Village of Roslyn Village trustees on Tuesday tightened local laws on leafblowing, lawnmowing and “unnecessary” noisemakers.
Roslyn Village Mayor John Durkin introduced the proposed ordinance to trustees, explaining it intent to address complaints by Village residents about the buzzing landscaping machines that disrupt their rights to quiet enjoyment every autumn.
“This is in response to some residents’ requests,” Durkin said. “They’re being disturbed on weekends.”
Durkin said the new law makes it easier for locals to sleep later — until 9 a.m. — and on weekends, when “motorized leaf blowing” is prohibited.
Landscapers, previously prohibited from starting work before 8 a.m on weekdays and 9 a.m. on Saturdays, will have to wait an hour longer before they start work.
Use of leafblowing equipment by landscapers is completely banned on weekends and legal holidays.
Resident Gregory Trezza, who lives on Sinclair Martin Drive in Roslyn Village, expressed concerns about the legislation.
Trezza said he was concerned that the law would stop him from using power tools he needs to do gardening on Saturdays and Sundays.
“I work Monday through Friday,” he said. “The only time I have is the weekend.”
Trustees speculated that the law might consider a homeowner who gardens on weekends an “other person” referred to in the legal text.
But Village attorney John Gibbons assured them the weekend restrictions do not apply to Trezza and other homeowners because it regulates the “professionals” who landscape commercially.
“There’s no leafblowing device at all on Saturdays or Sundays,” Gibbons told Trezza. “So you can do regular landscaping and groundskeeping on weekends but you can’t do leafblowing.”
“This [revised law] doesn’t apply at all to the Village of Roslyn resident who goes out to landscape on their own property,” Gibbons said.
The owner of an office building at 55 Bryant Avenue complained that the new restrictions are a problem for him.
“I have doctors, a professional trainer, lawyers in there,” he said, noting the parking lot is active all week. “My landscaper comes on Saturday. He can’t come during the week,” noting that commercial landscapers won’t be able to blow leaves off his parking lot because the tighter law makes that work illegal.
The mayor disagreed, maintaining that leaf-blowing in a parking lot would not be considered “landscaping” of property under the law.
The law does, however, apply to “groundskeeping,” defined as “removing” of “leaves” which have “fallen”.
Durkin agreed that Code enforcers have “discretion” to allow parking lot leaf-blowing on weekends to continue.
After the meeting, Gibbons said the Village Buildings Inspector has authority to exercise judgment in enforcing local laws.
“If you have a problem and you need to do work that might violate the code, you get in touch with the Building Inspector,” he said.
Trustee Craig Westergard proposed postponing a vote on the amended law to allow public comment, specifically by the new owners of the large, heavily treed tract of leafy land recently sold by Shibley Day Camp.
But the mayor urged the law, coming at the height of leaf-blowing season, be passed immediately.
Section 1-8A of the Roslyn Village Municipal Code subjects violators “generally” to a fine as high as $250 for a first violation. The law takes effect after it is filed in the office of the Secretary of State. Gibbons said that typically takes 10 days.
The revised law, section 179-47A(5) of the Municipal Code, now reads:
“No gardener, landscaper or irrigation service professional or other person shall commence or continue the performance of any landscaping, gardening, groundskeeping services or irrigation services before the hour of 8 a.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. on Saturday, and work must conclude by 5:00 p.m. on all days. No work is to be performed on Sundays or legal holidays. No leaf blower or other similar motorized leaf blowing device shall be used on Saturdays, Sundays or legal holidays.”
Trustees approved landscaping and construction plans to address erosion and parking at 1437-1439 Old Northern Blvd., owned by Jamie Kim. They raised concerns about the safety of the arrangement of the parking spaces and other issues, but passed a motion agreeing to the plans, freeing up construction of a retaining wall and other work.