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Arlington voters will get chance to reverse town's leaf blower ban

Posted by Brock Parker  May 31, 2012 10:48 AM

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Landscapers and residents upset with a new leaf blower ban in Arlington have successfully forced the town to call a special election that could overturn the law.

Arlington Town Clerk Stephanie Lucarelli said this morning that a petition submitted last week by landscapers had more than enough signatures to trigger a special election.

The landscapers needed the signatures of 864 registered voters of Arlington on their petition, and Lucarelli said the town has certified 1,053 signatures.

Arlington selectmen will now hold a meeting Monday night to schedule the special election, which is expected to cost the town about $30,000.

Arlington Town Meeting voted by a narrow margin on May 14 to ban the use of the gas-powered leaf blowers from May 15 to Oct. 15 of each year because of concerns about noise and potentially harmful dust and debris kicked up by the power tools. The ban is expected to kick in next year.

However, if at least 20 percent of Arlington voters cast a ballot in the special election to repeal the ban, and a majority of all of the votes are to overturn the new law, then the Town Meeting vote would be reversed, according to Town Counsel Juliana Rice.

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