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MailTribune.com
  • Bandon votes against 'dark sky' laws

  • BANDON — Voters in the Southern Oregon coastal city of Bandon have rejected a "dark sky" ordinance that would have required shields on new outdoor lights so that they shine downward.
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  • BANDON — Voters in the Southern Oregon coastal city of Bandon have rejected a "dark sky" ordinance that would have required shields on new outdoor lights so that they shine downward.
    The City Council passed the measure last year by a vote of 5-1. But the World Newspaper in Coos Bay reports that on Tuesday Bandon voters were against it, 524-419.
    "Dark sky" fixtures are intended to reduce nighttime light pollution, allowing better stargazing and shielding homeowners from neighbors' outdoor fixtures.
    An opponent who spearheaded the petition drive, Rob Taylor, says people "are tired of more regulations."
    "I think this shows that the City Council is slightly out of touch with the voting population," he said.
    The measure would have affected new street lights, yard lights, porch lights and other outdoor lighting. It wouldn't have affected existing lights.
    "We weren't enforcing it anyway, because we knew it was going on to the ballot, and we don't have a lot of development going on right now where people are putting in outdoor lights." said City Manager Matt Winkel.
    He said he was disappointed. "I think this would have resulted in nicer lighting for the community and would have been a better tool to protect people from lights shining into their bedroom windows," he said.
    The city itself has been installing "dark sky" fixtures for the past five or six years and will continue to do so, he said.
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