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

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner’s report confirms cause of death of three men at Sooke River in 2020

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen drown while ‘puddle-jumping’ in pickup truck

The construction zone remains for now at Clover Point, but plans for a new pedestrian zone and partially closed traffic loop were approved by Victoria councillors on Thursday. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Victoria council compromises with partial closure of Clover Point

Option preserves parking 14 spots facing ocean, creates more pedestrian space

(Black Press Media file photo)
Trees Cannabis to reignite downtown Victoria location as licensed store

The dispensary will reopen its 230 Cook St. location on Saturday

Sergeant Francis Dion with the box containing HMCS Calgary’s new secret mascot costume. (HMCSNCSMCalgary/Facebook)
The Pacheedaht First Nation is planning a $1-million expansion to its campground in Port Renfrew. (Pixabay photo)
Expanded camping announced for Pacheedaht Campground

$1-million project is part of the B.C. Rural Economic Recovery program

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

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 Feb. 23

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

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

The BC SPCA is offering many chances for school-aged kids to learn about animal welfare and other animal topics. Pictured here is Keith, a three-month-old kitten seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
From pets to wildlife, BC SPCA offers animal education programs geared to youth

BC SPCA offering virtual spring break camps, workshops and school presentations

Migrant farm workers transplant jalapeno sprouts from trucks into the tilted soil at a farm. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)
‘They’re afraid’: Coalition sounds alarm over COVID vaccines for B.C.’s migrant workers

Though health ministry says anyone can get vaccinated, critics say barriers are keeping migrants from their dose

Most Read