[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Flower Hill 6-1-2020 by L.L. No. 4-2020. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This local law adds Chapter 144 to the Village Code entitled "Landscaping Equipment and Use" to advance the interests of Village residents in encouraging green landscaping practices, protecting public health by reducing emissions from the use of gas-powered leaf blowers and similar power equipment.
The Board enacts this chapter after discussions between concerned residents, and after reviewing legislation enacted by other communities on similar matters.
Based on this research and testimony, the Board finds that certain commercial landscaping and gardening activities may pose a risk of noise, odor, pollution or other nuisances and may otherwise disturb the public health and welfare of Village residents.
It is the intent of this chapter to use the Village's power under the Village Law and the Municipal Home Rule Law to limit the use of gas-powered leaf blowers and other power equipment used in commercial landscaping.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- COMMERCIAL LANDSCAPING
- The business or trade of rendering any landscaping, gardening or groundskeeping services, as defined herein, either as principal, independent contractor, or through an agent or employee, for a fee, charge, or other compensation, to or for the benefit of any owner, tenant, or occupant of lands, grounds, or buildings.
- The tilling, sowing, cultivating, trimming, fertilizing, pruning, cutting, shaping, treating, spraying, or otherwise maintaining and/or providing care for any lawn, sod, tree, flower, shrub, bush, plant, or other flora on any lot, plot, or parcel of land.
- GAS-POWERED LEAF BLOWER
- Any device powered by a gasoline, diesel or similar fuel engine which is used, designed, or operated to produce a current of air for the purpose of pushing, propelling or blowing leaves, dirt, gardening and grass clippings and cuttings, refuse or debris.
- The cleaning of any lot, plot, or parcel of land by means of gathering and/or removing weeds or any fallen, diseased, dead, or discarded tree limbs, branches, brush, leaves, grass, or lawn clippings, fruit or flower waste, or other plant waste and any litter, dirt, debris, rubbish or other refuse or waste present or engendered on or about the premises. Groundskeeping does not include the removal of litter, dirt, debris, rubbish, or other refuse or waste by a commercial refuse carter which is not performing any other commercial landscaping services to or for the benefit of the owner, tenant, or occupant of the lands, grounds, or buildings from which the removal is taking place.
- New Year's Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
- An individual, firm, corporation, or other entity performing commercial landscaping services.
- The planting, transplanting, arranging, placing, and/or removal of any lawns, sod, trees, flowers, shrubs, bushes, plants, or other flora on any lot, plot, or parcel of land for a planned design or purpose or to achieve some aesthetic effect.
- POWER EQUIPMENT
- Any equipment used in the work of a commercial landscaper that is powered by gas or diesel fuel.
- QUIET LANDSCAPING
- Any landscaping conducted without the use of power equipment.
No landscaper or other person shall individually or cause or permit any other person who is providing commercial landscaping services for them or who is otherwise within their employ or control to:
Blow, rake, place, spill, dump, or otherwise deposit any leaves, grass, garbage, refuse, cuttings, wood, oil, pesticides or other materials or debris from one property onto any public property, including, but not limited to, streets, sidewalks and rights-of-way, or the private property of another person, without such other person's permission. In any prosecution for a violation of this provision, it shall be an affirmative defense that such other person gave the alleged offender permission to blow, rake, place, spill, dump or otherwise deposit such material or debris on such other person's property.
Remove leaves, clippings or other yard waste in a truck, dump truck, van, or other motor vehicle, trailer, container, or other towable device without securing a tarpaulin or other cover to prevent spillage where such leaves, clippings or other yard waste do not remain on the property as mulch.
Spill or dump any oil, gasoline or other petroleum products within the Village.
Fill or refill any machinery or equipment with any fuel or lubricant except over a drop cloth or other device designed to catch and retain any accidental spillage.
Remove, destroy or alter any tree in violation of the Village Code or otherwise in violation of state law.
Perform any commercial landscaping on:
Sundays and holidays;
Saturdays before 9:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m. and, further, the only landscaping to be permitted between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. shall be quiet landscaping; and
Exception: The operation of gasoline- or diesel-powered leaf blowers operated in the course of performing groundskeeping, gardening or landscaping services at golf courses, shall be permitted during these hours so long as not being conducted within 100 feet of a lot containing a residence.
Weekdays before 8:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m.
Operate any equipment which emits excessive fumes.
Burn any wastepaper, rubbish, leaves, cuttings, wood, or other waste materials.
All commercial landscaping shall be performed in accordance with the laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations of the United States, the State of New York, and the County of Nassau.
[Added 6-1-2020 by L.L. No. 5-2020]
No landscaper shall operate any gas-powered leaf blower during the period from June 15 through and including September 15. This time period may be changed by resolution of the Board of Trustees as it deems appropriate.
Temporary permit. The Board of Trustees may, in its discretion and upon written application, grant a temporary permit to allow the operation of one or more gas-powered leaf blowers to accommodate a special circumstance. By way of illustration, a "special circumstance" includes, among other things, the remediation of an abandoned or neglected property, the cleanup of streets and roadways following a severe storm or any emergency situation which presents an immediate danger to public health and safety.
This section shall not apply to the operation of gasoline- or diesel-powered leaf blowers operated in the course of performing groundskeeping, gardening or landscaping services at golf courses, except when the equipment is operated within 100 feet of a lot containing a residence.
Any person or persons who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter, shall be subject to the following penalties:
For conviction of a first offense, by a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment not exceeding five days, or by both.
For conviction of the second of two offenses, both of which were committed within a period of five years, by a fine of not less than $1,500 and not more than $2,500 or by imprisonment not exceeding 10 days, or by both.
For conviction of a third or subsequent offense, all of which were committed within a period of five years, by a fine of not less than $3,000 and not more than $10,000 or by imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or by both.
In addition to the fines as set forth above, upon conviction for any violation of the provisions of this chapter the permit of any commercial landscaper convicted of such violation shall be suspended for one year. Upon a second conviction within a three-year period, the permit of such commercial landscaper shall be revoked, and may only be reinstated upon good cause shown to the Board of Trustees following a hearing.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section, word or part of this chapter is adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, the judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder of this chapter but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section, word or part of this chapter directly involved in the controversy in which judgment is rendered.