Wed
Apr 2 2008
10:08 am

Save Roane's Starry Skies, SRSS, has sent out the current version of the proposed lighting resolution they want to present to the County Commission. It affects new lights in the County only, although cities ought to consider adopting it for the safety and money saved.

The resolution is posted in full after the break. Read it and post your thoughts. Please remember that it is a work in progress and is being adjusted to reflect ideas and information that will make it serve Roane County in the best way possible.

Draft resolution of _____________
RESOLUTION ________.

A RESOLUTION TO ESTABLISH A LIGHTING CONSERVATION ZONE WITHIN ROANE COUNTY, TENNESSEE

Whereas the Tamke-Allan Observatory is a State of Tennessee and a Roane County “treasure”; and,

Whereas the future of the Tamke-Allan Observatory as an astronomy center, an innovative science learning center and as a cooperative partner with various scientific facilities and groups severely impeded or extinguished unless an innovative light containment and conservation area is established; and

Whereas the quality of life, our security and our safety within our county is threatened by light trespass, light glare, and skyglow;

Therefore, be it resolved by the Roane County Board of Commissioners the following:

Section 1: Light Conservation: A lighting conservation zone is hereby established within Roane County where the following standards shall be met:

1. No light from any lighting fixture (luminaire) shall be emitted at or above the horizontal plane passing through the lowest point from which the light is emitted. Such a fixture is designated “full cutoff.” If the luminaire is not full cutoff by design, then it shall be equipped with a full cutoff fixture shield. Fixtures less than 900-lumens are exempted, but are encouraged to have proper shielding."

2. Direct illumination fixtures, such as spotlights, floodlights, etc., must be fully shielded and aimed so that the light is directed solely onto the intended site, sign, or other intended target and away from adjacent properties and roadways.

Section 2: Exclusions: Lighting for public sports fields and complexes associated with public or private schools or health and fitness clubs is exempted provided the lights are on a timer programmed to be turned off by 11:00 p.m. local time or when not in use. Lamps of luminous flux below 900 lumens (60 watts incandescent) are exempted. Temporary lighting is exempted. Existing fixtures are grandfathered, but shall be made compliant if the fixture is moved, replaced, modified, or upgraded.

Section 3: Enforcement: This law shall be enforced as a misdemeanor after an appropriate warning notice is sent to violators allowing two weeks for compliance after the notice is sent by certified mail by the Building Codes Department.

Section 4: Implementation: This lighting conservation zone resolution shall go into effect immediately after its passage, the public welfare requiring it.

Section 5: Motivation: Good outdoor lighting at night benefits everyone. It increases safety, enhances the community's nighttime character, and helps provide security, as well as being environmentally responsible and mitigating the deleterious effects of light pollution on human health. New lighting technologies have produced lights that are extremely powerful, but these types of lights may be improperly installed so that they create problems of excessive glare, light trespass, and higher energy use. Excessive glare can be annoying and may cause safety problems.

Nowhere is the impact of wasted light more evident than at the Tamke-Allan Observatory of Roane County, which relies on dark skies to conduct its work and community service. Tamke-Allan Observatory’s future as an astronomy center, an innovative science learning center, and as a cooperative partner with various scientific facilities and groups, is severely impeded or extinguished unless an innovative light containment and conservation area is established.

There is therefore a need in Roane County for a lighting ordinance zone that recognizes the benefits of responsible outdoor lighting and provides clear guidelines that encourage responsible lighting. Light Conservation will help maintain and compliment the community's character and will preserve the viability of the contributions of the observatory. Appropriately regulated and properly installed outdoor lighting will contribute to the safety and welfare of the residents of Roane County.

TVA statements support responsible lighting and energy conservation. State of Tennessee policies encourage energy conservation. Finally, Federal regulations support responsible lighting and climate stability. Roane County should not be the last Tennessee county that recognizes the necessity for Light Conservation. We cannot be the first, but let us not be the last.

______________________________________
Adopted – Date

____________________________________________
County Clerk

Attest: __________________________________________County Mayor

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