Fairfax Council to Consider Light Pollution Restriction

Are you worried about light pollution in town? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!


Should Fairfax have an ordinance addressing light pollution in town? 

Drake High School junior Sophia Lahey, a Fairfax resident, has requested the council regulate outdoor light pollution in town. Lahey recently penned a .

According to Lahey, light pollution negatively impacts wildlife and human health, while increasing energy use and enhancing air pollution. 

“Fairfax has been a leader in sustainable issues in the past so a light pollution control resolution and/or ordinance seems like a great match for our town,” she wrote to the council in a letter. (See the whole letter attached in the staff report at the right.)

At the Feb. 6 Fairfax Council meeting, the council will discuss adopting a light pollution ordinance. If the council members decide to move forward with an ordinance, it will adopt a “resolution of intention” at the March 6 council meeting, punting the topic to the Fairfax Planning Commission before it would return to the council for final approval.  

The town doesn’t have an ordinance regulating outdoor lighting. At times, the planning commission has regulated outdoor lighting for residential and commercial properties via “conditions of approval.”

Lahey has encouraged the council to adopt a lighting ordinance similar to one adopted by the town of Homer Glen, Illinois. See the ordinance attached in the staff report at the right.

The council will meet on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. in the Fairfax Woman’s Club. See the agenda for the entire meeting attached at the right.


Are you worried about light pollution? Do you support Fairfax having a light pollution ordinance? Tell us in the comments!


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C Ross February 06, 2013 at 09:27 PM
No offense to Sophia, but light pollution??? If you really want to fight pollution, and to address an actual major health hazard, ban SMOKING. (The last thing the FTC needs to do right now is pass another fluff ordinance that does nothing but waste time and resources. BTW, it's bad enough that there are dangerous chemicals in the creek and the Fairfax Plaza, now the GE's solar project has torn up the parking lot, made for all kinds of dust, dirt and noise for the neighbors...and SMOKE. But of course, nobody says "Boo" because, after all, it's the Good Earth.)
Holly Bragman February 07, 2013 at 01:11 AM
The Fairfax Town Council did pass an ordinance prohibiting smoking in multi unit housing as well as retail and public buildings...I agree with you, a major public health hazard. As for the Good Earth building project - I much prefer putting up with the temporary inconvenience (which any construction brings, it's not unique to GE) to end up with a great project rather than an empty hulk of a building as a gateway to the town...the long term benefits of clean energy from GE's solar far outweighs the short term dust issue...
sanford miles February 08, 2013 at 05:00 PM
Caitlyn Smith February 08, 2013 at 06:00 PM
If you read Sophia's article you might think differently about light pollution. Light pollution is indeed a worldwide environmental concern that destroys ecosystems, threatens the health of humans and wildlife, AND wastes billions of dollars of our taxpayer money, adds tons of carbon waste to the atmosphere, etc. etc. What is unfortunate is that it is a problem relatively easy to address - point all exterior lights at the ground, put lights on timers, don't unnessarily leave lights on all night in empty office buildings and schools. A little education around this issue can go a long way. As taxpayers why shouldn't we ask our municipal governments (historically one ot the biggest light polllution offenders) to take a look at how our tax dollars are being spent on lighting in our municipalities? Hundreds of communities throughout the world (at every level of government!) are taking a look at this issue. Why shouldn't we?
valeri hood February 11, 2013 at 11:32 PM
I think it's a great idea- one of the most restful places to visit is the desert- and part of the restfulness is the lack of human made light and the enjoyment of the night sky- I would love to see less light pollution in Fairfax downtown- we live on Dominga and it would really affect our quality of life-


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