Home and professional gardeners be aware: An ordinance banning gas-powered leaf blowers in Coronado will soon go into effect.

The City Council adopted an ordinance in October 2019 to regulate the use of leaf blowers within City limits. Council members decided against enacting the ordinance in 2020 and opted instead to give the community more than a year to convert to electric and to let their landscaping professionals know about the upcoming change. The ordinance goes into effect Jan. 1.

The ordinance prohibits the use of all gas-powered leaf blowers in town and establishes a time limit for the use of allowable leaf blowers within 100 feet of a residentially zoned property from 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily. The ordinance applies to any person, business or corporation operating a leaf blower within the City.

The ordinance establishes penalties and enforcement procedures including a written courtesy warning to first-time offenders. Enforcement will be complaint-based and will be administered primarily by the Community Development Department, although the Police Department would also handle enforcement actions. Violators are expected to receive a written warning and a $100 fine for each subsequent violation.

The City completed a conversion of all of its leaf blower and string trimmers and those used by its contractors to zero-emission tools in 2018. The Council asked for options to implement a ban throughout the city with the goal of reducing noise pollution and improving air quality. The City found that most cities had addressed concerns about noise and air pollution through regulatory restrictions or prohibitions of various gas-powered tools.

According to the California Air Resource Board, one hour of using a gas-powered leaf blower is equivalent to driving 1,100 miles. Prohibiting the use of gas-powered leaf blowers should help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The City is working to adopt a Climate Action Plan by August 2021 and banning gas-powered leaf blowers will uphold the City’s overall sustainability efforts.

The City has hosted multiple virtual webinars in recent weeks with various electric leaf blower brands, which can be found on the City’s YouTube and Facebook pages. The City also has published a webpage on Comment Coronado for this ordinance. Comment Coronado is a community engagement space that allows residents to get information on current projects, share their ideas, and ask questions. This webpage gives residents the opportunity to learn about the ordinance through interactive videos in both English and Spanish and ask questions directly to City staff.

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