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City councillor withdraws proposed curfew for gas powered lawn equipment after negative feedback

A gas powered lawn mower is seen on London, Ont. on May 22, 2024. (Daryl Newcombe/CTV News London) A gas powered lawn mower is seen on London, Ont. on May 22, 2024. (Daryl Newcombe/CTV News London)
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Several days after a motion was first put forward that would have limited the time of day when Londoners could use gas powered lawn equipment, the city councillor who proposed it is speaking out.

In a statement posted to Facebook on Saturday, Ward 11 Coun. Skylar Franke said she is withdrawing her current motion at the upcoming June 4 council meeting. Citing feedback from the community, Franke said the proposed 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. timeframe for the use of gas powered lawn care equipment was “too limiting” for Londoners.

“The intent of this motion was to reduce noise and emissions for the benefit of our community, but I understand that these restrictions could pose significant challenges for those with busy schedules and for local lawn care businesses,” Franke said. “While I still believe we must reduce emissions and noise wherever possible, it appears this will not be a viable solution for many.

The motion was first put forward by Franke to the Civic Works Committee on May 22 in response to community feedback regarding environmental concerns and the noise emitted by gas powered equipment.

The proposed motion immediately resulted in negative feedback from the community, including a social media post from London Mayor Josh Morgan.

“We have far more pressing issues to deal with," Morgan posted on May 23. “The message I've heard most from Londoners is one I agree with wholeheartedly: 'get off my lawn.'"

As a result of withdrawing the motion, Franke said she hopes Londoners can continue to “explore alternative solutions that balance the needs of all community members while addressing the issues of noise and emissions.”

Had the motion remained, city council would have decided during a meeting on June 4 whether to schedule a public meeting in July about reducing the hours for using gas lawn equipment.

Currently, the Sound By-law restricts the use of all lawn maintenance equipment to between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.

The proposal by Franke would have limited gas powered mowers, blowers and trimmers to between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Operating hours for electric lawn equipment would not have changed. 

-- With files from CTV News London's Daryl Newcombe

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