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Aug 10, 2010 4:06 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Village to put restrictions on landscaping equipment

Aug 10, 2010 4:06 PM

Restricting the hours construction can take place in East Hampton Village was the first step to improving the quality of life there, according to a handful of village residents, who attended the Village Board meeting on Thursday to say the use of power equipment by landscapers should be the next target.

“There’s a special place in hell for leaf blowers,” said Windmill Lane resident Jane Sacasa, who said any restrictions the board could impose would help.

A handful of people who shared Ms. Sacasa’s opinion spoke at the work session during a discussion about amending the local noise law for the second time this summer. Last month, the board limited the hours that construction could take place in the village and on Thursday it turned its attention to gas and electric-powered lawn equipment.

The original discussion focused on leaf blowers, in particular, but quickly turned to all power equipment as residents explained that there were many sources of frustration for them.

Jeffrey Fisher said his property on Pudding Hill Lane is contiguous to at least five other properties, many owned by weekenders, and that often contractors will be working at more than one neighboring house, running lawn movers, leaf blowers and hedge trimmers at the same time.

“On any given Friday or Saturday night it can sound like a cacophony of noise with even two or three of those properties getting worked on at the same time,” he said, adding that landscaping companies often work past sundown and even on holidays, which was the case on the Fourth of July this year.

“It’s not a guy with a put-put lawn mower,” he said. “These are trailers that come in with four to five pieces of equipment rolling out.”

Beverly Kazickas, who lives on Egypt Close, said she hoped the board would focus on limiting the hours equipment could be used on the weekdays as well as the weekends. She said she understand that landscaping crews have a short season for business and try to fit in as many jobs in a day as possible but “7 a.m. is too early, and 7 p.m. is too late.”

“I think it’s unfair to the workers, I think it’s unfair to us, and I think it’s unfair to the village,” she said.

Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach said he was concerned about infringing on someone’s business, and board member David Brown suggested that educating homeowners and business owners about what’s appropriate might be a more effective route.

“I don’t think there’s a homeowner or a contractor that doesn’t know that Saturdays are not a good idea, that 7 p.m. is not a good idea,” Mr. Fisher said. “There are a lot of people who just don’t care. They want their property taken care of and they don’t care about the other guy.”

Though Village Attorney Linda Riley noted that other municipalities have banned leaf blowers altogether without legal repercussions, the board decided to draft legislation more in line with the construction amendment.

The board’s consensus was to draft legislation that would restrict the use of power equipment to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays for contractors. For homeowners, the amendment would restrict the hours to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. On Sundays and federal holidays, the use of such equipment would be prohibited for everyone. The law would apply from May 1 through the end of November.

The board will vote on the final language of the resolution at its August 20 meeting, said Village Administrator Larry Cantwell, and if approved, would schedule a public hearing for September.

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Southampton Next!!! I had a crew on Christmas morning blowing leaves last year. Christmas morning! So my neighbors had a clean driveway and yard when they came out from the city. They stated at 7AM!! Needless to say I was pissed and that crew heard all about it. Thank god I speak spanish, not that it would have mattered!
By ride the truth wave (125), southampton on Aug 11, 10 10:35 AM
How is cutting the hours "fair to the workers"??? Landscapers THRIVE on overtime this time of year.
By Miss K. (103), East Quogue on Aug 11, 10 11:38 AM
1 member liked this comment
The noise is one thing, but what has gotten to me in the past couple of years are the vehicles, in the estate section mostly, that impede traffic by parking on the road in front of the house they are servicing. this makes it unsafe for all traffic...roller-bladers, joggers, cyclists and walkers alike, not to mention other vehicles. why are they not made to park on the properties at which they work? as mentioned, these are not putt-putts from pick-ups, these are now wider, longer and more diffilcult ...more
By mickeyf (7), southampton on Aug 11, 10 1:15 PM
9-5 is ridiculous, if 7am is too early then 8am should be acceptable. As for evening, until dusk, whatever time that may be according to the suns position. To tell them they have to be done by 5pm is too much restriction. To try and impose office hours on landscapers is a joke.
While they are at it, they should address the parking in the streets, as well as immigration status that's the real nuisance.
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on Aug 11, 10 2:00 PM
2 members liked this comment
Cutting the hours of operation for landscapers, will only increase the prices that they charge because each landscape company will then have to hire more people to do the work that is necessary during the time allotted. That means more trucks on the road, hirer prices, and more congestion. The same people in EH that complain about the noise will then start to complain that landscape companies are charging way too much money to maintain their properties. EH may address one problem but may create ...more
By goofygoof (1), Southampton on Aug 11, 10 2:42 PM
maybe it will help the local economy and increase job rates then!
By SDRivers (14), Bridgehampton on Aug 13, 10 11:02 PM
Landscapers during the week should not be restricted. Early in the morning and late in the day (early evening) are usually cooler times of day, much more humane to work early and late rather then in the middle of the day when it is hottest.
By Sag Native (54), East Hampton on Aug 11, 10 10:34 PM
Nice anti business attitude you got there in EH Bub! This is all part of living in the fabulous Hamptons.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Aug 12, 10 7:03 AM
Essentially reducing a business day by 1/3 will lead to higher prices and more diesel trucks towing huge trailers. Companies will either add more crews to manage their existing accounts, or drop accounts that will be picked up by newly started companies. 7am is early, 8am is reasonable. I'd much rather have people mowing at 8am then to have one more truck on the road x however many landscape companies there are out there. Why does it seem that it's always so hard to find a happy medium nowadays? ...more
By Quoguer (8), Quogue on Aug 12, 10 7:08 AM
The real problem with leaf blowers is that a single gas-powered leaf blower can emit as much pollution in a year as 80 cars! Outlaw leaf blowers but help contractors work the hours they need while still allowing for quality of life

By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Aug 12, 10 9:29 AM
How about not! Why do you see it as okay to single out that particular machine to persecute? I say it's profiling and racist! They burn dirtier because they are two stroke engines, but they also burn substantially less fuel than a car. 80 cars is probably not very accurate. All the same out lawing then is ridiculous, write to the your representatives and ask that they increase the emissions standards.
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on Aug 12, 10 6:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
Yes, apparently we have someone brainwashed by the "propaganda machine" via statiistics.

Two cycle engines will CONSISTENTLY produce higher amounts of hydrocarbon emissions, due to the fact their lubricant is MIXED WITH THEIR FUEL. I recommend not only reading your emmissions receipt from your annual vehicle inspection, but UNDERSTANDING just what in the H-E double hockey sticks all the data on that receipt means as well.

With a four stroke (cycle) this is not the case, such as ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 13, 10 4:07 PM
go hug a tree or better yet you try to move what a leaf blower moves in an hour.
By banjack (45), port jeff on Aug 12, 10 11:07 AM
a leaf blower is a neccessary tool for the job. It's as much a part of the summer as idiots driving BMWs, U-turns on Main Street or any of the other minor annoyances we all have to put up with. Small price to pay for living in one of the greates places on earth, lighten up and enjoy, it's nice outside.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Aug 12, 10 3:55 PM
2 members liked this comment
Means alot coming from someone middle aged, who benefitted ahead of the Regan tax cut curves...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 13, 10 3:58 PM
Maybe the Village should require all lawns be made of Astroturf and all trees be made of plastic. All this will do is push all the early and late work into the Town. KIng Larry should stop trying to legislate in response to every complaint .
By Colt (37), Wainscott on Aug 13, 10 2:55 PM
You want to know what the real problem is?

Is that for my grandparents, one income was beyond sufficient.

For my parents, two got you a little ahead.

Now, one is NOWHERE NEAR enough, and neither is two.

Wake up, and smell the F****N coffee!
Aug 13, 10 3:57 PM appended by Mr. Z
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 13, 10 3:57 PM
SOUTHAMPTON TOWN NEXT PLEASE!!!!!!!...... I had to yell at guys cutting trees down at 7:00 Sat morning...how about 9:00 on the weekends and 8 during the week?
By Talbot77 (53), southampton on Aug 14, 10 9:20 AM
East Hampton Village has always had an anti-noise law on the books for excessive noise between the hours of 11pm and 7am. I can see making that 8am, but evenings and Sundays? I thought those kind of restrictions were thrown out by the courts 40 years ago.
Face it, these people don't want to see or hear laborers when they come out to their McMansions, but they sure use their services don't they?
By BruceB (142), Sag Harbor on Aug 15, 10 6:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
omg noise uuuuuuuuuuuugggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh oh thats villian man on the lawn mower who works for the town mowing TOWN property not village
By asurest (117), easthampton on Aug 16, 10 6:14 PM
9 to 5 is a joke! That's cutting at least four hours out of my day. Four hours times six days--24 hours times what ever we make per hour average...That would absolutely kill me. I could see maybe starting at eight, but ending at five is rediculous.
By private (27), sag harbor on Aug 18, 10 6:37 AM
1 member liked this comment
Landscape companies will just put more crews together and hire more illeagal aliens to get the work done. East end politics at it's finest.
By independent observer (34), east hampton on Aug 19, 10 9:33 PM