Key West may have to curb leaf blowers.
City leaders Tuesday will consider asking staff to draft new regulations on the use of the maintenance tool that is a common presence in Key West, where landscaping is a vibrant industry.
On Feb. 18, the city’s volunteer Sustainability Advisory Board unanimously voted to request the city direct City Manager Jim Scholl to put together a committee of staff members from various departments to craft a new leaf blower policy aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air and water quality.
Suggestions include phasing out gas-powered leaf blowers for residential use and bring in industry-stamped “quiet” leaf blowers, require leaf blower training for commercial operators and adjust the city’s noise ordinance to set certain hours for leaf blowing in residential neighborhoods.
“To lead by example, the city should include the purchase of compliant leaf blowers in the Fiscal Year 2017-18 budget,” Alison Higgins, the city’s sustainability coordinator, wrote in a memo.
Also on Tuesday, the commission will:
▪ Accept a $75,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to pay for an arts master plan and installations at the under-construction Truman Waterfront Park. The city is required to match the “Our Town” program grant with $75,000. The project’s total cost is estimated at $150,000.
▪ Pay tribute to two retiring city staffers: Norman Whitaker, director of transportation, and Terrence Richardson, building department inspector.
▪ Hear City Commissioner Clayton Lopez deliver a presentation on issues relating to Lower Keys Medical Center.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen