Local Governments Tighten Noise Laws

More local governments are tightening their noise laws to appease residents fed up with the din produced by lawn mowers, leaf blowers and weed wackers. But some who monitor the regulations say that Chevy Chase Village’s revamped code imposes restrictions on homeowners typically reserved for the most iron-fisted of neighborhood associations. The village now prohibits […]

More local governments are tightening their noise laws to appease residents fed up with the din produced by lawn mowers, leaf blowers and weed wackers.
But some who monitor the regulations say that Chevy Chase Village’s revamped code imposes restrictions on homeowners typically reserved for the most iron-fisted of neighborhood associations.

The village now prohibits residents from using any power landscaping equipment after 6 p.m.

“This is the first ban of this kind that I have seen,” said Kris Kiser, executive vice president of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, an international trade association representing manufacturers of the targeted tools. “We’ve seen some leaf blower restrictions, but I’m a little struck by the inclusion of lawn mowers and how early the time use restrictions go into effect.”

Dozens of jurisdictions in California and New York have banned leaf blowers, and more than a half-dozen states have laws on the books with similar limitations on the instruments.

However, Kiser said the village ordinance will prevent working families from cutting their grass and force some to push mowers during the blazing daytime heat of summer. And he also questioned how authorities would enforce the stricter rules.

Village officials say police officers will not patrol the streets for noise violations, relying instead on complaints from the public.

With just a $25 penalty, some renegades might be tempted to mow their lawns under cover of darkness. In comparison, Montgomery County fines residents $500 for using leaf blowers that exceed noise limits.

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