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Committee puts lighting ordinance on fast track

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Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013 6:45 am

Wanting to move quickly to enact a citywide lighting ordinance, Malibu city officials decided recently to support adopting an innovative template prepared by a dark skies association and engineering society. 

In response to the Malibu City Council’s unanimous vote on April 8 to enact a comprehensive citywide lighting ordinance, a special evening session of the Zoning Ordinance and Code Enforcement Subcommittee (ZORACES) was held Tuesday of last week to collect public input on how the ordinance should be structured.

 “I’ve never seen anything go from City Council to ZORACES this quickly,” said City Councilmember John Sibert. Approximately 30 Malibu residents attended the meeting.  

Three options were presented on how to proceed, using the Model Lighting Ordinance (MLO) template prepared by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES).  Option 1 was to simply adopt the MLO as written, with minor modifications.  Option 2 was to write a simplified lighting ordinance using some of the MLO standards.  Option 3 was for the city to create its own lighting ordinance not based on the MLO. 

Led by Councilmembers Sibert and Skylar Peak, the group came to a consensus to move forward with Option 1 — recommending adopting the MLO with only minor modifications. Senior Planner Joseph Smith described this option as “a very comprehensive process involving a consultant.”

The Planning Department staff will now prepare a Request for Proposal (RFP) for consulting, then select a consultant to assist with preparing an ordinance for review by the Planning Commission and then the City Council.

Malibu dealt with several lighting issues in the last year, including parking lot light plans at the Trancas Shopping Center and 70-foot stadium lights on the football field and parking lot light fixtures at a new proposed parking lot at Malibu High. The stadium lighting resulted inongoing litigation between high school neighbors, the City of Malibu and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.

For more on this story, check back with this week or pick up an issue of the newspaper on newsstands Wednesday.

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