A resident upset by the sound of leaf blowing on Thanksgiving Day has sparked proposed revisions to Evanston’s leaf blower ordinance that will be up for debate by aldermen tonight.

The change would extend the current ban on gasoline-powered leaf blowers to apply to all city, state and federal holidays.

Use of the gas-powered leaf blowers is already banned:

  • At any time on Sundays
  • Before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
  • Before 7 a.m. and after 9 p.m. on weekdays.
  • At any time of day in the periods between May 15 and Sept. 30 and between Dec. 15 and March 30.

Violation of the ordinance hypothetically can lead to a fine of at least $75, but enforcement efforts have had limited impact.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Ban them altogether

    To me, leaf blowers are the most useless causes of noise and air pollution – all they do is move leaves from one property to another.  

    1. Hand held blowers ok

      You put the leaves in a bag,not on your neighbors yard. I am glad you don't live on my block.

  2. Lawnmower louder than hand held blower

    The Evanston Leaf blower ordinance has to change the banning of leaf blowers.

    The  problem is the backpack blowers that give out the loud noise, the hand held blowers are now made to be two times less the sound of the lawn mower. I'd like to change the ordinance to only backpack blowers be banned in summer months.

  3. Not right? And Not Just Leaf Blowers

    I don't think this is quite right. The PDF on blower regulations published by the city doesn't mention any time restrictions on their use during the period they are allowed (March 31 to May 14 and Oct 1 to Dec 14). A better idea than banning just leaf blowers on Sundays and holidays is to only allow commercial landscapers to operate during the same periods as building contractors. Monday – Friday: 7am – 6pm (until 9pm if low noise level activity) Saturday: 8am – 5pm Sunday: Work not allowed Both building and landscape contractors should not be allowed to work in Evanston on Federal holidays. Peace and quite is good for the soul.

    1. Again, not just leaf blowers

      Now that the weather has changed [I hope] the motorcycle crews will be out.

      I'm all for motorcycles if they save fuel, but it seems a large number of the drivers get their kicks out of seeing how much noise they can make—and they can make plenty.

      I asked an Evanston policeman if/how the muffler and noise laws differ for motorcycles and cars.  He said they don't but that the police don't bother giving motorcycle drivers who don't have proper mufflers and/or make a lot of noise because judges throw the case out.

      Also music, etc. is not suppose to be heard 75 feet from a car/motorcycle.  I've only heard of one ticket for such in the last 15 years.  The police should be able to stand at any corner and catch the noise violators.  Then hopefully the judges will do their duty.

  4. Enforce the ordinance!

    I support expanding the leaf blower ban, but I think we need to find a more effective way to enforce the current ordinance.  The backpack blowers are extremely noisy and polluting, and are especially annoying during the summer months when they are not even supposed to be used!  My husband and I have asked landscapers to stop using them only to be laughed at or ignored, and if we call the police they arrive after the landscapers are gone.  Perhaps extending the fines to the homeowners who employ these landscaping services would be more effective.

    1. You don’t have enough to keep

      You don't have enough to keep you busy if this is what you worry about.

  5. Electric Mulching Mower

    I employ an interesting method on my lawn… it is a bit of an antique idea, but it has the added attraction of being peaceful and relaxing.  I purchased an electric mulching mower from Sears which I actually use myself.  Mowing the lawn gets me off my behind and out of the house for some much-needed exercise and, since I'm mulching the lawn and leaves, I have no need for a leaf blower.  On those few occasions I've needed to use a leaf blower, I use an electric model that was purchased at Home Depot – way to keep those tax dollars in Evanston!  Mowing ones own lawn is a great way to be one with nature. 

    1. Lawn Care ? Hard to Believe we are in a recession

      From the number of 'lawn care' services [many just mowing lawns] I see on people's property, it is hard to believe we are in a recession or having any economic problems in Evanston.

      Evanston residents must have a lot more money in their pockets then they claim when they complain about taxes and County assessments [I do to].

      Most of the yards I see crews at would not have even needed a high school student to mow—-a grade school student with hand mower would do.  In fact when I was growing-up [sorry to use this argument], parents paid [or made a part of allowance or duty] their kids to do the lawns.

      If more residents would do their own lawn [and esp. use a handmower and save fuel] there might be fewer overweight people and fewer heart/other problems.   Not to mention saving a  lot of money to pay the mortgage, send kids to college, etc..


      1. Hand pushing mower causes hemorrhoids

        Some people over 80 need someone to cut their lawn. Also the man and women without kids are both working  to make ends meet, and their only time together is the weekend.

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published.