Need for dark sky ordinance questioned
in Sun Valley
By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer
The Sun Valley City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission are
uncertain whether the city needs an ordinance that would protect night skies from the
citys night lights.
In a joint meeting Thursday, Councilman Kevin Laird continued to be
outspoken in questioning the need for an ordinance. He was joined by Sun Valley Co.
general manager Wally Huffman.
According to Sun Valley planning administrator Jack Cloud, the citys
planning staff and planning and zoning commission will complete an inventory of the
citys poor lighting in coming months. The commission and city council will then be
able to decide if an ordinance is needed in the city.
The planning and zoning commission and planning staff will also draft
lighting standards, Cloud said.
A dark sky ordinance limits glare and light pollution by imposing
restrictions on wattage allowances and types of light fixtures.
Huffman cautioned city officials and said, "My first sense of this is
that its Shakespearean: Its much ado about nothing."
"If this municipality needs a dark sky ordinance, which I doubt, then
you need to look at residential areas and commercial areas separately," he said.
Huffman asked about Sun Valley Co.s ice rink, ice shows, decorative
lighting and the eventual potential for night skiing on Dollar Mountain.
Those are all things the city probably doesnt want to preclude in
approving a dark sky ordinance, Huffman pointed out.
City council and P&Z members agreed to take those things into
Some agreed that different zones would need to be treated differently if
an ordinance is ever adopted.
Cloud said he expects the commission will have a draft ordinance to
present to the council in two to three months.