Tag Archives: BOCC Dark Skies

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