Man fined for violating noise ordinance with leaf blower

A Johns Creek municipal court judge has ruled a homeowner created a nuisance for his neighbors by excessively using his leaf blower.

After a four-hour trial, Kim Treaster learned he’ll have to pay a $250 fine and the judge ordered him to make amends with his neighbors in the St. Ives Country club neighborhood.

Treaster was cited in July after neighbors complained about what they considered excessive use of his leaf blower several days a week.

“It bothers me when I want to be outside....anything I want to be outside for, if that blower starts, I can't be outside,” neighbor Sandra Ghafary testified Thursday. “It's just that loud.”

Neighbor Scott Schwertfager testified Treaster often would use his leaf blower for several hours at a time nearly every day of the week, sometimes in the rain, and at times appeared to be blowing “nothing.”

“The fact of the matter is Mr. Treaster is disrespectful to his neighbors and that's why we are here today,” Schwertfager testified.

Treaster told Judge Scott Carter he likes to keep up his yard, and denied using his leaf blower more than four to five times a week, and only for about 90 minutes at a time depending on the season.

“I do take pride in my yard and do make sure the flowers and grass is done,” he said. “I do spend a lot of time in my yard, not just blowing, but doing other things.”

Treaster and his attorney tried to make a case that other neighbors hire professional landscapers who use leaf blowers that are as loud, if not louder, than the one he uses.

“It’s an overreach of government power and we have concerns about how he will maintain peace in the neighborhood,” attorney Bruce Morriss told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik after the judge ruled.

Morriss said it’s possible Treaster will appeal his case to Fulton County.