Leaf Blower Ordinance

Man with leaf blower

Starting October 1st, 2022, the following regulations apply to the operation of leaf blowers within city limits, failure to comply can lead to a fine.

1. Prohibition of gas-powered leaf blowers

The use of gas-powered leaf blowers is illegal.

2. Hours of operation

Leaf blowers may only be used during the following hours:

Property type Monday to Friday Weekends and holidays
Residential 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. to  4:00 p.m.
Business 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

3. Blowing of debris

Depositing debris onto neighboring properties including gutters and storm drains, is illegal.

Background

On July 18, 2022, the City Council passed an ordinance to regulate the operation of gas-powered leaf blowers within city limits.  Community members have advocated for additional regulations on the use and operability of leaf blowers in the City.  Resident concerns vary from noise to environmental pollution caused by gas-powered leaf blowers.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) found that hydrocarbon emissions from a one-half hour of leaf blower operation equal about 7,700 miles of driving, at 30 miles per hour average speed. Half an hour of leaf blower usage for carbon monoxide would be equivalent to about 440 miles of automobile travel at 30 miles per hour.

The City Council is committed to reducing emissions as outlined in the 2030 Climate Change Action Plan; goal LCT-C10 of the plan calls to encourage the use of electric landscape equipment instead of gasoline-powered equipment. In addition, the California State Assembly recently passed Assembly Bill 1346, which mandates that by July 1, 2022, the CARB is to adopt regulations to restrict the sale of gas-powered garden equipment, including leaf blowers statewide, produced on or after January 1, 2024.

Regulating the operation of leaf blowers will further the City's ability to successfully implement its Climate Action Plan and comply with state regulations.

Resources for businesses

City of San Rafael Rebate Program

Are you a registered landscaping or gardening business in San Rafael? Do you need help transitioning your gas-powered leaf blower to a compliant electric model? You may be eligible for the City's rebate program.

Click here to view program specifics and guidelines and to print a paper copy. If you prefer to apply online, please click on the link below based on language preference to be directed to the application.

California Air Resources Board Voucher Program

As part of AB1346, the state's new law that regulates small off-road engines (SORE), the State Assembly secured $30 million in grant funds to aid businesses transition to compliant electric equipment. City staff is closely monitoring the availability of funds. The CARB has stated that its voucher program will be up and running by the Fall of 2022.

Staff will update this webpage when more information on the voucher program is available. Please visit the CARB website to learn more about their timeline and proposed program.

For more information about the leaf blower ordinance or our rebate program, please email us at leafblowers@cityofsanrafael.org

Need to file a complaint based on the leaf blower ordinance?

You may contact our Code Enforcement Department at (415) 485-3097 or fill out our virtual form .

Leaf Blower Ordinance Flyer - Spanish and English

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