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Mar 15, 2019 2:58 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Legislation To Regulate Landscapers In Southampton Village Tabled For Two Weeks

Southampton Village Mayor Michael Irving listened to residents speak for and against a measure to ban gas-powered leaf blowers during summer months. GREG WEHNER
Mar 19, 2019 2:29 PM

A measure to regulate the landscaping industry in Southampton Village was tabled last week as Village Board members pushed back a vote on two proposed laws, with plans to make additional changes based on community input.

The first proposed law seeks to place a summer ban on gas-powered leaf blowers, while the other would require landscapers to register annually if they want to work in the village.

The latter gives village officials a way to monitor which landscapers are properly licensed and insured, something the village began requiring back in 2011. It also aims to ensure that landscapers understand the village nuisance law and other policies before being allowed to work in the village.

The law to regulate when gas-powered leaf blowers can be used was developed because of a rising number of complaints about the noise and pollution associated with the tools.

“We were woken up twice last week to leaf blowers,” village resident Mackie Finnerty told board members at a public hearing on the matter on Thursday, March 14. “They were leaf-blowing from 7 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon—three guys.”

Ms. Finnerty was not alone in her complaints.

Orson Cummings, another village resident, said he “just can’t take the noise,” and Dieter von Lehsten, who is a member of the Southampton Town Sustainability Committee, referred to the gas-powered equipment as a “horror.”

“It is a question of health,” he said. “It is a question of noise and pollution.”

The proposed legislation charges that noise coming from construction, property maintenance and landscaping, including the gas-powered leaf blowers, “unreasonably annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others,” and therefore it “shall be deemed to create a public nuisance.”

The use of gas-powered leaf blowers would be banned entirely from May 15 to September 30 under the original proposal, and at all other times the devices only could be used from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Use would be prohibited on Sundays and federal and state holidays.

The proposal, however, permits golf, beach and tennis clubs, as well as municipal employees, to use gas-powered leaf blowers as long as they are not used within 100 feet of a residence.

Don Mahoney, who owns a landscaping business in Southampton, criticized the proposal, telling board members last week that the playing field should be level for everyone, and places like the Meadow Club should not receive special treatment.

Others who opposed the legislation questioned the proposed start date of the ban period, and asked for the ban to start later in the year to account for elements such as late snowstorms that can slow down landscapers’ efforts to get estates ready for the summer season.

They also questioned the registration proposal, saying if they were able to obtain a home improvement license from the town, they have already proven to be a legitimate landscaper and have the insurance required to operate.

Under the proposed law, landscapers would be required to register with the village every year and pay a nonrefundable fee of $100 for an individual landscaper, or $250 for a business.

No action was taken on either law. Instead, Mayor Michael Irving said he would like to make modifications that would possibly include places like the Meadow Club in the restrictions, to level the playing field, and modify the ban period to May 20 through September 20.

Both public hearings were left open and will reconvene at the Village Board’s next meeting on March 26.

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noise from leaf blowers are loud, but to exempt village highway, tennis clubs and golf clubs is, do as I say not as I do... Sounds like a little unfair for the people that have to work and can clean their yards on week ends.
Mike try not to appease a few people. What next, lights???
By knitter (1893), Southampton on Mar 15, 19 3:17 PM
Southampton villages turning into ghost town. This board is absolutely off their rockers. They all run around saying they want affordable housing but as soon as a plan comes up there against it. Going thing they care about is lawn mower noise and other stupid ridiculous issues.
By chief1 (2783), southampton on Mar 15, 19 6:58 PM
Brooks Brothers is going to be another real estate office. No good retail and no good restaurants.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Mar 16, 19 7:30 AM
A Summer ban on anything is a bias ban .And that would mean the board only has one group of people in mind. Do the right thing Mike!
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Mar 16, 19 7:21 AM
2 members liked this comment
Let it grow
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Mar 16, 19 7:28 AM
How about a ban on nail guns , generators, power tools and hammers?
By bigfresh (4590), north sea on Mar 16, 19 8:18 AM
2 members liked this comment
How about a protest where everyone gets together near Memorial Day and runs their power tools at full speed in front of SH Village Hall ? I'll be there.
By themarlinspike (513), southampton on Mar 16, 19 8:26 AM
Don’t forget to bring the chainsaw

Decibel level of a chainsaw 115
Decibel level of a nail gun 100-120
Decibel level of a leaf blower 90


By toes in the water (884), southampton on Mar 16, 19 3:51 PM
2 members liked this comment
Lawn mowers and power washers too.
By bigfresh (4590), north sea on Mar 16, 19 8:23 AM
1 member liked this comment
It would make more sense to only allow licensed businesses and homeowners themselves to use gas operated machines. There, we just cut the noise by 50%.
By Lets go mets (377), Southampton on Mar 16, 19 9:31 AM
1 member liked this comment
Are they prepared for the discrimination and civil rights lawsuits if there are exceptions to this law made for Private clubs and Village workers?
By bigfresh (4590), north sea on Mar 16, 19 11:25 AM
1 member liked this comment
Main st is going out of business now lower the times locals can make a living landscaping. Thanks Kimberly Allan and other do gooders for this idea. The five idiots should put a cap on the budget it has doubled in the last 1p years. I thought the two book ends on the board were financial gurus
By chief1 (2783), southampton on Mar 16, 19 2:37 PM
1 member liked this comment
I heard on the grape vine that Village residence are exempt,they can flatulate as before witout penalty as long as they have a permit.
By watchdog1 (542), Southampton on Mar 17, 19 8:33 AM
1 member liked this comment
How about landscape trailers and construction trucks parked on village streets effectively shutting down one lane of traffic?
By bigfresh (4590), north sea on Mar 18, 19 4:17 PM
What is going to Happen to the homeowner who use his blower every time he mows his lawn?. Is code Enforcement going to go his home every week because his neighbors complains weekly? Fire up the blowers boys

Redmax ebz 8500!!
By Local247 (36), Southampton on Mar 20, 19 9:34 AM
Very good point Local ! Most of the working class do their own yard work on Sundays. I listen to the blowers every Sunday while my neighbors clean their yard .
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Mar 21, 19 7:01 AM
Legalize weedwackers.
By Pacman (270), Southampton on Mar 25, 19 4:16 PM
How about just have more people to enforce the volume of people’s blaring outdoor music? Leaf blowers are loud but temporary, and often just fade into the background noise...drunk inconsiderate neighbors are much more offensive, and the village is generally no help att all. Maybe we should walk before we run.
By CPalmer (108), Southampton on Mar 25, 19 5:30 PM
How about an update? There was a meeting on Tuesday evening.
By bigfresh (4590), north sea on Mar 29, 19 7:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
Still no update! WOW!
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Apr 6, 19 7:01 AM
power tools, home improvements, building supplies, Eastern Long Island