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Attorney General approves Arlington leaf blower ban

Posted by Brock Parker  October 22, 2012 12:11 PM

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Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office has approved Arlington’s ban on gas-powered leaf blowers, but the seasonal ban will not kick in until May.

In a letter to the town dated Oct. 17, Coakley’s office said it approved the bylaw amendments adopted by Arlington’s Town Meeting in May because they are consistent with the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth and are consistent with the town’s home rule power.

The bylaw change will ban the use of gas-powered leaf blowers on private property from May 15 to Oct. 15 of each year. Town Counsel Juliana Rice said Monday that the bylaw changes will be published for two weeks and the leaf blower restriction will not apply until May 15 of next year.

By then, Arlington’s Town Meeting may have already moved to alter the ban. Town Meeting voted earlier this month to establish a committee that will recommend changes to the way the town regulates leaf blowers.

Town Meeting also shot down an effort this fall to revoke the controversial ban, which was first approved by Town Meeting in May. Local landscapers opposed to the ban gathered enough signatures on a petition to force a special election in July in an effort to revoke the ban. A strong majority of residents voted to overturn the ban, but the tally of opponents fell 241 votes shy of a state requirement to overturn a vote by Town Meeting.

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