An advisory committee at the Fairfield Glade Community Club wants residents to know that outdoor lighting can cause “light pollution,” artificial light that inappropriately floods neighbors’ properties and unnecessarily illuminates an otherwise clear, dark sky.
In an email newsletter to residents, the Environment Committee explained the consequences of light pollution, including its damage to wildlife, and pointed out five outdoor lighting principles sponsored by the International Dark-Sky Association. The association strives to protect the night sky from light pollution through its collaboration with lawyers worldwide.
“With the responsible lighting practices established by the International Dark-Sky Association, it is possible to reduce light pollution and create a beautiful, healthy and safely lit environment in which to live and work,” read the email dated Jan. March, approved and distributed by the FGCC board.
The message was only sent to educate the community about light pollution, said John Wedgworth, an FGCC board member who acts as a liaison to the committee.
“It’s not a policy. There’s nothing we’re going to adopt, ”Wedgworth said in an interview with the Sun.
He said some members of the committee were interested in the issue and the committee asked the board to spread the word.
Over the past few months, the committee has been discussing developing a plan the board could use to educate residents about light pollution. It was also discussed whether Fairfield Glade should be an international dark sky community. The Dark-Sky Association announces on its website that it gives municipalities the award for their “implementation and enforcement of a quality regulation for outdoor lighting, education about dark skies and citizen support”.
Wedgworth said the board would not seek the designation, calling the requirements “too restrictive”.
The Community Club has its own policy for regulating the outdoor lighting in residential buildings. This includes requirements that residents who want to add an outdoor luminaire must obtain approval from the Architectural Control Committee and that the luminaire of a luminaire “must not enter a neighbour’s property”.
The full guidelines for exterior lighting in residential buildings can be found on the FGCC website at fairfieldglade.cc. After signing in, members can find the policy by clicking Property Policies in the My Property section.