‘A lot quieter’: Miami Beach Commission will consider ban on gas-powered leaf blowers

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After years of discussions, Miami Beach may soon become the latest city to ban gas-powered leaf blowers.

The City Commission will consider an ordinance that would outlaw the noisy, pollution-emitting blowers following a transition period that would allow landscaping companies and homeowners to replace their old equipment. 

Commissioner Mark Samuelian, who will present the proposal at the Dec. 8 commission meeting, said the details of the ban are still being finalized but the new law would carry fines and give the public a transition period to comply with the restrictions. A draft of the ordinance, provided to the Miami Herald, sets Feb. 1, 2024, as the date when the city would begin issuing fines for violations of the ban. Fines would range from $150 for a first offense to $500 for a third offense in the preceding 12 months, according to the draft ordinance. The city would launch a public education campaign and establish a “warning” period before imposing fines. 

“We need to give people a little notice,” Samuelian said. “We want to give them a path. That time frame is still being finalized.”

Samuelian said residents have long complained about the noise and environmental pollution that gas-guzzling leaf blowers emit. But he said City Hall needed to lead by example before asking the private sector to invest in new technology. The cost for the city to replace its 38 gas-powered leaf blowers with electric blowers was estimated to be $48,000 in 2017. 

“We didn’t wake up one day and say, ‘Thou shall do something,’ ” Samuelian said. “We said, ‘Let us do it, let us show we can do it,’ and we did not enact anything until we were so far down the path and it was clear we were going to do it.”

November 26, 2021 | Miami Herald | ‘A lot quieter’: Miami Beach Commission will consider ban on gas-powered leaf blowers