25, 19 6:04 PM
Mr Bandini, I have to ask. Were these 5 men leaf blowing all day? 5 men means in and out as quick as possible. Id rather 5 guys blowing for 15 minutes than 1 guy leaf blowing for 2 1/2 hours.

Is it an issue of the amount of workers operating leaf blowers all at once, that is unnecessary? Or the amount of time during the week that your hearing the blowers?
By toes in the water (804), southampton on Apr 25, 19 9:27 PM
You can ask whatever you'd like. They were blowing long enough to make me happy for the noise pollution ban and there's nothing to stop them from doing the same to the neighbor's yards the rest of the week. Let's be honest, some of you have a financial interest in the use of leaf blowers and you're acting like someone is taking away your 2nd amendment right as a result of ban. I get it, but other than the estate section, the village is dense and I'd rather have quiet enjoyment of my property than ...more
By ArturoBandini (26), on Apr 25, 19 10:00 PM
Thank you Bandini. I asked two specific questions that you did not directly answer. Validation perhaps. In all honestly, I have zero financial interest in the use of leaf blowers. I do however know many local landscapers ( licensed & insured ) who will be affected negatively by this Summer only ban. If you live in the dense area of the village, you must expect a certain level of extra noise, especially during the work day. Its the equivalent of moving next to a race track an than complaining about ...more
By toes in the water (804), southampton on Apr 26, 19 7:12 AM
A question: how does a gardening company , not a landscape company or a mow and blow operation fall under the umbrella of a HOME IMPROVEMENT license?
By bigfresh (4304), north sea on Apr 25, 19 6:37 AM
All the license does is make sure the company’s have workman’s comp and liability insurance. It’s for the homeowners safety., or protecting the homeowners liability from un- insured workers.
By Fred s (2449), Southampton on Apr 25, 19 6:50 AM
What about airport noise...Start there
By mr. met (5), Sagaponack on Apr 25, 19 12:20 PM
Like so many east end town, the Southampton Village Elders are in LOVE with themselves. For the most part, this new regulation might even be unconstitutional as the punishment does not fit the crime. If I have leaves on my property during the summer, I am sure as hell going to blow them off. I'm tired of stupid government regulations. So long as I don't use my blower before 9am or after 6pm on weekdays .... or before 10am after 5pm on weekends ..... Come fine me and I'll sue you for breach of civil ...more
By jediscuba (64), Suthampton on Apr 25, 19 1:00 PM
Just what SH Town needs, some more regulations on the books along with some cushy jobs for inspectors to hang out by the EQ 7-11 store during working hours.

Eventually homeowners figure out that only way they will get caught if they have an uber-PITA neighbor that is willing to keep contacting city hall the 7 or 8 times before the bosses give an order for the inspector to go issue a ticket for the sole purpose of keeping said PITA neighbor from making any more complaints for a while.
By Seajay (5), East Quogue on Apr 27, 19 12:45 PM
If you do not understand the difference between Southampton Town and Southampton Village you should probably refrain from commenting - you're embarrassing yourself.
By VOS (1183), WHB on Apr 28, 19 7:29 PM