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Nevada City Developing Dark Sky Ordinance

Nevada City is taking steps to join international communities in having more clarity with lighting regulations. It was initiated by the City Planning Commission and now the City Council is directing staff to draft a so-called Dark Sky Ordinance. The commission says benefits include preserving healthy eco systems and reducing the disruption of sleep cycles from light pollution. Commission Chair Tom Nigh also mentioned to the Council, at its recent meeting, that there’s a misconception that brighter is safer. It leads to over-illumination, which can actually inhibit visibility…

click to listen to Tom Nigh

There were some questions from Council members about the enforceability of such an ordinance. But City Manager Sean Grayson indicates that can be built in without having to resort to being the lighting police…

click to listen to Sean Grayson

There were also questions about how such an ordinance might impact how bright holiday lighting should be. The Business Strategic Initiative Committee recently reviewed a recommendation related to such lighting in the historic downtown. They recommended that this issue be included in the Dark Sky Ordinance development process. Community input will be sought before specific ordinance features are finalized.

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