Though the Redondo Beach City Council voted 3-1 Tuesday night in favor of passing an ordinance that would reduce the hours of operation for leaf blowers within city limits, Mayor Mike Gin indicated that he may veto the measure due to the lack of outreach performed by city staff prior to the vote.
If he does choose to exercise his veto power, the mayor has five days to write a letter vetoing the ordinance, according to City Clerk Eleanor Manzano.
The ordinance, which must be read and approved one more time by the city council before it becomes law, requires leaf blower operations cease at 5 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. In addition, the ordinance prohibits the use of leaf blowers on Sundays.
"This started because people complained to me that there was a leaf blower going on at 7:30 on a Friday night, and they were having dinner," Councilman Bill Brand, who represents District No. 2, told Gin after the mayor expressed concerns over the lack of outreach to the community. "It just doesn't strike me as a big, huge policy change that needs all this discussion."
Gin had asked whether city staff had reached out to the , local landscapers and residents about the proposed changes, and when they said they had not, he indicated that he would reserve the right to veto the proposed ordinance.
He also asked if city staff could post a notice about the proposed ordinance's second reading on the city's website; they indicated that the would.
District No. 4 Councilman Steve Diels, who was the sole dissenting vote, said that while he respected the ordinance's intent, he did not support it, partially because of the potential for loopholes in the law.
"I want everyone to live in peace and happiness, but banning leaf blowers isn't going to do it," he said.
If Gin does veto the measure, it would be the second time in recent memory that he vetoed a vote about leaf blowers. At the beginning of August, Gin vetoed a request to direct city staff to bring an ordinance banning leaf blowers to a council meeting in October. He said he wanted to know more about the impacts of such a ban.
Planning Director Aaron Jones said city staff planned to report to the mayor and council in October about the impact of a partial or total ban on leaf blowers.
Councilman Steve Aspel, who represents District No. 1 and who was an outspoken opponent of leaf blowers at the August meeting, did not attend Tuesday's council meeting.