ARDSLEY, NY — This community of 4,900 on the southern edge of affluent Westchester County in the New York Metropolitan area likes things nice and quiet. Maybe too quiet. Take its leaf blower law for example. Posted prominently on the village’s Website is a regulation:
— that makes it unlawful to operate a leaf blower within the village without first obtaining a permit, a separate permit for every blower,
— states that every person intending to use a leaf or debris blower must apply to the village clerk and pay a fee and get a sticker for each unit. The fee for each blower operated by a landscaper is $25,
— mandates that every blower operated within the village must meet EPA Phase II exhaust emission standards,
— says that between May 15 and Sept. 30, only one blower can be operated at any one time on any one property. And only up to 30 minutes between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m,
The regulation, passed and amended by the village’s board of trustees late last summer also forbids the operation of radios, etc., including singing, at a volume that “disturbs the comfort or repose of persons in any dwelling or residence.”
Break any of these regulations — running your leaf blower without a permit, using more than one leaf blower on a property, using it for more than a half hour . . . or singing too loudly and you could be slapped with a $50 fine for a first offense and $100 thereafter.
So there you have it. If you ever get to visit this quaint, little community on the banks of the lower Hudson River be quiet — be very quiet. And don't forget to pay your fee and get a sticker to display on your leaf blower. (And no, this is not an April Fool's gag.)