‘Dark Sky’ Ordinance to Apply to New Homes

January 26, 2011

Several months, Chicagoland Real Estate Forum wrote about a controversial light ordinance in Barrington Hills.

Coined the “dark sky” ordinance, the proposed plan would limit the type and amount of exterior lighting residents could have on their homes as well as how long those lights could be illuminated.

illuminated home in barrington hills

Under the ordinance, existing residents will not have to alter the lighting they have already invested in for their homes.

Proponents say the main reason for the ordinance is to stop light from polluting the sky and interfering with Barrington Hills’ country-like atmosphere.

Opponents say the ordinance is an infringement on residents’ property rights and could increase crime in this affluent suburb.

On Monday, the Village passed a happy medium.

After many revisions, Barrington Hills officials approved the outdoor lighting ordinance, but made it applicable to only new homes or homes that undergo expansions to more than half their current size.

Existing homes will not have to alter their lighting.

It’s a big compromise from the original plan, which was explained this way by Homeowners Against Lighting Ordinances:

“The Ordinance imposes unreasonable restrictions on how homeowners can illuminate their properties. All forms of fluorescent, sodium, metal halide and other ‘high intensity discharge’ lighting, which is used in many security systems and for landscaping, will be completely banned. Unshielded light fixtures, including barn, doorway and driveway lights, will have significant restrictions on light output. All light fixtures installed on trees and plants will be completely banned. These restrictions will exist regardless of whether you live on a 1-acre, 5-acre or 100-acre property. Violation of the Ordinance will result in daily fines.”

The new ordinance even allows for the nighttime lighting of outdoor athletic facilities, such as basketball courts. The original plan had prohibited that as well.

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nice picture. i have links about dark sky on this link.


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