Critic says proposed ban on loud gardening equipment in Vancouver would double strata fees
VANCOUVER – Landscaping business owner says motions from two Vancouver city councilors to ban two-stroke gasoline engines – such as leaf blowers and hedge trimmers – are premature and potentially costly.
If councilors pass either of the proposals, which have yet to be discussed at a council meeting, that would mean landscapers would have to switch to electrical equipment to do business in Vancouver.
“We’re not there yet,” said Kyler Reid, owner of Lawn Care Plus.
He told CTV News Vancouver that electrical devices don’t last very long – around 30 minutes on a single charge – and would require frequent battery changes. They are also expensive.
“The staff we would be forced to hire to bridge the gap between electrical and gas-powered equipment would be a huge cost to us and, in turn, a huge cost to our customers,” Reid explained.
The two separate motions, by councilors Adriane Carr and Sarah Kirby-Yung, are expected to be presented to council next week. The details of the motions vary, but both point to noise pollution and negative environmental impacts as the reasons for the proposed ban.
Reid agrees the machines are noisy, but said until a better alternative is available, banning gasoline engines would be a mistake. He argued that the additional costs passed on to customers by landscaping companies would cause strata fees to skyrocket.
“If the budgets are going to double, the stratum councils will try to go cheap, and when it is cheap, the maintenance of the properties will go down considerably,” he said. “And when property maintenance drops dramatically, disinfection drops dramatically. And you start to have rats and mice and rodents.
Both motions call for a phased ban, implemented in a few years, to allow staff time to study ideas, and for advancements in electrical landscaping equipment.