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Malibu Lighting Ordinance Could be in the Works

Preserving Malibu's remaining dark skies will likely be at the heart of the possible ordinance, which will go before the planning commission next week.

An ordinance seeking to protect Malibu's remaining dark skies and provide lighting guidelines for future development could be in the works.

Commissioners will consider recommending that the City Council initiate an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to establish a lighting ordinance at its Feb. 19 meeting at Malibu City Hall.

Planning Commission Chair John Mazza brought up the idea to introduce a recommendation for a lighting ordinance at the Feb. 4 meeting following a presentation by James Benya, director of the Advanced Lighting Design Program at California Lighting Technology Center at UC Davis.

"Light pollution is a growing problem worldwide," Benya said in the hour-long presentation.

Benya laid out a model lighting ordinance, pointing to Anchorage and Tucson as the most progressive.

The ordinance creating zones of light within communities, ranging from conservative to liberal amounts of lighting.

"You could look at your community and create different standards for different parts of your community," said Benya, who was one of the authors of the International Dark Sky Association/Illuminating Engineering Society Model Lighting Ordinance.

Malibu Patch will have more on this story soon.

Marianne Riggins February 11, 2013 at 02:42 PM
I look forward to hearing more about adopting a lighting ordinance in Malibu, we in Malibu should establish guidelines for good lighting. What is great about International Dark Skies is that they are not about no lighting, but about quality lighting.
Jenny Mullen February 11, 2013 at 03:06 PM
YES!
Tom Bates February 11, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Really Dumb! Is that light pollution I see in Santa Monica, El Segundo, Manhatttan Beach at night. Light pollution is a emotional mental disease who like to live in the dark!!. At the High School at night it is simply a nuisance to a residential neighborhood.
Marshall Thompson February 11, 2013 at 05:06 PM
"Conservative to liberal" amounts of lighting.." what a strange choice of words, as if an intentional move to politicize light pollution in Red vs Blue state terms. Anyway, I am all for a lighting ordinance and strong enforcement that is also retroactive in order to preserve our precious starry night skies. All we need to do is look toward Kanan Dume Road from our house to see the factory-like glow from the Valley every night, fading into the velvety dark skies reaching out over the Malibu shoreline.
J. February 11, 2013 at 05:44 PM
We moved to Malibu for the sea and the stars. Please preserve the dark night sky!!!
R Y A N February 11, 2013 at 06:46 PM
Lighting Design is a discipline like any other design field. Good lighting design inherently complies with Dark Skies principles. Lighting up the sky is wasted energy. Targeting light for the proper use or application, without overlighting, is a calculated science. Those wishing to skip the calculations (or good judgment) won't obtain desired outcomes, and will result in sky glow, glare, and overlighting. Sometimes one has to experience good outdoor lighting to know what is possible, what is better, and why.
Hans Laetz February 11, 2013 at 07:01 PM
I would feel a lot better about this if the existing light ordinances were enforced. Commercial lots emit glare far beyond property lines. New subdivisions and houses have floodlights pointing straight up, in direct violations if specific permit limitations. The new Nobu is lit up like the Oxnard Auto Msll, with very bright light spill onto PCH. 24/7. I am from Tucson, where we learned that enacting the light spill ordinance is not even a quarter of the necessary effort. Enforcement. That's the issue.
Judi Hutchinson February 11, 2013 at 10:35 PM
This is like closing the barn door after the horse bolted. Has anyone noted the lights on the proposed esplanade? Check out the lights at the school! I now have a permanent glow in my night sky. When Trancas gets their lights, it will be one continues glow across the Zuma Beach area.
Hans Laetz February 11, 2013 at 11:31 PM
Permanent? I thought they are turned off at 7:30, and are used only up to 3 nights a week, abd at that only for 3 1/2 months a year? And then on 16 nights til 10:30. Judi, that is not a permanent glow and you know it. It is less than two percent of nighttime hours.
J. Flo February 12, 2013 at 02:43 AM
I really feel for you guys living in Malibu Park!
David Armstead February 12, 2013 at 03:42 AM
What about the new spot lights that Sunset Restaurant at Westward Beach, just installed above the parking lot and on top of the building pointing out across the sand to the surf for the benefit of their patrons? Permits?? It is bright and obnoxious to what otherwise is an excellent star gazing spot.
Cindy Vandor February 12, 2013 at 04:43 AM
Trancas Starbucks temp lights are blindingly bright and a hazard to drivers on PCH. Nobu parking lot lights also. City Staff: Do your jobs please and enforce existing light ordinances. City Council: Negligence is criminalized when public safety is at stake.
Judi Hutchinson February 12, 2013 at 06:24 PM
Hans, I know, what I know, when I know it. I have a permanent glow! I am referring to all the security lights and parking lights the school has on all night. My neighbor has been discussing this with the school. He has been trying to get them to change them out for lights with less pollution. It hasn't helped! The stadium lights are another matter, all together. You get blasted with those when you come around the corner. It is really bad for my neighbors. I get sky glow when they are on but I haven't trimmed my trees so I don't get it in my living room like I use to. Then again I lost my ocean view that way.
Hans Laetz February 13, 2013 at 02:54 AM
You are right about the security, Judi, and I have joined you for the past five years to demand an improved approach. The district must come up with a master dark skies plan for existing lights. I understand that plan has been delivered to the city. We shall see.
Marshall Thompson February 13, 2013 at 03:49 AM
Hans, what's up with the intersection at Trancas & PCH now that they have taken the old Starbucks etc bldg. down to the studs. It looks like the developers might put in a right turn lane on PCH after all. Got any intel to share? Thx for all your great work on this project.
sandy90265 February 13, 2013 at 11:03 PM
Absolutely! We could see the night sky, dream and still have light where needed. It would be worth the effort.

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