Tag Archives: BOCC Dark Skies

BOCC Meeting: Dark Skies, Bad Roads, CCEDC

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC)
—December 5, 2017
WESTCLIFFE, CO
by Jackie Bubis
The meeting started at 9 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.
Commissioner Items
Commissioner Canda continues making his rounds and will meet with Road & Bridge this week if possible. He hopes to go to Wetmore to have coffee with the residents at the community center.
Commissioner Flower asked what the commissioner items section of the meetings was for. Commissioner Printz informed him it was a time for the commissioners to report on what they’d been doing and any items of interest to the rest of the Board.
Commissioner Printz reported that he’d met with Jackie Hobby in the Zoning Office. Also he’s working with Dawna Hobby regarding the December 7th interview for the IT position and advertising the custodian position. Continue reading BOCC Meeting: Dark Skies, Bad Roads, CCEDC

Many Object to Proposed Dark Skies Zoning Resolution with Its Criminal Penalties

NASA image acquired April 18 – October 23, 2012
This image of the United States of America at night is a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012. The image was made possible by the new satellite’s “day-night band” of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, gas flares, auroras, wildfires, and reflected moonlight.
“Nighttime light is the most interesting data that I’ve had a chance to work with,” says Chris Elvidge, who leads the Earth Observation Group at NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center. “I’m always amazed at what city light images show us about human activity.” His research group has been approached by scientists seeking to model the distribution of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and to monitor the activity of commercial fishing fleets. Biologists have examined how urban growth has fragmented animal habitat. Elvidge even learned once of a study of dictatorships in various parts of the world and how nighttime lights had a tendency to expand in the dictator’s hometown or province.
Named for satellite meteorology pioneer Verner Suomi, NPP flies over any given point on Earth’s surface twice each day at roughly 1:30 a.m. and p.m. The polar-orbiting satellite flies 824 kilometers (512 miles) above the surface, sending its data once per orbit to a ground station in Svalbard, Norway, and continuously to local direct broadcast users distributed around the world. Suomi NPP is managed by NASA with operational support from NOAA and its Joint Polar Satellite System, which manages the satellite’s ground system.
NASA Earth Observatory image by Robert Simmon, using Suomi NPP VIIRS data provided courtesy of Chris Elvidge (NOAA National Geophysical Data Center).

WESTCLIFFE, CO
—December 11, 2017
by Jackie Bubis
On Monday, the Custer County Planning Commission met to further explore two things: First, whether or not the County needs further regulation of “light pollution” and second, what sort of language would be appropriate.
The three County commissioners were in attendance but did not speak. About a dozen citizens showed up and Chairman Vic Barnes made sure everyone had a chance to speak their mind. Mr. Barnes began by reading three letters he’d received, from Sentinel editor George Gramlich, from Larry and Monica Luikart, and from Arthur von Boennighausen. All three stated sentiments in opposition to further regulation for Dark Skies. Continue reading Many Object to Proposed Dark Skies Zoning Resolution with Its Criminal Penalties

The New Custer County: Change an Outdoor Light Fixture, Go To Jail

Commissioners Proposed “Dark Skies” Ordinance
Criminalizes Light

June 30, 2017 issue- Sangre de Cristo Sentinel

by George Gramlich,
News and Commentary

At a public meeting last week, the three Custer County Commissioners, Bob Kattnig, Jay Printz and Donna Hood, finally revealed their proposed “Dark Skies” or “light pollution” ordinance they have been talking about since the two new Commissioners (Printz and Hood) were sworn in this January. Note that there was barely a mention of it during the campaign last year.

The Commissioners’ proposal wants to amend the Custer County Zoning Regulation of 2016 to regulate outdoor lighting throughout the county (The Towns of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff have their own zoning laws.) They want to change the current non-enforceable, zoning law definition of “Light Pollution” to “Light Pollution defined as any adverse effect of the use of artificial outdoor lighting at night. See Section 8.2.G and Appendix D.3(p) for further information.”

The new Section 8.2.G reads like this:

“8.2.G: In order to minimize light pollution, all outdoor lighting shall be rated correlated color temperature of 3000 Kelvins or less, and any light source exceeding 500 initial lumens must be fully shielded. A “lumen” is measurement of the brightness of a particular light bulb or lamp. The following is a “lumens to watts” table:”

No need to print the whole table. (See Ordinance Proposal.) The first line is all you need to know. It says a light source of 600 lumens is equivalent to a 40-watt incandescent light (old school light bulb), a 10-watt florescent light and a 5 – 9 LED light. If my math is correct, any incandescent light bulb over 33.3 watts is subject to this ordinance.

Continue reading The New Custer County: Change an Outdoor Light Fixture, Go To Jail

March 7 BOCC Meeting

Dark Skies for All the Valley?

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC) Meeting
March 7, 2017
—Westcliffe, CO
by Jackie Bubis
The meeting started with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.
The room overflowed with members of the public wishing to make their views known.
The first man to speak stated he was bringing to the Board some of the perceptions “out there” in the public, particularly against Commissioner Kattnig.  His main concern was for Roger Squire not even getting an interview for the road boss position.  Mr. Kattnig stated that everyone has complained about the roads and the Board needed to go in a new direction – one based on business principles. Mr. Kattnig also explained that the Board used a Colorado State entity, Workforce, to help review and rank the job applications for Road and Bridge supervisor position and that Mr. Squire’s application was considered, However, they only interviewed the top three applicants. Commissioner Printz stated that, had it been up to him, he’d have fired Mr. Squire for egregious violations but that Mr. Kattnig talked him out of it. Continue reading March 7 BOCC Meeting