The Town of Matthews now has new outdoor lighting regulations.
Town commissioners approved text changes to the policy at their Monday, March 12 meeting. The vote comes after commissioners voted in September to spend $3,700 to hire Dave Alber of DMA Lighting, a lighting design consultant, to review the town’s lighting policies and suggest changes. The revisions are part of the process to revamp the town’s Unified Development Ordinance and review the town’s current policies against light pollution, Annette Privette Keller, town spokeswoman, said.
Sardis Forest residents have complained about light pollution from the recently expanded athletic fields at Covenant Day School’s adjacent Warner Park. Resident John Stephan lost an appeal last fall to a town ruling that Covenant Day wasn’t in violation of the lighting regulations.
The adopted changes to the regulations require all floodlights to “include top and side shielding, and be aimed at least 45 degrees below the horizontal” and encourage the use of automatic timers, dimmers or sensors “that will turn off lights during daylight hours and when the site is not occupied or open for business.”
According to the changes, all outdoor sports field and outdoor performance area lighting fixtures will be required to have “the manufacturer’s maximum glare control package” and the lights must be “aimed so that their beams are directed and fall within the primary playing field or performance area.” These facilities can’t rely on these lights to illuminate other area such as restrooms and concession stands.
To read the new policy, visit www.matthewsnc.com/Departments/PlanningandDevelopment/Pending
ZoningActions.aspx and click “Zoning Motion 2012-1.”