Comments at public hearing advocate for respect of the night sky in anticipation of 45-acre development in Mishawaka, IN, but they apply generally to all outdoor lighting installations. At the Mishawaka Common Council meeting of January 8, 2014, here's what I said about Proposed Ordinance No. 2013-55, Annex and Zone S-2 PUD Northwest Gumwood Rd. and Cleveland Rd.
Audio of Comment at Mishawaka Common Council Meeting
My name is Chuck Bueter. I come not necessarily to speak for nor against, but to make a comment if I may. On behalf of the Michiana Astroromical Society, which in 2014 is celebrating its 40th anniversary, I ask you to consider our community’s nighttime assets in determining how this project moves forward. Yes, there are building codes for nighttime lighting, but that doesn’t mean they always serve the best interests of the after-hours environment.
Please act to preserve personal safety on and utility of the site without compromising the quality of the night sky across the region. Strive to minimize glare, light trespass, and sky glow. Insist that this Mishawaka development implement recognized dark-sky friendly designs and practices such as installing fully shielded outdoor lights. Encourage them to take advantage of modern lighting technology that is being developed locally in Michiana.
In this limited public forum I do not have time to list the multitude of ways the nighttime impact of this development can be minimized by having sufficient yet sensible outdoor lighting. Hence, I ask you and the developer to lead in constraining the light pollution beyond the broad allowances of existing codes. Please exceed expectations. Show the rest of the world how development can be done right while respecting the night. Thank you.