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The night sky with all its stars, planets and mystery are infinitely important to us. Sadly, we can no longer look up and see the same sky our grandparents saw. And we pay the huge price of actually losing the ability to the see the glory of the universe we live in. It would be great if residents, property owners, government agencies and school districts would realize this on their own and see how much they could save financially and environmentally by implementing wise lighting policy, but they currently seem to be unaware. Now is the time to make sure there is some healthy focus on making lighting decisions that are good for everyone. The decisions to use lighting wisely are not costly decisions, just educated ones.
The residents of much of the mountain and desert areas of San Bernardino County, California currently enjoy a beautiful dark, star-filled night sky and a view of the Milky Way, unlike the residents of the more populated valley areas of the county.
The intent of the proposed ordinance is to encourage effective, non-detrimental lighting to maintain nightime safety, utility, security and productivity; and to encourage lighting practices which will minimize glare and light trespass, conserve energy, and curtail the degradation of the night time visual environment. All of this without unreasonably forcing retroactive rules onto residents and businesses, and while favoring responsible growth.
Please read the bulleted main points below and then continue to the end and sign this petition in support. To obtain the full text of the proposed ordinance, send an email with Dark Skies in the SUBJECT line to firstname.lastname@example.org , and a MSWord doc will be sent to you.
Additional comments and suggestions may be written in the Comments section, and will be noted, and you can join discussion by clicking on the Discussion link.
We, the undersigned, support the intent of and main points of the proposed ordinance as stated below.
The Valley is considered to be the area which is located south and west of the National Forest boundary, from Chino, Chino Hills and Upland to Yucaipa. The Mountain and Desert areas compose the rest of the County, and it is the desire of many residents who live here to provide broader protection of the existing night sky.
In the Valley areas:
-Commercial or industrial lighting in the Valley area shall be fully shielded or recessed to preclude light trespass or pollution to neighbors and roadways
In the Mountain and Desert areas these will apply to all residential, commercial and industrial structural and freestanding outdoor light fixtures:
-Any new lighting for new construction shall be shielded to preclude light pollution and trespass on adjacent property or roadways and rights-of-way
-Residential pole lighting shall not exceed 12 feet in height
-In commercial and industrial districts 50% of all NONCONFORMING lighting fixtures in parking lots or open lot sales areas shall be turned off within 1 hour after closing or between 10 PM and sunrise, whichever comes first.
- There are steps to obtain an administrative exemption if turning off 50% of the lights would be a hardship
-Private recreation facilities will have lights turned off no later than 11 PM and until sunrise.
-Public facilities shall not be illuminated unless they
Lynn Courtney is a Municipal Advisory Councilmember for Pinon Hills who introduced and pursued this effort to preserve the value of the glorious night skies still enjoyed by most of San Bernardino County . She thinks all county residents should be able to see the Milky Way and the universe in which they live. As a conservative she also believes that wasted outdoor light equals wasted energy and money.
Laverne Booth is an amateur astronomer and has been a member of the International Dark-Sky Association for 14 years. She advocates sensible outdoor night lighting which provides safety and a sense of security without creating glare, light trespass or artificial sky glow. She is a resident of Hesperia, CA.
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THE INTERNATIONAL DARK-SKY ASSOCIATION http://www.darksky.org MEDIA COVERAGE OF LIGHT ISSUES-2ND QTR. 2003 http://www.darksky.org/links/mediacov.html MORE VERY INFORMATIVE INFO ON THIS ISSUE http://skyandtelescope.com/resources/darksky/default.asp
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