Commencing April 28, 2023 use of gas-powered leaf blowers will be banned in the City of Pasadena. The use of electric-powered leaf blowers can continue subject to restricted hours of:
- 8AM-6PM, Monday – Friday
- 9AM-5PM on Saturday
- Prohibited all day on Sunday
Equipment Discounts of up to 75% for Small Businesses and Sole Proprietor Landscapers
Technology for electric-powered leaf blowers has advanced substantially, some of these units more powerful than gas-powered units and can provide over an hour of use without a charge. There are currently two programs which offer discounts to small businesses and sole proprietor landscapers for exchanging gas-powered leaf blowers for electric leaf blowers:
South Coast AQMD
The South Coast AQMD offers a Commercial Lawn & Garden Equipment Exchange offers rebates of up to 75% of the cost of a electric leaf blower. Limited funding is available.
Professional Landscape Services, Small Businesses and Microbusinesses, and Sole Proprietors can apply for UP TO $400 off electric lawn equipment through the California CORE program
The Clean Off-Road Equipment Voucher Incentive Project (CORE) is a program set in place to assist small businesses and sole proprietors (or unincorporated businesses) in purchasing zero-emission equipment in California. This program helps businesses purchase electric equipment, including electric leaf blowers, at a discounted rate.
Senate Bill 170 appropriated $27 million to the California Clean Off-Road Equipment Voucher Incentive Project (CORE) to provide incentives for professional landscape services in California operated by a small business or sole proprietor. These funds are intended to purchase qualifying zero-emission professional landscape service equipment.
Eligible purchasers include small businesses or sole proprietors who provide professional landscape services as defined below.
Professional Landscape Service
A landscape contractor constructs, maintains, repairs, installs, or subcontracts the development of landscape systems and facilities for public and private gardens and other areas which are designed to aesthetically, architecturally, horticulturally, or functionally improve the grounds within or surrounding a structure or a tract or plot of land. In connection therewith, a landscape contractor prepares and grades plots and areas of land for the installation of any architectural, horticultural and decorative treatment or arrangement. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 16 § 832.27.)
Small Business and Microbusiness
A small business means an independently owned and operated business that is not dominant in its field of operation, the principal office of which is located in California, the officers of which are domiciled in California, and which, together with affiliates, has 100 or fewer employees, and average annual gross receipts of ten million dollars ($10,000,000) or less over the previous three years, or is a manufacturer, as defined in subdivision (c), with 100 or fewer employees. Commencing January 1, 2019, the average annual gross receipts threshold shall be fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000). (Gov. Code § 14837(d)(1)(A))
Microbusiness is a small business which, together with affiliates, has average annual gross receipts of two million five hundred thousand dollars ($2,500,000) or less over the previous three years, or is a manufacturer, as defined in subdivision (c), with 25 or fewer employees. Commencing January 1, 2019, the average annual gross receipts threshold shall be five million dollars ($5,000,000). (Gov. Code § 14837(d)(2))
A sole proprietorship is set up to allow an individual to own and operate a business. A sole proprietor has total control, receives all profits from and is responsible for taxes and liabilities of the business.
- Select equipment that suits your needs from California CORE’s online equipment catalog.
- Contact an eligible dealer. Eligible Dealers are listed under the specific item you select. Find a dealer in your area. We recommend calling in advance to schedule a meeting to submit a voucher request. Documentation of business may be required- please ask the dealer what information they will need.
- Provide the dealer with voucher request information. You will work with the dealer to submit the voucher request. The approval process may take a few days.
- Purchase your CORE-discounted equipment. After your voucher has been approved, you can return to the store and purchase your discounted landscape equipment!
A list of professional landscape service equipment can be found online at California CORE. dealers and similar equipment will populate the screen after you select a specific item.
For Questions or to Report Violations
For additional information on the gas-powered leaf blower ban,
please call Code Compliance at (626) 744-8633.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although small, gas-powered leaf blowers have highly polluting engines which can result in significant health impacts for the community, but particularly the equipment operators. In addition to smog-forming emissions and toxic fumes, gas-powered leaf blowers also create carbon-dioxide emissions that contribute to the climate crisis. Using a gas-powered backpack leaf blower for just one hour generates the same smog-forming emissions as a car driven for 1,100 miles. This ban will improve air quality, public health, and noise pollution.
Are there changes to the permitted days and hours change when you can use a leaf blower with the new ordinance?
No, the allowed hours for any person to operate a leaf blower remain 8:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays; and not permitted on Sundays at any time.
Property owners are not exempt from this ordinance.
Yes, it is unlawful to operate a leaf blower with a maximum noise level of 65 decibels when measured from a distance of 50 feet.
Commercial areas 500 feet from a residential area are exempt from restricted days and hours, use of gas leaf blower is still prohibited.
No, only one electric leaf blower is allowed to be used on a parcel at a time.
If a hired landscape company is operating a gas-powered leaf blower at my property, who is responsible?
The owner of the landscape company or operator will be held responsible.
Yes, at the direction of emergency responders, gas-powered leaf blowers may be used for the purposes of responding to an emergency, or necessary to protect or save lives or property from eminent danger of loss or harm.
You can operate a leaf blower for no more than 15 minutes per hour on a parcel less than ½ acre, and no more than 30 minutes per hour on a parcel greater than ½ acre.
You can contact the Code Compliance Division at (626) 744-8633, or online at www.cityofpasadena.net/citizen-service-center/submit-a-request for questions or concerns regarding leaf blower use.
Initial enforcement action is a Warning Notice, failure to comply with the Warning Notice will result in the issuance of administrative citations. 1st citation is $124, 2nd citation is $255, 3rd citation is $643 and 4th citation is $1,000.