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

Grade 3 student Nate Twaddle, who uses a walker for a rare neurological condition, has been zooming along a new accessible walkway since it was installed in early October at Willway Elementary in Langford. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Langford mother thankful for accessible walkway that helps son connect with peers

Rare neurological condition means Grade 3 student uses wheelchair, walker to play

The realignment of Highway 14 between Connie and Glinz Lake roads in Sooke will take more than a year to complete. (File - Sooke News Mirror)
The realignment of Highway 14 between Connie and Glinz Lake roads in Sooke will take more than a year to complete. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)
Patience requested from drivers as work begins on realignment of Highway 14 in Sooke

Construction between Connie and Glinz Lake roads expected to take 1½ years

A spokesperson for the Peninsula Country Market is upset that their third and final Winter Market won’t happen this Saturday in Central Saanich’s Centennial Park following moves by the municipality. (Facebook/Peninsula Country Market)
Central Saanich postpones weekend Winter Market, organizers upset

Lorea Tomsin said municipality’s move runs counter to provincial direction

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

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

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a suspect who wore a black-and-white striped hoodie and rode a yellow mountain bike when he allegedly stole three children’s backpacks from a daycare facility. (Photo submitted)
VIDEO: Thief steals children’s backpacks from daycare in Nanaimo

Suspect rode a yellow mountain bike and made off with backpacks hanging on fence

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Cortes Island First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

Klahoose First Nation has had one positive test, one other potential case

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)
Light Up parade a no-go, but Ladysmith’s streets are still all aglow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Gracie couldn’t stop nursing from her previous owner’s goats which was problematic given the goats were trying to be dried out to breed. Gracie now lives at A Home for Hooves. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Cowichan animal sanctuary gets international accreditation

A Home for Hooves farm sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

Most Read