Lights Out? Riverside Residents May Pay For Glaring “Trespass”

RIVERSIDE (CBS) — Riverside County supervisors voted on Tuesday to move forward with drafting a “light trespass” ordinance that could mean penalties for residents with overly bright outdoor lights.

Supervisor John Tavaglione got the idea for such an ordinance earlier this year, after a constituent complained that glaring light from a neighboring business was disrupting his sleep.

The ordinance, which would apply only to unincorporated areas of the county, will likely be introduced in the next 90 days. A public hearing is required before it can be approved by the board.

“Light trespass results in a waste of natural resources and, at certain levels, may jeopardize the health, safety or welfare of Riverside County residents,” Tavaglione wrote in the proposal for the ordinance.

He noted that the last time the board addressed the issue was in 1988, but that was mainly to regulate light fixtures emitting rays that seriously disrupted star-gazing and research at the Palomar Observatory in northern San Diego County.

“The proposed ordinance would establish a countywide standard for outdoor lighting that would generally prohibit light trespass,” Tavaglione said.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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