Like helicopters and jets, leaf blowers have long been the bane of many a South Fork resident’s existence, each one a portable spewer of pollutants and source of ear-splitting noise. But in towns and villages alike, enough residents got angry and organized, and governments listened. Today, the use of leaf blowers is restricted across the South Fork.
Depending on your town or village of residence, here are when residential property owners and tenants can and cannot use leaf blowers.
East Hampton Town
Gas and diesel-powered leaf blowers are prohibited from May 20 to Sept. 20. From Sept. 21 to May 19, gas and diesel-powered leaf blowers are prohibited before 8 a.m. and after 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sundays and federal and New York State holidays.
East Hampton Village
Between June 1 and the second Friday in December, any gas or diesel-powered lawn care equipment including leaf blowers can be used Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturdays, and between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sundays and federal holidays.
Sag Harbor Village
Use of leaf blowers, be they gas, diesel, or electric powered, is limited to Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., and weekends and holidays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., year round. All leaf blowers must have a decibel rating of 65 or lower as per the manufacturer.
North Haven Village
As of May 1, the use of gas and diesel-powered leaf blowers is prohibited between May 1 and Oct. 31. During the rest of the year, they are permitted on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and on weekends between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Gas or diesel-powered leaf blowers are prohibited from May 20 through Sept. 20. During the rest of the year, they may be used between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Their use is not permitted on Sundays or federal holidays.
As in Southampton Town, use of gas and diesel-powered leaf blowers in the village is prohibited between May 20 and Sept. 20. During the remainder of the year, they can be used between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Here, too, their use is prohibited on Sundays and federal holidays.
A Word of Caution
There are penalties for violations, which increase for subsequent offenses. Electric leaf blowers, use of which is also restricted in Sag Harbor, are free of emissions and quieter than their fossil fuel-powered counterparts. It should also be noted that old-fashioned raking is allowed everywhere, and that allowing some leaves to remain as groundcover can provide habitat and food for wildlife.