The Riverside County Board of Supervisors planned a public hearing for 9 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 20 on the the draft ordinance to control light trespass.
“Light trespass occurs when light fixtures on one property falls across a property line onto another lot or parcel of land or onto a public right-of-way,” Supervisor John Tavaglione (2nd District), author of the draft ordinance, wrote in his memorandum to his colleagues. “Light trespass results in a waste of natural resources and at certain levels may jeopardize the health, safety or welfare of Riverside County residents.”
The specific proposed standard reads, “All outdoor [lights] shall be located, adequately shielded, and directed such that no direct light falls outside the parcel of origin, or onto the public right-of-way.”
Specific exemptions, such as required by law enforcement or emergency personnel, authorized by state or federal law, or holidays, will be permitted. Security lighting will be permitted provided it meets the other provisions of the ordinance.
Violators will be fined. First offenses could cost $100. Further violations will go to $500.
County ordinance 655 already regulates some outdoor lighting within 45 miles of Palomar Observatory, but Tavaglione’s proposal would apply throughout the county’s unincorporated areas, including Idyllwild.
The board scheduled a public hearing at its Oct. 15 session, but Tavaglione, the ordinance’s sponsor, was absent. Another hearing had been scheduled for the Nov. 22 meeting.