Council to discuss policy options at April study session

The City of Boulder has launched three questionnaires on its online engagement platform, Be Heard Boulder, to evaluate community concerns regarding the use of landscaping equipment. The city is seeking feedback from three groups: those who live and work in Boulder, rental property owners, and owners/workers of landscaping businesses that operate in Boulder. The questionnaires will be open through April 17.

Gas-powered equipment like mowers, leaf blowers and trimmers can present environmental and health concerns, including noise and air pollution, and increased emissions. The city began exploring options to address these negative impacts last year and seeks community feedback on potential strategies. These include:

  • Education and Outreach – Campaigns to educate residents and businesses about the impacts of gas-powered equipment, the benefits of electric equipment and more natural strategies for maintaining lawns.
  • Rebates, Incentives and Financing – Help buy down the cost of electric landscaping equipment for landscaping service providers and/or residents.
  • Sales Ban – Ban the sale of gas-powered landscaping equipment (all or just certain types, such as leaf blowers).
  • Electric-Only Requirements – Modify its noise ordinance to only exempt electric landscaping equipment from the decibel thresholds.
  • Seasonal Restrictions/Allowances – Modify its noise ordinance to restrict the use of leaf blowers to a period of weeks associated with Fall and/or Spring cleanup.
  • Quiet Zones – Prohibit certain types of equipment, specifically leaf blowers, from being used in some or all areas of the community.
  • Policy Action – Advocate for state regulation and/or funding programs.

City staff will share the results of the questionnaires and provide an update on its broader landscape equipment work at the April 27 City Council study session.

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