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Sonoma: leaf blowers no, dogs yes

Posted By Sun News On October 7, 2013 @ 9:37 pm In Community | Comments Disabled

The Sonoma City Council voted 3-2 Monday night to ban gasoline powered leaf blowers and, in another agenda item, decided to pursue allowing leashed dogs on Montini Trail.

The blower ban applies to blowers running on gas or other fuel, as well as generators used to power electric blowers, and will take effect after a 90-day grace period. Backing the ban were Councilmembers Ken Brown, Laurie Gallian and Steve Barbose. Members Tom Rouse and David Cook, who suggested putting the measure on a regular election ballot, a topic that was not pursued, voted against it.

Monday’s other big issue, also drawing about 20 public comments, was the question of preparing an amendment to change the management plan to allow leashed dogs on the Montini Trail.

The county’s Open Space District no-dog rule was part of the deal by which the city will take ownership of the property in early 2014. There is a provision for amending that rule, the council was told. Monday’s 4-1 vote (Rouse in the negative) authorizes city staff to begin that process. First up is commissioning an impact report to show that dogs, if allowed, would have a minimal impact on the trail area.

The decision ultimately rests with the Open Space District, whose director, despite mixed signals very early in the Montini purchase, has, Barbose said, “given an unofficial nod of approval” for the city to make its own choice.

Until then, more meetings and paperwork. “This is but a first step,” said Mayor Ken Brown.


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