Davis Municipal Code Chapter 24


24.02.040 Special provisions.

(a) Power tools. The operation of power tools for noncommercial purposes shall be exempt from the provisions of Sections 24.02.020(a), (b), (c) and 24.02.030, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.; provided, that such operations shall be subject to the provisions of Section 24.05.010. For purposes of this section, a noncommercial use shall be a use for which a business license is not required pursuant to Chapter 19. (b) Construction and landscape maintenance equipment. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays, and between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, construction, alteration, repair or maintenance activities which are authorized by valid city permit or business license, or carried out by employees of contractors of the city shall be allowed if they meet at least one of the following noise limitations: (1) No individual piece of equipment shall produce a noise level exceeding eighty-three dBA at a distance of twenty-five feet. If the device is housed within a structure on the property, the measurement shall be made outside the structure at a distance as close to twenty feet from the equipment as possible. (2) The noise level at any point outside of the property plane of the project shall not exceed eighty-six dBA. (3) The provisions of subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection shall not be applicable to impact tools and equipment; provided, that such impact tools and equipment shall have intake and exhaust mufflers recommended by manufacturers thereof and approved by the director of public works as best accomplishing maximum noise attenuation, and that pavement breakers and jackhammers shall also be equipped with acoustically attenuating shields or shrouds recommended by the manufacturers thereof and approved by the director of public works as best accomplishing maximum noise attenuation. In the absence of manufacturer’s recommendations, the director of public works may prescribe such means of accomplishing maximum noise attenuation as he or she may determine to be in the public interest. Construction projects located more than two hundred feet from existing homes may request a special use permit to begin work at 6:00 a.m. on weekdays from June 15th until September 1st. No percussion type tools (such as ramsets or jackhammers) can be used before 7:00 a.m. The permit shall be revoked if any noise complaint is received by the police department. (4) No individual powered blower shall produce a noise level exceeding seventy dBA measured at a distance of fifty feet. (5) No powered blower shall be operated within one hundred feet radius of another powered blower simultaneously. (6) On single-family residential property, the seventy dBA at fifty feet restriction shall not apply if operated for less than ten minutes per occurrence. (c) Air conditioners and similar equipment. Air conditioners, pool pumps and similar equipment are exempt from this chapter, provided they are in good working order. (d) Work required for the public health and safety. Work performed by city, city franchises, persons under contract with the city for repairs or maintenance of roads, water wells, water service lines, trees and landscape, as well as street sweeping, garbage removal, and similar activities are exempt from this chapter. (e) Safety devices. Aural warning devices which are required by law to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter. (f) Emergencies. Emergencies are exempt from this chapter. (Ord. 1700 § 1; Ord. 1854 §§ 7—10; Ord. 1955, 1998; Ord. 2017, 2000; Ord. 2037, 2000; Ord. 2221, 2005) (Ord. 2437, Amended, 07/2014)


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2006-06-02 08:50:50   "the private or commercial operation of powered blowers will be limited between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 7:00 P.M. on Mondays through Fridays." Most students don't wake up at 8AM. My apartment complex starts blowing leaves at 8AM..argh. —PhilipNeustrom

2006-06-02 09:19:44   I was just looking for something like this...Our leaf blowers start early too....what's even worse is that currently there is construction going on right next to my effing window at The Lexington...and they start AT 7AM. I KNOW that stuff is louder than the decibel standards...I loathe them. —KarlaFung

2007-11-09 09:21:21   Can we please do something about banning leaf blowers in Davis? They pollute both sound-wise and air quality-wise. I think it is the sort of thing that could pass around here. Why can't they just pick up a rake like a normal person. —ErikKlemetti

2008-06-16 13:03:48   Be on the lookout: One specific violation they make is using more than one leaf blower at a time within 100-foot radius at the same time! That not only makes things dustier, but noisier too, which then helps them exceed the 70 dB noise limit as well. —condemned2bfree

2008-06-16 14:44:07   Maybe the city should require leaf blower users to get a permit. The city could charge a healthy fee, make some money to help fill the deficit from those who feel they must leaf-blow instead of raking, and give the leaf blowers an incentive to stop their noise and air pollution. The city commission is always going on about greenhouse gases. Here is an opportunity for them to do something about them. Leaf blowers cannot be justified. They pollute and waste fuel to do something that does not require anything more than a broom or a rake. Since the leaf blower lobby would likely claim an outright ban on leaf blowers would be an unconstituional taking- why not make them pay for their polluting and wasteful ways. —aharjala

  • Although I'm not a huge fan of leaf blowers (especially on Wednesday mornings when they come to my apartment complex and make it impossible to sleep) I'm sure they make professional landscapers' and gardeners' lives immensely easier than if workers had to use a broom or rake. If it takes them hours to rid the complex of leaves by leafblower, I can't imagine how long it would take to do it by rake, or the blisters it would cause. On the other hand, I'm not sure why it's necessary to clean up leaves every week, especially during the months when there aren't that many leaves on the ground. In any case, I like the idea of charging a leafblower fee. West Hollywood and several other California cities have actually banned the use of leafblowers... —ElleWeber

2009-01-05 21:39:28   It's Monday night, 9:32, and there are 2 leaf blowers next to my apartment complex downtown. You can hear them all over downtown from 7AM to 9PM pretty much every day. I'm more than willing to go like WeHo and ban them altogether. I will be contacting my city Representative this week and I'll report back.

Having done landscaping work myself, I sympathize with the landscaping community 100% on this - raking isn't easy work. However, the continuous noise and dust have become worse than having some leaves on the ground. —sjoe

Update: My email to a Mr. Heystek, Lamar was not returned. I'll try the next one on the list.

2009-01-06 11:36:21   I had similar problems to those listed here. After reading the regulations, I noticed two things the company conducting the leaf blowing was doing that were in violation. First, they used three leaf blowers at a time (when only one is allowed), and they were starting earlier than allowed. I called Pat Riley of the City Parks Dept. and he was immensely helpful. Don't be afraid to call him if you notice an infraction. Do not call him just to complain about how much you hate leaf blowers. His number is 757-5656. —condemned2bfree

2014-08-16 08:20:19   Looks like the noise code against leaf blowing has been weakened since 2005. They can start at 8am on Saturdays now. —ToddKaiser