Teale Phelps Bondaroff stands among the falling leaves in Rutledge Park. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Teale Phelps Bondaroff stands among the falling leaves in Rutledge Park. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich resident renews petition to ban gas leaf blowers, update noise bylaw

Resident calls for electric leaf blowers, modernized noise bylaw

As dead leaves begin to blanket the ground this fall, a Saanich resident calling for a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers is gearing up for one last push for support before going to council.

In August 2019, researcher and former council candidate Teale Phelps Bondaroff unveiled a petition calling on the district to ban gas-powered leaf blowers, support a program to recycle the “obsolete machines” and modernize the municipality’s noise bylaw to regulate electric leaf blowers.

After garnering hundreds of signatures, Phelps Bondaroff planned to present the petition to Saanich council in February.

When COVID-19 began to spread, he decided to press pause and give council space to tackle issues related to the pandemic.

Now that the provincial snap election is over, Phelps Bondaroff feels the time is right to revitalize efforts. He plans to begin circulating the petition again to “give people a last chance to sign on and have their voices heard” before presenting the signatures to council.

With leaf blower season in full swing and more people spending their days at home due to COVID-19, he’s seen an influx in support for the petition as residents become aware of the “acute noise pollution” created by gas leaf blowers.

Noise is a less obvious form of pollution that’s often overlooked, Phelps Bondaroff said. He added that gas leaf blowers create emissions and scatter dust particles that harm the environment and have negative impacts on those with respiratory issues.

Electric leaf blowers create fewer emissions and are quieter, he said, noting his own strata recently made the switch and residents are no longer woken up by the growl of gas leaf blowers.

Saanich’s noise bylaw limits what loud machines are permitted, when they can be used and who can use them but it hasn’t been updated since 1993, is difficult to enforce and doesn’t explicitly regulate leaf blowers, Phelps Bondaroff said. He feels “the responsible thing would be to at least review [the bylaw]” and look to other municipalities for options.

Oak Bay Coun. Tara Ney is pushing for a similar ban on gas leaf blowers in that municipality and Vancouver has banned all leaf blowers on Sundays and in the West End neighbourhood has restricted use to daytime hours.

Phelps Bondaroff also noted municipal staff are currently exempt from Saanich’s noise bylaw but he hopes to see the district look at its own fleet and consider transitioning to electric models.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

District of Saanich

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Teale Phelps Bondaroff in Rutledge Park on Oct. 29, 2020. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Just Posted

A family of ducks that lives near Saanich Municipal Hall recently welcomed 11 ducklings and took them for a swim in the koi pond outside the offices. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Pair of ducks make Saanich Municipal Hall a nursery for 11 hatchlings

Family of ducks spent time in koi pond before heading down to Swan Lake

Habitat Acquisition Trust has received provincial funding to help restore Garry oak ecosystems on southern Vancouver Island. (Photo by Jeremy da Silva)
Central Saanich park among sites for local Garry oak restoration projects

Habitat Acquisition Trust received $140,000 in funding for 12 projects

Architect’s rendering of the 7 Erskine Lane development, showing the view from the east and south. (VDA Architecture Ltd. image)
View Royal green-lights residential development on Erskine Lane

First of two developments near Victoria General Hospital will provide 71 housing units

With the help of a $110,000 federal grant, Saanich will be adding 22 new EV chargers for its municipal fleet to reduce emissions from district operations. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich adds 22 new EV chargers for municipal fleet to reduce corporate emissions

Federal grant adds $110,000 jolt to project, installation to be completed fall 2022

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

A worker rides a bike at a B.C. Hydro substation in Vancouver, on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
BC Hydro report raises safety concerns as pandemic prompts jump in yard work

Incidents involving weekend tree trimmers, gardeners and landscapers have risen 30% since the pandemic hit

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. Public health officials have focused efforts on the Fraser Health region. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)
B.C. reports 1st vaccine-induced blood clot; 684 new COVID cases Thursday

Two million vaccine doses reached, hospital cases down

Most Read