Sanibel Dark Sky Ordinance Revisions Hotly Debated At Council Meeting.
In Tuesday’s meeting, the Sanibel City Council renewed the discussion of the proposed revisions to the Dark Sky Ordinance that was tabled at the November 4 City Council meeting.
At the November 4 meeting, there was a feeling that there was a need for more public discussion before it was sent to the Planning Commission.
Vice Mayor Doug Congress again led the discussion.
Congress’ view is that the current dark sky ordinance currently works well and the island is generally very dark in the evening. He recommended a gradual implementation to increase the level of darkness with some grandfathering of current lighting, and complete implementation of the updates to the ordinance required by 2018.
The two major infractions, any unshielded lighting and any lighting that is pointed skyward, would be required to be phased out by 2018.
There was significant discussion of the tradeoff’s of lighting’s impact on safety and visibility, particularly for the elderly, vs. the esthetics of an unblemished dark sky in the evening.
There was also discussion of the fairness and equity of grandfathering, and the impact and further delay on making the island darker in the evening.
The City Council voted in a 3-2 decision to send the ordinance for review to the Planning Commission.
Sanibel Dark Sky Ordinance, featured photo by Steve Corey, via Creative Commons.