Road & Retail Developments
Two new retail developments along Gumwood Rd. in northern St. Joseph County,
IN, as well as changes to Gumwood Rd. itself will likely impact the local night
sky! Below are:
- Early returns that hint at the direction of the
lighting plan and priorities.
- Excerpts from a presentation made to developers
and nearby homeowners;
- Comments at a public forum regarding the retail
- Initial measurements of the existing sky glow above the
- Sorry Starry Night student project that
suggests the increase in sky glow.
Appeal to Developers
The Brendon Hills Homeowners Association Board of Directors meet in April 2006
to discuss concerns about adjacent retail development.
Developer Jerry Macri discusses ways to minimize the impact of outdoor lighting
at Toscana Park in April 2006.
Developer Doug Hunt of Holladay Properties speaks at the Brendon Hills
Homeowners Association annual meeting on May 9, 2006, at which lighting issues
related to Heritage Square are featured.
Larry Hupp, architect of Toscana Park, meets with the Brendon Hills Homeowners
Association on May 9, 2006.
Images below are excerpted from a presentation made to
the Brendon Hills Park Homeowners
Association in March, 2006.
A global issue, particularly in developed
countries like the U.S.
Local issues and solutions. Two
developments and two road projects put a community in the crosshairs.
Joseph County adopts
County ordinance, none of which apply to Gumwood retail projects.
Gumwood Rd. (a St. Joseph County road) issues is Ken Herzeg &
of Mishawaka lighting code--three sentences.
tolerance of light trespass (left) and glare onto the roadway (right).
lights illuminate sidewalk effectively.
designs that merit
support for lighting awards.
Chuck Bueter's comments about
lessening the impact of light pollution from development; read at Gumwood
Road Forum public meeting on November 16, 2004. (Available as MSWord document gumwood.doc.)
[Note: The developer
Ron March cited below has since transferred his interest in Greentree Crossing to a new
developer, Holladay Properties, which renamed it Heritage Square.]
evening, and thank you all for attending.
The purpose of tonight’s meeting is to gather the concerns of the
community. We all bring a
personal agenda to public forums like this, and I wish to share my mine.
house’s proximity to the new development and to Gumwood Road may influence
your emotional commitment to the issues raised here, for the closer you are,
the more you have at stake. While
we have discussed some of the issues, I wish to raise your awareness of
another that affects us all. Though
subtle, the encroachment from light pollution lessens our quality of life.
week were the most beautiful northern lights I’ve seen in 20 years.
Throughout the night I and my kids were privileged to see Nature’s
display because there is some semblance of dark skies here.
But as our community grows, that majesty overhead is slipping away.
it’s cloudy out, like tonight, we have to concede defeat knowing that we
won’t see the stars. We know
the clouds will eventually clear and the stars will return.
But when cavalier lighting overwhelms our local sky, there will be no
return of the stars.
new retail comes parking lot lights and signage; with expanded roads come
streetlights; next are transmission towers with those obnoxious, unrelenting
white strobe lights. It goes on
and on, unchecked. Light
pollution is impinging on our natural resource overhead as much as unchecked
growth will impinge on any other natural resource.
am not seeking to stifle growth. That
would not be fair to property owners, businesses and churches, taxpayers, and
residents seeking amenities. I am
asking that we work together to lessen the impact of that growth.
their credit, Ken Prince and the City of Mishawaka have already addressed
lighting issues to some extent at Greentree Crossing, and the developer Ron
March told me he will be putting in shorter, shielded lighting in the parking
lot. That is a fine start, and I
thank Ken Prince for advocating it. But
please do not check it off a list as a bone thrown to pacify a few squeaky
little course correction now will yield significant rewards in the future, and
it can be a win-win situation. Well-planned
lighting that directs the illumination downward where it is needed is more
economical, provides more safety, prevents light trespass, and lessens the
impact on the night sky.
believe the night sky is an important feature of this community.
It is a common area—one giant public easement overhead, of which we
are the stewards.
is inevitable. So, I appeal to
you—you in attendance, to the developers, to future tenants,
and to our government planners and representatives—I appeal to you to
strive proactively to lessen the impact of development on our night
sky. Please, make low-impact lighting policy.
Make maintaining the heritage of our night sky a community priority.
Prairie Vista baseball field
06-03-19, 8:41 p.m. EST
clear skies; ave.=18.69
Note: Clear Sky Clock values are predictions of conditions, not
necessarily actual conditions.
Image shows sites of meter readings within Brendon Hills Park; March 19, 2006, after 9:00
p.m. (i.e., after astronomical twilight); clear skies, no moon up yet;
SQM values are in
magnitudes per arcsecond squared; averages are from about 12 SQM readings per
|Site A average = 18.65
||Site D average= 18.49
||Site G average= 18.56
|Site B average = 18.34
||Site E average = 18.39
|Site C average = 18.81
||Site F average = 18.61
||Brendon Hills average = 18.55
Sorry Starry Night student
project measures sky glow above Brendon Hills Park, the neighborhood
adjacent to retail development at Heritage Square. Downward slope of SQM
readings (in magnitudes per square arc-second) from March to December, 2006,
indicates increase in sky glow.