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MAYORWatch: Are Landscapers Supposed to Give Those in the Immediate Area a Break?

Mayor Michael Victorino answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

Question: What is the County Code Section, which applies to noise by landscapers and tree cutting, please? I thought there was a time limit of, I think, 20 to 30 minutes? Aren’t they supposed to take a break to give those living in the immediate area a break from the noise?

Answer: Mahalo for the question, but I will have to give you a sort of mixed answer because it depends on what the landscapers are doing.

We reached out to the state Department of Health Noise Section because they typically handle noise-related issues on the island. They said that if the landscaper is clearing trees or doing groundwork to eventually put a subdivision or build a single family dwelling on the site in the future, then it would fall under the state’s noise regulations.

The contractors would need to apply for a Community Noise Permit, which would allow them to exceed the state noise code from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays. There is no time limit for landscaping work unless there is a Community Noise Permit.

If they are landscapers, gardeners or homeowners using equipment to trim trees or to maintain grass, shrubs, bushes, etc., then it wouldn’t fall under the state’s noise regulations. This would be considered maintenance rather than construction.

DOH does not have any noise regulations that fall under maintenance, though, there is a specific law that only pertains to leaf-blowers. Leaf-blowers are not to be used within a residential zone or within 100 feet of a residential zone, except between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday and state or federal holidays.

I know these are a lot of conditions to take into account, so I’d like to remind everyone that you always have the right to call Maui Police Department’s nonemergency line at 244-6400 to report excessive noise. Maui Police protects residents from unreasonable noise due to the disorderly conduct code.

For more information, please call the DOH Noise Section at (808) 586-4700.

Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Michael Victorino by email at [email protected], by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., ninth floor, Wailuku 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask theMayor” column; to request a personal response to a concern, email [email protected]

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