The county grand jury is recommending that the use of two-cycle leaf blowers be phased out.
These blowers should not be used because they are too noisy and emit too many air pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, according to the grand jury.
“In cases where hand raking or an electric blower is not feasible, newer four-cycle gasoline fueled blowers are preferable due to their reduced exhaust emissions and noise,” the grand jury concluded.
The panel also concluded that the current county ordinance limiting two-stroke blowers is unenforceable.
The county’s current rules require that a code enforcement officer witness a violation and verify that a blower exceeded noise limits before a citation can be issued. This means the rules are never enforced, the panel concluded.
County supervisors and the county’s seven municipalities are required to respond to the grand jury’s recommendations by July 29.
— David Sneed
The Atascadero Unified School District is the proud owner of one more piece of North County real estate.
The district board of trustees approved plans last week to buy a 2.16-acre parcel at 4500 Del Rio Road between San Benito and Potrero roads. It’s adjacent to San Benito Elementary School; the district’s new maintenance, operations and transportation facility; and other district buildings.
Atascadero Unified will pay current owners Eric A. Peterson and Marissa Todd $400,000 to purchase the land, district officials said, using funds from development fees. The deal also allows the district to lease it back to Peterson and Todd.
The purchase comes as Atascadero Unified is considering a new school improvement bond measure. It would replace a 1976 tax override bond set to expire next school year.
The bond would fund new school district buildings and renovation projects, such as repairing and replacing roofs, upgrading athletic facilities and renovating classrooms and restrooms.
If approved, the measure would go on the ballot in November. However, it’s uncertain at this point how much the district will issue in bonds or how much property owners would pay.
The board is expected to vote on the measure at its next meeting May 18.
— Sarah Linn