Sun Valley P&Z endorses lighting
Legislation will go before
City Council in 2004
By GREGORY FOLEY
Express Staff Writer
Sun Valley Planning and Zoning
commissioners Tuesday, Dec. 9, unanimously endorsed a proposed ordinance
designed to control light pollution in the city limits.
After making a series of minor changes to
the cityís draft "Exterior Lighting Ordinance," commissioners voted 5-0 to send
the legislation to the City Council for final approval.
It is likely the City Council will review
and consider the new ordinance in early 2004.
If approved by the city, the ordinance
would become the third of its kind in the Wood River Valley. Ketchum and Hailey
have already enacted ordinances to regulate exterior lighting.
Sun Valley Mayor-elect Jon Thorson praised
the P&Zís action Tuesday, noting that he believes the ordinance is "fabulous."
At issue is an eight-page piece of
legislation that has been in draft form for approximately two years.
The P&Z and city planning staff recently
made a push to complete the ordinance, after postponing the project when a
series of large development proposals were submitted to the city in 2002.
The legislation is designed primarily to
create lighting standards for all new construction in the city, as well as to
eventually bring existing residential, commercial and institutional properties
into compliance with the proposed standards.
"Itís more than providing a dark sky for
astronomers," said Community Development Director Jack Cloud.
The stated goals of the ordinance include
minimizing the effects of glare and excessive lighting, preventing light
trespass from one property to another, and to "provide safe roadways for
Generally, the draft ordinance proposes
that all exterior lighting in the city should be "downcast and fully shielded,"
except in some specific cases, including:
Fixtures emitting the equivalent light of a 60-watt bulb, which may be left
partially shielded if the lamp is not visible and is under an opaque top or a
Specially approved lights used by commercial or resort-related businesses.
Residential holiday lighting, which may be used from Nov. 1 to March 15, if it
does not flash and is turned off by 11 p.m. each night.
Floodlights with external shielding "provided that no light is directed above
a 30-degree angle" and no glare is caused.
The ordinance states that all new
development projects in the city must comply with its provisions.
As proposed by the P&Z, all existing
exterior lighting in the city must be brought into conformance with the
ordinance within 18 months of its approval by the City Council.