Residents Poised To Take On Landscapers In Quest To Become Like Westchester

GREENWICH, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — It’s a sound of summer some people could live without.

We’re talking about leaf blowers, wielded by small armies of landscape workers and homeowners in city suburbs.

The battle is currently being fought in the northern suburbs, reports CBS 2’s Lou Young.

Start the controversy. The summer sound of leaf blowers is under widening attack: an anti-blower Connecticut crusade is underway in Greenwich where meticulously manicured lawns are running afoul sensitive suburban ears.

“Their screech, their whine … they just drive people crazy,” resident Gretchen Biggs said.

The proposal is to ban the blowers during summer months when windows are more apt to be open.

“There’s two types of pollution: the noise and the fumes,” resident Serge Gabriel said.

“Noisy, smelly and annoying,” resident Mary Ann Renwell added.

The summertime blower ban is fairly common on the Westchester County side of the state line, but in Connecticut and Greenwich it’s something completely new.

And not necessarily welcome.

“I think it’s kind of intrusive. I think if someone wants to blow some leaves or grass clippings off to the side and kind of clean up then there’s nothing wrong with that,” said Chris Thatcher of New Canaan.

Blowers, however, have become ubiquitous, a kind of year-round power broom that handles snow in the winter, and all manner of debris in warmer weather. Westchester communities that have a summer ban include Rye, Scarsdale, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, White Plains and Pelham.

Expanding the idea to Greenwich has landscapers worried.

“It’s a tool that you have to have if you want to make money. Speed is money,” landscaper Ron Vitti said.

And raking by hand, they said, is time consuming. Besides, some homeowners like that ultra-manicured look.

“I don’t think it’s intrusive at all. I think it makes for a cleaner and better neighborhood,” Greenwich resident Reed Miller said.

Some of his neighbors would settle for quieter. Young has learned this summer will be history before the blower-ban proposal gets to a vote in Greenwich.

In towns where the blowers are banned, violators usually get a warning before being fined anywhere from $100 to $150 for each violation.

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