Breckenridge could get brighter with more lenient lighting restrictions in town code |

Breckenridge could get brighter with more lenient lighting restrictions in town code

Breckenridge Main Street could get brighter at night as Town Council members favor a change in the town code’s lighting restrictions.
Kailyn Lamb / |

BRECKENRIDGE — Bistro lighting, a type of decorative lighting that includes stringed lights, soon could be allowed in more areas around Breckenridge.

The type of lighting currently is allowed only in outdoor dining and bar areas, but the town planning commission has proposed bistro lighting for the South Gondola parking structure, which is expected to be built in 2020-21. 

The town development code reads: “Bistro lighting is permitted at an outdoor dining/bar area designated by the site plan to provide light and ambiance. Bistro lighting includes a temporary arrangement of lighting bulbs or tubing from May 1 through October 31 of the same year. At all other times bistro lighting is unlawful.”

A statement released by the town explained that the bistro fixtures are shielded and have a “warm yellow LED bulb.” The lights will be strung at about 9 feet, 4 inches high.

Part of the reason for the strict lighting restrictions in town is the Breckenridge Exterior Lighting Policy, which serves to protect views of the night sky. But during a discussion Tuesday, Dec. 10, about making an exception to the code for the parking structure, Breckenridge Town Council members learned toward changing the code altogether.

“I don’t think we have enough light,” council member Wendy Wolfe said. “I know the whole dark sky policy is important to us, but also getting people out of their cars and walking the town is important to us. I think we should consider changing our town code to allow some of this bistro lighting to exist.”

Wolfe added that increased lighting could make it easier to see ice on the sidewalks.

“I completely agree with Wendy,” council member Erin Gigliello said. “… It looks so nice with the Christmas lights, but I think we could have more of that.”

Gigliello commented that more lighting would make the town more inviting. Mayor Eric Mamula agreed that council should explore potential code changes.

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