dark sky law
Express Staff Writer
City Council adopted a "dark sky" ordinance at its meeting
Monday night, insuring its residents will be able to see the Milky Way at
night and to sleep in their bedrooms without resorting to blackout
lighting ordinance will regulate light pollution, which is defined as
glare, light trespass, uplighting, discomfort to the eye, uncomfortable
distraction to the eye or diminishing the ability to see the night sky.
outdoor lighting is to be directed downward only, and its illuminance or
brightness will be regulated.
Most of the
public comment at the meeting Monday was positive, but some people had
reservations about the ordinance.
owner of the Wood River Inn on Main Street, called the ordinance a
that if the ordinance were enacted, crime would increase because lighting
would be reduced.
claimed it would cost him between $45,000 and $50,000 to retrofit the
outdoor lighting of his business.
point he referred to Dr. Stephen Pauley, the amateur astronomer who
promoted Ketchumís dark sky ordinance.
would be interested in knowing the cost to me for his ability to use his
telescope," Carwin said.
resident, Tracy Lotz, called the ordinance a "special interest."
He told the
council his story about being "accosted" in his driveway by a
you realize your back porch light has been on for the last two
nights?" the stranger asked.
is dark sky territory," the man told Lotz. "How dare you leave
your light on?"
the council he was unaware the light had been left on.
point is, when this becomes law, will people be courteous?" he asked.
said he worried about his elderly father who said he had a hard time
getting around Hailey at night with the lighting as it is.
only takes a few minutes to go up one of the nearby canyons, if you want
dark sky," Kunkel said.
positive side, Andy Harding said he thought the ordinance was great.
He said he
was in favor of the ordinance and its requirement for shielded lighting,
so that light wasnít scattered, "not doing anyone any good."
said that he noticed over the last five years that Hailey had more ambient
light shining off nearby mountainsides.
light intrusion "an insidious creep."
the council that the ordinance was "a quality of life issue for
shouldnít be sleeping with lights shining in your bedroom. You donít
want to be able to read a newspaper by someone elseís light," he
the problem the elderly have with night lighting is the glare, not that it
isnít bright enough.
light means the light goes down, not out," he said. "You donít
not saying to turn out the lights, but to control them," Pauley said.
council, with Council President Susan McBryant sitting in for the absent
Mayor Al Lindley, unanimously approved the ordinance, but it still has to
be read two more times in two future council meetings.
the ordinance can still undergo changes.