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Mayor signs ‘light pollution' revision

He cites exceptions for sports, holiday lights, emergency repairs.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 10:47 am

Despite his reservations, Mayor Tom Henry signed the revised noise ordinance Monday passed by City Council, making “light pollution” a violation of city ordinance.

“Although I have concerns about this ordinance, it is up to council to decide what legislative action is appropriate for our community,” Henry said in a written statement.

On Dec. 9, Fort Wayne City Council voted 5-4 to pass a revised noise ordinance to include a section pertaining to improper use of directional lighting. Floodlights, bullet lights and spotlights must be focused away from a neighbor's home, or Fort Wayne Police can cite the offender if a complaint is made. Security lights are permissible.

The amendment was introduced at the Aug. 12 meeting by John Shoaff, D-at large, to end a dispute between two of his constituents, one of whom has allegedly been shining a directional light into the other's home. Henry said council should still work to hone the amendment so it can be enforced when necessary.

“ …This ordinance will be difficult to enforce as written and … certain exceptions to its provisions should be considered,” Henry said in a statement. “Amongst the concerns raised were athletic events held in the evening, holiday light displays and emergency repair work, to name a few.”

Those who wish to call in a light complaint should not call 911, but instead use 311 or call the police department at 427-1222.