Statement to County Council

Statement from the “Privilege of the Floor” portion of the March 8, 2005, meeting of the St. Joseph County Council in South Bend, Indiana, addresses Lighting Issues:

Three minutes.   

Mr. President and Council Members,  

My name is Chuck Bueter, and I am a resident of St. Joseph County.

As you are aware, the County may adopt new zoning ordinances imminently.  I am here to commend you publicly for the inclusion of a lighting ordinance, in particular Article 8.08.02 of the proposed zoning regulations.  By including sections that address the annoyance of glare and light spillover, you recognize that smart lighting maintains adequate illumination for the public safety yet preserves the quality of the night for us all.  

However, as an aficionado of the night sky, I find there are some shortcomings in the language of the proposed lighting ordinance, including intent, technical issues, and applicability.  This is to be expected, for St. Joseph County is, thankfully, moving into new territory with the lighting ordinance.

At the invitation of Councilman Dale DeVon, I met with Councilman DeVon, St. Joseph Building Commissioner Donald Fozo, and Area Plan Executive Director Robert Sante to discuss some of these shortcomings.  Together we agreed to collaborate to correct deficiencies and to propose amendments to the new ordinance shortly after it is adopted.  I encourage you to enact this legislation as it stands now, for the proposed lighting ordinance with shortcomings is a vast improvement over no ordinance at all.

I have posted a point-by-point critique of Article 8.08.02 online at [moved to].   I will email that website address and my contact information to you this week. 

So, tonight:

  1. I congratulate you for serving the citizens of St. Joseph County by introducing the lighting regulations into the new zoning ordinance;
  2. I encourage you to adopt the lighting ordinance with the anticipation of improvements to come; and
  3. I invite you to contact me if you wish to discuss any lighting issues further.

Thank you for the courtesy of your attention.

Copyright ©2009 Chuck Bueter.  All rights reserved.