“Dark Skies” chapter [starting pages 85-97] to regulate the installation & operation of outdoor lighting [see http://goo.gl/09uIo for 13 page 132kb PDF file excerpted from the complete Proposed 2011 Kern County Zoning Ordinance Revisionshttp://goo.gl/IMR5F ------------------------ From: Lorelei H. Oviatt, Director, Kern County Planning & Community Development Sent: Monday, August 01, 2011 11:34 AM To: Robert Dmohowski ; Kathe Malouf ; email@example.com ; Nancy Emerson IDA Santa Barbara County Cc: Mark A. Cunningham MAC Ligthing Consulting Subject: Fwd: Re: Zoning Ordinance Revisions - 2011 | methods of commenting
All, Email comments are always accepted. We do not, however, put out public notices by email. So if you wish to be placed on the future notification list we will need a full name and mailing address along with your email. I look forward to everyones comments.
Lorelei H.Oviatt, AICP Director, Kern County Planning and Community Development 2700 "M" Street Bakersfield, Ca 93301 (661)862-8866 Fax (661) 862-8601 ------------------------------- Comments to the Planning Commission should be submitted as soon as possible [be sure to reference Zoning Ordinance Revisions - 2011]
In person: The Kern County Planning Commission meets every 2nd & 4th Thursday of the month, at 7pm in the Board of Supervisors Chambers, 1st Floor Kern County Administrative Center, 1115 Truxton (at N St.), Bakersfield MAP http://goo.gl/sHOEL.
MORE INFO OR QUESTIONS: Kathe Malouf, Supervising Planner (661) 862-8948 firstname.lastname@example.org or Rob Dmohowski, Planner 2 (661) 862-8767 email@example.com.
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MAC COMMENTS on the Proposed Dark Skies Ordinance - 2011/08/07 08:15On 8/6/2011 6:31 PM, MAC Lighting wrote: > Lorelei, > > Attached are my comments. I have also attached a copy of the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) Model Lighting Ordinance (MLO) that I referenced in my comments. I will miss the public hearing on Thursday, August 25 due to business in Minneapolis, MN. Please contact me if I can be of further service or my comments need clarification. > > Sincerely, > > Mark Cunningham > MAC Lighting Consulting > firstname.lastname@example.org > 661.393-3364
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Nancy Emerson, IDA Santa Barbara
COMMENTS on the Proposed Dark Skies Ordinance - 2011/08/07 08:35On 8/4/2011 10:01 PM, Nancy Emerson, IDA Santa Barbara email@example.com wrote: > >> Dear Ms. Oviatt: > >> > >> Thank you for your e-mail indicating that comments on the proposed Kern County Outdoor Lighting Ordinance could be sent via e-mail. As the Santa Barbara County Section Leader for the International Dark Sky Association, individuals in Kern County interested in working with your county on an Outdoor Lighting Ordinance contacted me early in their process and I provided some information about existing ordinances in California and elsewhere. I recently received notice that the ordinance was now ready for review by your Planning Commission. My comments are based on the Save Our Stars Committee's (Women's Environmental Watch) experience with Outdoor Lighting Ordinances and problem outdoor lighting in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County. > >> > >> *19.81.040. A. F. We have found that 100 watts lamps (incandescent) can by quite polluting if not fully shielded and the equivalent in a CFL is very polluting in outdoor lighting. (As an example, I am using two, 15 watt incandescent lamps in fixtures on our front porch, which is partially shielded and quite far back from the street. Yet one is aware of the light at streetside.) Glare, neighbor trespass and sky glow can be problems with landscape lighting too, including uplighting on walls, spots illuminating trees and driveway entrance light fixtures. Downlighting alternatives are available now that create the same architectural effect without the light pollution problems, e.g. can lighting for hanging in trees. Exempting lighting at level of 100 watts from full shielding will probably result in complaints from neighbors because of light trespass. > >> > >> *19.81.040 H. Signs - What is definition of "off-site" and "on-site"? "Off-site" to me means a sign that is on a site other than the business it advertises. Are you talking about a sign that is attached to building of business it advertises vs signs that sit on the property but are not attached? It seems to me you want the ordinance to control lighting for all outdoor signs. One of the major problems with existing signs in our area is the use of uplighting. The wattage/lumens exempted from full shielding in this ordinance will be a source of considerable glare, light trespass and sky glow. > >> > >> *19.81.050. 17. Why provide an exemption for steeple lighting? The narrowly focused cone lighting works for steeples as well as flag poles, etc. > >> > >> The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) and the IESNA have just jointly released a Model Outdoor Lighting Ordinance. It is long because it includes details for a lot of different situations and alternative ways of approaching the control of lighting. It has been somewhat controversial, with astronomers and some other IDA members being unhappy about the compromises in this first such ordinance. I recommend that you look at it, particularly the chart on page 19 that gives lumens and watts for various types of lamps. This information is then used with charts showing requirements in various lighting zones. > >> > >> Nancy Emerson > >> 2106 Creekside > >> Solvang, CA 93463 firstname.lastname@example.orgAdministrator, KRVR.org email@example.com
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I have been fighting this battle for nearly 45 years.
I was the 1976 WAA Convention Chairman and our Theme that year was to bring attention to the problem of light pollution. I worked with City of San Marcos Planner Bill Bradley who later became City Manager and then County Supervisor. I was responsible for San Diego County's first Dark Sky Ordinance in the early 80's. Congressman Ron Packard posted one of my Astronomy Photos in the Capitol and introduced my definitions for a Federal Dark Sky Ordinance. Our goal is Quiet Entitlement or Quiet Enjoyment, a legal principle for an American way of life by methods including full Cut-off shielding and to be flexible as to how it is achieved.
I first brought the light pollution problem to the Kern County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors in 2002 in regards to a SUP. The applicant was recommended for approval by staff who had a "personal" relationship with the applicant and had waived a California State mandated EIR for his application using excessive, unshielded lighting and unreasonable hours. I was told I would be run off into the canyon and indeed 23 people wanting to speak against the SUP had a fuel truck dump barrels of fuel just in front of them and closing the road so they could not attend in time. Should I be paranoid? After all, how did all the cowboys wind up there ahead of the crash and none of the dark sky advocates made it through. I had business south of there and came up the 5 or I would not even been heard. To accommodate the applicant the hearing was held anyway. The Supervisors placed restrictions on the application which where never enforced and the applicant claims he can do anything he wants because of his friends with county employees. BTW my notice of a Planning Commission meeting was sent to a two year out of date address, not next door and I still as yet have not received a notice sent to the proper address even though I have Email verification that the county has the correct one.
In July of 2008 the Board of Supervisors ordered planning staff to prepare a Dark Sky Ordinance and scheduled a hearing for February 2009. Ron Hyatt, Richard Cayia Rowe and myself spoke at that meeting and I pointed out failures in current laws and fixtures. I was not notified about that meeting and had to make an emergency trip of 600 miles to be there. Yet the resulting and promised hearing was never held. I can't even get an answer as to who, how and why it was cancelled
Subsequently the county proposed to address this issue in part with this Zoning Ordinance Revision. I again was not notified but had to hear through the "grapevine" about them. At great personal and family sacrifice I returned for the first community meeting in Mojave and the last or next to last meeting in Ridgecrest. Basically I objected to everything. I stated that it was poorly written, ineffectual and at best arbitrary. It attempted to codify special privileges and protections both in applications and exemptions.
I said there should be a two to one set back for rural areas and a height limitation of 35 ft. for other than FCC licensed antenna. Towers requiring clearance lights shall have them shielded so they can not be seen from below. I said there should be no limitation on power output but friendly aesthetics including sight and sound impacts and set backs. There is so much that staff doesn't understand that would make controlling light pollution easier and less costly for everyone.
I disagreed with the seasonal lighting allowance and was told that would be struck. I pointed out that in the diagram of a shielded light that backsplash was allowed and that the property line should be the limit of the light trespass not a fence. Specifically light should be shielded to reflect downward a minimum of 60 degrees from vertical and or stop at the property line. which ever is closest to the source. Essentially I said all lighting should be no trespass lighting and incident lighting should be kept to 1/10,000 candle foot at fifty feet or property line which ever is closest to source. I stated and had a consensus that there was no mitigation to No Trespass lighting except for imminent safety measures. yet when I received a copy of the current proposal I see Sporting event lighting left up to the Planning Director, I see (trespass) seasonal lighting allowed for 60 days at a time. I see security lighting with unlimited power unshielded below horizontal. I have a neighbor with an illegal septic system, living on a non commercial non industrial property, building engines and testing them at all times of the night in an illegally converted with no permits home with an illegal non permitted 400 sq. ft. addition upon which he has a 500 watt security light on a motion detector that is on all night (except for half minute resets) pointed directly (out and slightly down) at a small observatory dedicated to sharing the night sky with handicapped children. Then he puts up 5000 pagan festival lights for two months which makes it possible to read a book at the observatory and impossible to view the night skies.
No trespass lighting means "Full Cut-off or also 100% Cut-off shielding so that the light source (bulb and lenses), the reflector (fixture) and backsplash (illuminated pole or wall) cannot be seen off the subject property. There is no mitigation to this except for a short time emergency situation. A existing light not in compliance shall have the bulb removed until it is made compliant. Taking care of direct trespass lighting will cure 90% of the problem. We had consensus on this and a whole lot more. When we left those meetings we were promised that the input we gave would be incorporated in the plan. It has not!
The other neighbor next door that got the SUP and claims (brags) (with witnesses) to have special relationship with Planning staff and Sheriffs staff says he owns the county and this seems to be true. He got 3 phase power without a permit in 2001 and installed about 25,000 watts of light illegally without permits and inspection. He put in a 2300 sq, ft home for his mother-in -law and I understand that was without permits. He has houses and trailers on the place that are occupied by ex-fellons that work around place. He has several wells some with out permits, several septic systems and one has a leach line that runs under the drive he has hundreds of commercial rodeo attendees drive over. He rebuilt and expanded his house without permits. He tore down a single car garage and replaced it without permits and uses it to house his expensive and seldom seen Porsche (I wonder if he gives that Planning staffer rides in it). He built a picnic room and he built a guest bath house without permits and closer than the rules allow but then he says he owns the county. He was limited to twelve nightly events a year and in the first twelve months after the SUP, he had twenty eight rodeos. He was supposed to do mitigation including dust and fly control... never happened.He boards horses and dogs sometimes as many as fifteen and it is so sad, these dogs often go month without ever being let out of their tiny pens. They get so frustrated from their confinement that they yap all night long and keep other dogs within a couple of miles all stirred up as well. He built a "Hay Barn" 28 high and about 7 feet from eves to our property line. Overheard a friend of his bragging about how he placed it to ruin our night sky. He has lights running until 1 am. and he pulls to the fence line and puts his headlights on bright to spoil our viewing nights and events for handi-capped children. He has placed as many as 44 head of cattle in the approximately 1/4 acre side yard near my elderly parents home and left the cattle there for weeks with the stench and flies building up. When the Supervisor came to visit the neighbor turned off 2/3 of his lights and later bragged that his connections had forewarned him of the visit. Did his "Special Friend" in planning tip him off???
Anyway I have called to complain and was told the county had to have two complaints to act. In one case another neighbor and I. tired of the county run around, complained together and were told individually that no one else had complained. Meanwhile we have been harassed and threatened as well as our friends and business patrons. Neighbors would come in and tell us how they had been threatened. Someone dumped a box of Epsom salt into our tank to poison our water and our fences have been cut to allow cattle in to graze and damage our property. A telescope set up outside in a remote corner of the property to allow wheel-chair access, was kicked over and destroyed by a person staying in one of those illegal houses on the neighbor's property. A few nights before he pulled his truck up to the property line and with his lights on bright, told someone that the telescope was so big that the wind needed help blowing it over. I was going to take it down the next day but that morning a kid working for him was dragging the turds. He created wall after wall of dust and I was unaware that my Grandad living in my parents home was sitting at a window breathing in the dust. He got sick and died a few nights later of "Respiratory Infection" the doctor said it was anthrax but that "We don't call it that in Kern County". I have photos of each of these. Prior to having the scope kicked over my Mom and I witnessed the neighbor shooting at the telescope but he missed and I thought I had no proof but a few days later I discovered the holes he shot into the metal building six ft behind the telescope.
After all the Emails, phone calls and all the time and traveling to the meetings, there is not one provision about lighting that is anything but anti-dark sky. Not one thing which we reached consensus on was including and several things we objected to and were promised would be remove are left in.
After the Supervisors meeting in 2002 I had several Federal Attorneys offer to go after the county and staff. I chose to let the county work on the problem. It seems my patience has been misplaced. I could go on and on. I could detail more threats and harassment, more code violations with county turning a blind eye and I could go into the motives behind some of this. Instead I will save that for the depositions as I feel it has gone too far and taken too long. During this time the Planning Staff member that had a "relationship" with the SUP applicant also won a "light up your house so bright it can be seen by the shuttle astronauts from space" contest, I kid you not! Certainly a conflict of interest that has been born out in special favor and treatment to the light pollution industry.
Rick Crockett Canebrake Café firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo below from the 7-29-08 Board of Supervisor's Meeting discussion Item #13 Dark Sky Ordinance
I have read the posted comments on the KRVR.org site.
Mr. Rick Crockett comments are of particular note and illustrates the need for the County to adopt quantifiable measures in section 19.81.070 VIOLATIONS AND COMPLAINTS. The adoption of Table F of the MOL into the County’s proposed ordinance will accomplish this.
You also need to re-examined the Legal Non-conforming light fixture issue. The proposed ordinance does not address the issue of a neighbor purposely causing obtrusive light trespass as a means of harassment and bulling. In such a case, legal non-conforming light fixtures should not be allowed to remain.
Mark Cunningham MAC Lighting Consulting email@example.com 661.393-3364Administrator, KRVR.org firstname.lastname@example.org
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