Are You Worried About Light Pollution?

This week the Fairfax Town Council is looking at its options for regulating light pollution in town. Should San Rafael do the same?


At the request of a Marin high school student, the Fairfax Town Council will consider pursuing a light pollution ordinance at its Wednesday night meeting.

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. 

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.  

Fairfax 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 in San Rafael? Do you support Fairfax having a light pollution ordinance? Tell us in the comments!

Check out what else is happening on San Rafael Patch:

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Mike Van Horn February 07, 2013 at 11:49 PM
The nighttime hillsides are dotted with blazing orange street lights, sending light out in all directions. Why isn't the light directed downward onto the streets where people need it? My wife gave me a telescope for stargazing. It's futile to use it in this area. Oh, and let me tell you about my neighbor, who often leaves on all night the spotlight on his back deck, which shines into our bedroom window bright enough that we can almost read by it.
D Luginbuhl February 22, 2013 at 12:58 AM
As one of the principle authors of the Village of Homer Glen Outdoor Lighting Ordinance I can tell you that this ordinance can easily be tailored to Fairfax. The Homer Glen ordinance is based on the City of Flagstaff, Arizona's lighting code. http://www.flagstaff.az.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/14707 Another excellent reference is the Pattern Code written by the author of the Flagstaff Lighting Code. Here is the link for the Pattern Code: http://www.nofs.navy.mil/about_NOFS/staff/cbl/CL_POLC_standard_v2.0.pdf I commend Ms. Lahey for her courage in pursuing the Fairfax Council to adopt a lighting ordinance. If she or the Council needs further assistance I may be contacted at this email address: info@flagstaffdarkskies.org D. Luginbuhl


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