City Zeroes In On Dark Sky Ordinance

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Dark Sky Ordinance

The City of Malibu will be hosting a public tour and workshop as it continues long-proposed plans to enact a dark sky ordinance. The public tour is scheduled for Tuesday, June 6, beginning at 8 p.m., with a workshop to follow the next day, Wednesday, June 7, at 6:30 p.m.

The ordinance, if enacted, aims to “reduce light pollution to preserve enjoyment of the nighttime sky and the city’s rural environment, reduce impacts on wildlife and natural habitats and promote the city’s goal of conserving energy and natural resources,” according to a statement provided by the City of Malibu.

Early talk of a light sky ordinance began in the last millennium at a February 1999 Malibu Planning Commission meeting, but plans have been slow to take shape. In 2013, plans seemed to be heating up, but no official steps were taken and the idea has laid dormant for nearly four years, until the city’s recent announcement.

“Everyone would like to think that their children and their grandchildren will one day look up and marvel at the beautiful starry night skies, but light pollution is a real threat that obscures the stars in so many places,” Mayor Skylar Peak said in a prepared statement provided by the City of Malibu. “A valuable part of life in Malibu is that we’re surrounded by nature and we hope that the Dark Sky Ordinance will help us preserve the rural character that is so precious to us. Simply put, I place great value on seeing the stars at night.”

The public tour on Tuesday will depart from City Hall and includes an introductory briefing followed by three to four stops around the city to view various locations. The tour will be led by Jim Benya, lighting engineer, and Pete Strasser, technical advisor to the International Dark-Sky Association.

The workshop the following evening will also be led by Benya and Strasser and will include a review of the tour, a description of the draft ordinance, and public discussion about community concerns, enforcement and compliance. 

Following the workshop, the city plans to schedule public hearings at upcoming planning commission and city council meetings.

More information can be found at malibucity.org/darksky.

There is no RSVP necessary for the tour or workshop.