Greetings Fairfield Homeowners,

We’ve been sending out a Newsletter on the first of each month beginning last May.  We hope it has been helpful and a useful way to share information.  Linda Longlet has been creating tutorials for each monthly Newsletter to help us learn how to use our new website.  June’s tutorial was about using the “Contact” form.  The “Contact” form is a great way to let our Board and HBS know if you have a question, concern, complaint, or to report a problem.

The following conversation has begun due to a homeowner using the “Contact” form:

Many of our homeowners enjoy the fresh air by opening windows and spending time on their patios.  Though we usually enjoy a quiet and peaceful neighborhood, noise from landscapers can be problematic.  Some landscapers are using multiple power tools simultaneously and this increases decibels and gas fumes.  Some homeowners have noticed an increase in the 2-stroke high pitch noise causing them to go indoors and shut windows.  Leaf blowers seem to be the main culprit.  Acoustics experts say blower noise is especially irritating because of its particular pitch, the changing amplitude, and the lack of control by the hearer.

The most powerful leaf blowers can create a stream of air exceeding 200 mph and noise levels as high as an ear-piercing 112 decibels, though most  leaf-blower’s noise at 50 feet ranges from 64 to 78 decibels.   Exposure to leaf blower noise contributes to hearing loss and that the use of 2 blowers surpasses 85 decibels, the limit set by the World Health Organization to avoid hearing loss.  Many communities across the nation have instituted restrictions such as limiting gas blowers to one at a time on an individual property, and/or limiting the amount of time that blowers are used, and requiring leaf-blowers to not exceed 65 decibels.

Here is a fun article, though a bit dated:

Grandmother Proves Rake and Broom as Fast as Leaf Blowers

(January 8, 1998 press release from Zero Air Pollution, Los Angeles)

In fighting the ban on gas powered leaf blowers gardeners have argued that it would take them twice as long to do jobs if they had to use rakes and brooms. But Diane Wolfberg, a Palisadian grandmother in her late 50s, proved them wrong in tests conducted by the Department of Water & Power Leafblower Task Force last Thursday.

In three tests involving gas powered leaf blowers and battery powered leaf blowers, Diane cleaned the areas using rakes or brooms faster than any of the battery powered blowers and almost as fast as the gas powered leaf blowers and she did a better job in cleaning up the areas.

A start may be to encourage your landscaper to use power tools, especially blowers, as little as possible.  Also, consider using only one blower at a time and then use a broom to finish once the debris is on the driveway/road.  Another possibility is to ask your landscaper to consider battery/electric power tools.

If you would like to join this conversation, please contact Sharon Jarvis, Fairfield Secretary, at

Best Regards,

Fairfield HOA Board