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Arlington forms panel to develop alternative to leaf blower ban

Posted by Brock Parker  August 28, 2012 10:39 AM

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Selectmen are forming a 12-person committee to develop an alternative proposal for the town’s gas-powered leaf blower ban.

The Board of Selectmen voted Monday to form the committee, which will be headed by Selectmen Chairman Kevin Greeley, with the hopes of submitting an alternative proposal to Town Meeting in the spring.

In May, Arlington Town Meeting voted 95 to 85 to ban gas powered leaf blowers from May 15 to Oct. 15 each year. But local landscapers forced a special election in an effort to overturn the ban. A strong majority of the town voted to overturn the law, but the landscapers fell 241 votes shy of meeting a state requirement to overturn a vote of Town Meeting.

Greeley said 20 of Arlington’s 21 precincts voted to overturn the ban, and he intends to file an alternative proposal in the spring that would restrict the use of leaf blowers rather than banning them. Greeley said the proposal could include restrictions on the hours in which leaf blowers can be used.

In addition to several town officials, the leaf blower committee will also include four members of the Arlington Landscape Association and four Town Meeting members appointed by Town Moderator John Leone.

The leaf blower ban has still not taken effect in Arlington because it is awaiting approval by the state Attorney General's office, which has until mid October to make its decision.

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