Leafblowers out of control

Editor:

I hope the SMDP will publish my letter below, and hope the city council takes action to more fully enforce the leaf blower ban that voters enacted years ago.

Every single day I witness not just one or two violators of the leaf blower ban in Santa Monica, but at least 5-10 violators on my morning rounds around town. I am sick of it. Not only does my car get unnecessarily dirty at the hands of the culprits, but the dust travels onto everything in its path. These violators seem to think there is nothing wrong with blowing away top soil from gardens and blowing dirt onto neighboring properties. It is a major violation of health and pollution of other people’s properties.

Citizens of Santa Monica helped pass this law, but for some reason, citizens have to jump through hoops to get code enforcement to take action. It just should not be this way.  I know code enforcement is doing their best, but they need additional help, in my opinion.

I think the patrol officers, parking enforcement, and other city officials should stop to give warnings to first time offenders, and give expensive tickets to those who are on the list of having been warned. I believe there should be a database of gardeners vehicle license plates, as well as names of gardeners taken from their photo identifications, that can all be cross referenced every time there is an enforcement action taken, so repeat violators can be fined or banned from operating in the city.

To think that violators of this ban do now know the law exists is ludicrous. They all know! They snub their nose at us Santa Monicans. We should no longer take it.

I am calling on the city council to change the process of reporting, to using the police and other city workers who drive around town, to be part of the enforcement action, rather than just driving by. When police cars and park rangers, etc. drive by leaf blower violators without taking sends a signal that it is okay to violate our laws and there is no consequence. This must change.

Regards,

Dan Stevens

Santa Monica