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Mowers, leaf blowers get their hours cut

Ordinance means the landscaping devices can't be used in La Cañada after 7 p.m. The previous curfew was 9 p.m.

August 17, 2011|By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com

Landscapers and gardeners in La Cañada Flintridge won't be working overtime with their mowers and leaf blowers anymore, as the City Council approved an ordinance to reduce the permitted hours for landscape maintenance activity.

Under the new ordinance, landscape maintenance equipment can be used from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday to Thursday; and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Friday to Sunday. Previously, the municipal code's permitted hours were 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Councilman Donald Voss said the ordinance was a reaction to a citizen's suggestion.

“We have this one person who has written in and made this recommendation or suggestion, and her point is well taken,” Voss said. “The summer, it's a time to sit out on your patio, maybe relax and have a comfortable dinner, and that can be interrupted if you're listening to a leaf blower or a lawn mower at 7 o'clock at night.”

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Voss said the ordinance would be enforced as needed.

“It's going to be complaint-driven, so we're not going to have a patrol car running around La Cañada [measuring] the decibel noises or anything like that,” he said.

La Cañada's landscapers aren't worried about the change.

Edward Sawicki, owner of Ed's Landscaping, a Glendale-based business that has operated in La Cañada Flintridge for 35 years, said he was surprised to hear that the city had permitted landscaping later than 7 p.m. before.

“That's plenty of time,” Sawicki said. “If they're working beyond those hours, that's ridiculous.”

Mike Gardner, of Gardner's Gardening Service in La Crescenta, also has 35 years of experience operating in La Cañada Flintridge.

Gardner said it was unlikely that landscapers would run into a problem with the ordinance.

“So stopping by 7 [p.m.], I don't see that as a problem,” Gardner said. “And it's only in the summertime that the daylight ever goes past 7.”

Sawicki said residents bothered by landscaping noise should talk to the neighbors who employed the landscapers.

Voss said the ordinance was in place for situations when being neighborly wasn't enough.

“If a neighbor is bothered by the noise … and for whatever reason maybe doesn't want to talk to the neighbor for fear of not being neighborly, or maybe has had a historic problem of some sort, there's an ordinance,” Voss said.
 
 

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