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

The old home at 785 Island Rd. is coming down as the developer was unable to find a feasible business case to save it. (Black Press Media File Photo)
With no takers to move old Oak Bay home, teardown begins

‘We tried a last hurrah,’ developer says

Leah Davis, store manager at Oscar & Libby’s in downtown Victoria, sets out stock at their Fort Street location. The pandemic has changed the way this retailer and others do business, says owner Teri Hustins. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Pandemic alters holiday business strategies for Victoria merchants

Many independent merchants count on holiday shopping to get them through quiet periods

Goldstream Food Bank vice-president Walter Dubeau is happy to help others by volunteering at the food bank’s Christmas hamper program. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
Goldstream Food Bank Christmas Hamper program in full swing

Gratitude evident as hamper helpers happily give back

The Vancouver Island Crisis Society has seen a five per cent rise in call volumes compared to this time last year. (Black Press Media file photo)
Winter blues a concern for Vancouver Islanders during COVID-19 Christmas season

Statistics show British Columbians anticipate worsening mental health

Jason Soukochoff is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, say Victoria police. (Courtesy VicPD)
Victoria police seek man with violent criminal history against elderly

Jason Soukochoff wanted on Canada-wide warrant for parole violations

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

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 Nov. 24

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

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (Tracy Holmes photo)
B.C. woman calls for consistency in COVID-19 post-test messaging

‘Could we just get one thing straight?’ asks Surrey’s Deb Antifaev

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

An excavator was stolen from a rural property south of Nanaimo this month, say police. (Photos submitted)
Excavator stolen from property south of Nanaimo

Bobcat Mini believed to have been stolen between Nov. 12-14, say RCMP

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

Most Read