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London

Councillor withdraws gas-powered lawn equipment curfew proposal

The London city councillor behind a proposed curfew on gas-powered yard tools has withdrawn the motion following an avalanche of negative feedback.

Ward 11 Councillor Skylar Franke announced over the weekend that after listening to Londoners' response to the idea it became clear the restriction was too limiting.

"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 in a social media post. "While I still believe we must reduce emissions and noise wherever possible, it appears this will not be a viable solution for many."

Franke had tabled a motion at last Wednesday's civic works committee that called for the noise bylaw to be amended to limit the use of gas-powered yard equipment such as lawn mowers, weed-trimmers, and leaf blowers to between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Currently, all lawn tools can be used between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.

While the committee endorsed the proposal, reaction from the public and London's mayor were swift.

Mayor Josh Morgan stated publicly he would be voting against the proposal at council. He said that council has far more pressing issues to deal with.

Londoners voiced concern that a 6 p.m. curfew didn't allow them enough time to maintain their lawns after work and that it would force them to perform summer lawn care during the hottest part of the day.

"In response to the feedback received, I am officially retracting the current motion at the June 4 council meeting," Franke posted. "Moving forward, I hope we can continue to explore alternative solutions that balance the needs of all community members while addressing the issues of noise and emissions.

Franke went on to state that Londoner's input is "valuable in our local democracy" and encouraged residents to continue to share their thoughts on motions put before council. 

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