Friday, September 4, 2009

Residential shielded lighting

In the two years since Powhatan enacted its lighting ordinance, to include residential rules, almost a dozen other Virginia counties have residents who have contacted me about ordinances of their own. I am happy to say that Goochland County is now developing a lighting ordinance.

When speaking to local government officials about ordinances, I have found that there is a reluctance to include residential properties. The main answer to my questions as to why, is that the people will object, saying that their rights are being taken away.

1. It only takes one bad light to ruin the night sky for everyone far around.

2. No one's rights are being taken away. Anyone may light up their own yard. Regulations merely say that the light must be shielded so glare stops at the property line. This can be accomplished with inexpensive covers over the light source. Rights are being preserved in this manner, the rights of neighbors who prefer dark skies not to have a neighbor decide against that preference.