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Sep 10, 2018 2:38 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach Village Board Considers New Code On Exterior Lighting

Village Planner Kyle Collins. ELSIE BOSKAMP
Sep 11, 2018 2:31 PM

The Westhampton Beach Village Board is looking to adopt a new section of code that will set specific standards for exterior lighting on both residential and commercial properties in the village.

After it was pointed out at a work session last month that the current code on outdoor lighting—which the Planning Board considers when reviewing site plans—was dated and unclear, Village Planner Kyle Collins reviewed the standards and presented a list of suggested changes at the board meeting on Thursday, September 6.

The updated code would require that lights be pointed down and shielded, so they do not shine onto adjacent properties or create glare, or “light pollution.” It also would mandate that lights do not exceed 3,000 Kelvin, which measures the color of the bulb, and requires old lamps to be replaced with newer bulbs that have lower energy outputs.

“This really does provide clear direction on what you need to do,” Mr. Collins said. “We’re trying to implement these regulations to reduce light pollution as well as increase energy efficiency.”

All pre-existing lighting would be exempt from compliance with the code unless a light fixture is replaced, changed, repaired or relocated, or if a site plan review of the property is needed for any expansion or change, or the light is determined to be a nuisance.

When a light can be seen from a neighboring roadway at “sufficient intensities,” or if a light shines past a residential property line more than 0.05 foot-candle, a unit of illumination, or 0.1 foot-candle for non-residential lots, the village can label it as a nuisance, Mr. Collins explained.

As part of the new lighting standards, village officials are also looking to limit the number of outside lights that are left on when a business is closed. Although Mr. Collins noted that some lights would be necessary for safety and security purposes, he said the code is meant to limit excessive lights and glare.

“When you have glare, it can decrease safety and have a negative impact on community character,” he said. “Particularly in the elderly, it can take up to two minutes for a person over 80 to actually get their sight back from an instant that results from glare.”

In addition to requiring that lights be shielded, the code will require that all dusk-to-dawn lights, which are typically on commercial properties, be removed by January 2020.

The proposed code—which is consistent with both New York State and international building codes—was referred to the Suffolk County Planning Commission for review. Mayor Maria Moore said that the board should be able to adopt the changes at the October meeting.

“We really needed this,” Ms. Moore said at the board meeting. “We’ve referred this to the Planning Board, and they’ve reviewed it and had a conversation with Kyle and suggested that we approve it.”

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Light pollution? lmao. These make believe do gooders should worry about starving citizens not about bright lights.
By chief1 (2518), southampton on Sep 10, 18 4:05 PM
maybe they care about both?
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (554), southampton on Sep 10, 18 4:32 PM
What?! Clearly you can ONLY care about light pollution or starving children. You would need to be some sort of otherworldly being to simultaneously care about two things. I keep my house illuminated 24/7/365 because I want those kids to eat!
By NorthSeaWhaler (5), southampton on Sep 10, 18 4:44 PM
During the 1994 blackout in L.A. residents called 911 panicked to report a strange silver streak in the sky.

It was the Milky Way. Thanks to light pollution, the majority of residents had never seen an unpolluted night sky.

Thanks for playing...
By Mr. Z (10417), North Sea on Sep 10, 18 10:36 PM
On the surface much of this seems reasonable. A neighbor shouldn't have to be under the glare of a spotlight and houses shouldn't be lit as if they were Disney World. I haven't seen major issues so to me it'll be another way for Village Planners to use a heavy hand if someone wants to renovate or build.
By Hambone (504), New York on Sep 10, 18 10:25 PM
Kyle Collins works for the village and the town?
By Resident tax (125), Hampton bays ny on Sep 10, 18 10:28 PM
Maybe the village should start with their own street lights. Get rid of the pink glow an more efficient LED lights like the town put up.
By Hollywood (85), Westhampton Beach on Sep 10, 18 10:53 PM
Next they’ll be banning Christmas lights.
By SDG1776 (91), Southampton on Sep 10, 18 11:12 PM
Lighting is something that overlooked which has major impacts as much as architecture.
By Summer Resident (220), Southampton Town, NY on Sep 10, 18 11:49 PM
A snap-on shield that fits most yard lights cost $25 last time I looked. A small price to pay to make your neighbor very happy for ever!
By nutbeem (26), Westhampton on Sep 11, 18 2:53 PM
Hampton Bays Rotary, Autumn Evening by the Sea, Joyce Oakland, Oaklands Restaurant