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Legal Action to Abate Light Pollution

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22 replies to this topic

#1 MikiSJ

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 03:52 PM

I was reading a post by grif 678 and the topic of light pollution was brought up by havasman where a church was constructed nearby to his property and they use excessive lighting that is lessening havasman's ability to image (visually or photographically).

 

I thought I would investigate if there are legal actions that may be brought to require the offending light polluter to abate their lighting usage. I am not attorney so the information at the enclosed link is not meant to be taken as legal advice. But it does indicate that we simply do not have to put up with light pollution, and specifically if the lighting was installed subsequent to the offended party's use the offended property:

 

https://www.legalmat...emissions.html 


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#2 Bob4BVM

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 03:57 PM

dead link...



#3 lee14

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 04:00 PM

Yep, it's called Light Trespass, and it's a real thing that has been successfully litigated. For more information, check out the IDA, the International Dark-Sky Association:  https://www.darksky.org

 

Lee


Edited by lee14, 07 April 2021 - 04:00 PM.

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#4 markb

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 04:06 PM

https://www.legalmat...-emissions.html

 

Just a format error.

 

NO opinion on the contents, this field varies from state to state (common law and state/local laws, regs, and zoning) and over time. Most law students get an overview over a couple of days in real property class and rarely encounter the issue again, unless they are RE specialists.


Edited by markb, 07 April 2021 - 04:10 PM.


#5 infamousnation

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 04:10 PM

And yet when u blast music at night the cops make u turn it down


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#6 sc285

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 04:18 PM

I had an existing church across the street, get rid of their low light parking lot fixtures (they had 2) and install the LED lights (now 4). Because they sit on land higher than our property, the lights blasted the house, driveway and everything else within 400 ft. I wrote letter to pastor explaining the situation. He had the company that installed the lights come out and tilt the fixtures about 20-30 degrees away from the house. Now I barely see the glaring lights and it still lights up their parking lot. I still believe the lighting was overkill but 1000% better than what it had been.

 

Rob


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#7 spereira

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 04:49 PM

Moving to Light Pollution.

 

smp


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#8 MikiSJ

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 10:21 PM

Retry - copy and paste

 

https://www.legalmat...-emissions.html

 



#9 Tony Flanders

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 05:35 AM

The church across the street from our apartment in Cambridge, MA (USA) replaced their (already rather obnoxious) sodium-vapor parking-lot lights with ultrabright LEDs, prompting us to investigate the legal angle. It turns out that Cambridge zoning regulations clearly prohibit parking-lot lights from shining directly onto other people's property -- so in fact the old sodium-vapor lights were already in violation. A call to the zoning board resulted in the church replacing the lights with down-facing amber LEDs that are much less offensive than the original sodium vapors, much less their initial obnoxious replacements. And all we had to do is make one phone call.


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#10 DSOGabe

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 10:38 AM

Cities that do have light trespass and/or nuisance lighting ordinances usually will indicate that lighting fixtures cannot be installed in such a manner that the lighting crosses property lines and should be shielded. In my case, the ordinance states that bare bulb fixtures are a violation and that shielded lights should not be angled more than 15 degrees from vertical. 

Now, as I've indicated many times in the past, getting the city to enforce those codes is a completely different story....


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#11 Augustus

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Posted 11 April 2021 - 04:37 PM

A senior center across the woods/down the hill from me had bright lights pointing at their parking lot which shone into my room at night. A single call to a district rep got shields put on those. They still shine enough laterally into my yard to light it up somewhat but it's better than nothing and they don't shine upwards into my house (or the sky).


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#12 MikiSJ

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 11:51 AM

Cities that do have light trespass and/or nuisance lighting ordinances usually will indicate that lighting fixtures cannot be installed in such a manner that the lighting crosses property lines and should be shielded. In my case, the ordinance states that bare bulb fixtures are a violation and that shielded lights should not be angled more than 15 degrees from vertical. 

Now, as I've indicated many times in the past, getting the city to enforce those codes is a completely different story....

You could read up on a "Writ of Mandamus" and pretend you are an attorney (or finally understand why you never wanted to be an attorney).


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#13 LDW47

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 03:09 PM

Wait till you get to court and the judge sympathizes with the other party, takes their part because they are doing their best ! Happens many times, with all types of cases, up here in Canada, its not guaranteed you will win, it depends many times on the judges mood in these trivial cases ! But if the judge is an astronomer you will get a good ruling in your favor, lol !


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#14 MikiSJ

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 04:36 PM

That a very cynical view of judicial processes.



#15 LDW47

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 05:53 PM

That a very cynical view of judicial processes.

Yes it is and it happens just that way ! Don’t be too naive !


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#16 LDW47

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 06:18 PM

Some of the questions you will be asked such as ‘ how much actual sleep are you losing at night ‘ or ‘ are they causing a lot of noise ‘ or ‘ ........... ‘ won’t justify your complaint about people trying their best to follow the rules ! Rules are rules but the judge is the judge and ........ ? In my life, my career I could tell you all sorts of similar .... but I won’t bother ! Good Luck !


Edited by LDW47, 12 April 2021 - 06:19 PM.


#17 DSOGabe

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 02:28 PM

You could read up on a "Writ of Mandamus" and pretend you are an attorney (or finally understand why you never wanted to be an attorney).

I've had to contact the code enforcement dept 4 times so I've practically memorized the section. That is why I added the jab about getting the city to actually do something!



#18 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 08:51 AM

It's hopeless.  Put up shields on your own property.  If the light polluting neighbors dislike the shields, then you have a bargaining position. 


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#19 Kendahl

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 02:22 PM

If the light polluting neighbors dislike the shields, then you have a bargaining position. 

There is a guy who wrote on the side facing the neighbors, "Ask me how to get rid of this ugly tarp."

 

Permanent light shields (aka privacy fences) don't need to look ugly. A professional landscaper could help design one.



#20 Delta608

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 03:05 PM

There is a guy who wrote on the side facing the neighbors, "Ask me how to get rid of this ugly tarp."

 

Permanent light shields (aka privacy fences) don't need to look ugly. A professional landscaper could help design one.

  That is likely  to cause  him more problems than it would ever solve...



#21 moonrakercat

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 09:44 AM

Wait till you get to court and the judge sympathizes with the other party, takes their part because they are doing their best ! Happens many times, with all types of cases, up here in Canada, its not guaranteed you will win, it depends many times on the judges mood in these trivial cases ! But if the judge is an astronomer you will get a good ruling in your favor, lol !

Absolutely true.



#22 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 07 May 2021 - 02:06 PM

Shields I put up:  https://www.cloudyni...-1597690773.jpg   It's ten feet high.

 

If the neighbor doesn't like the shield, he can put his LED lighting on motion sensors or shield them from my view.  Otherwise, it stays, since there is no violation of ordinance in having it.


Edited by John Fitzgerald, 07 May 2021 - 02:07 PM.

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#23 CrazyPanda

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 07:13 AM

Shields I put up:  https://www.cloudyni...-1597690773.jpg   It's ten feet high.

 

If the neighbor doesn't like the shield, he can put his LED lighting on motion sensors or shield them from my view.  Otherwise, it stays, since there is no violation of ordinance in having it.

Light trespass has to be taken more seriously than it is, from a legal perspective. It should not be possible to see the emitter of a light fixture from outside of the property bounds on which it is installed.




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