Milton citizens propose bylaw to regulate outdoor residential lighting and reduce light pollution
I am writing to ask you to join a group of Milton citizens in supporting the addition of regulations on outdoor residential lighting in Milton. This does not prohibit the use of holiday decorations or the lighting of the US flag at night, but it does provide guidance that will help reduce unshielded light that shines up or outside the boundaries of people’s properties.
The purpose of this Outdoor Residential Lighting bylaw is to regulate lighting to an amount that is appropriate for the safe use and enjoyment of outdoor areas, while also mitigating potential nuisances in the form of light trespass, glare to abutters and the public at large, protection to wildlife habitats and natural waterways, and reducing light pollution.
Global citizen groups, local scientists, and organizations like the International Dark Sky Association have gathered significant data on the effects of light pollution on human health, energy waste and wildlife and ecosystems. All humans, plants and animals depend on natural cycles of light and dark. Besides, taking away the beauty of the night sky for us, artificial lighting confuses animals by disrupting nocturnal activity, migration and breeding. I was surprised to hear that Massachusetts has not yet passed a bill to regulate outdoor lighting and reduce light pollution. Groups like the Sierra Club are advocating for statewide legislation, but until that happens, we need to take action at the local level.
There are many resources to help people learn about and switch to using Dark Sky Friendly lighting, but we also need policy.
Most homeowners in Milton are respecting the unwritten rules of keeping outdoor lighting shining down on their own properties and not out into public spaces or into the eyes of their neighbors. This bylaw would ensure that everyone maintains this level of respect for their neighbors and natural surroundings.
Please show support for this bylaw by emailing Ellen Stoddard ([email protected]).
Your name will be added to the attached letter to be presented to the planning board on January 31, 2023.
You are also invited to join the meeting and share your support. Thank you for your consideration!
Ellen Stoddard (TMM Precinct 2)
Luisa Peña Lyons