Shining the light on Dillon Ridge and Dillon lighting issues
I’d like to comment on the new thoughts for light pollution as they relate to the sign code for the town of Dillon. Most of my comments are directed at Dillon Ridge, specifically the back-lit sign advertising the features showing at Skyline Cinema that is directly across from our home.
However, the comments are equally pertinent as Dillon begins considering light pollution and revisions to its sign code to address it.
I respectfully disagree with town manager Jack Benson’s comments in the Summit Daily last week. He stated there has been good cooperation between Dillon Ridge and Dillon regarding the sign.
Almost three years ago, I complained to the town council about the Dillon Ridge sign. On April 3, 2001, almost two years ago, the council directed then-town manager Julie Boyd to direct a letter to Skyline Cinemas informing it of its need to comply with the lighting standards in Dillon’s Land Development Code, and to follow up on this issue.
On Sept. 3, 2002, nearly a year and a half later, I approached the council again with the issue unresolved. On Sept. 17, the council directed staff to write a letter to Skyline Cinema requesting a timer to extinguish the east marquee lights after a reasonable hour at night. Here we are five months later, and the only action of Skyline Cinema has been to dim the sign slightly. I do not feel this is cooperation.
The permit issued to Dillon Ridge for the sign states, “If any light source creates a nuisance by shining onto rights of ways, or adjacent properties, the applicants shall either change the lighting or remove it, whichever alleviates the problem.” If this sign is not a nuisance, I can’t imagine one that is. It clearly shines onto adjacent property – mine.
I have measured the sign at Dillon Ridge Market Place, and by the way I measure, its size exceeds the permit that was granted.
The town must be willing to enforce its code. I understand Dillon is considering revisions to its sign code to address light pollution.
We must have a code which officials feel strongly about and are willing and able to enforce. Has Skyline Cinema been fined to force compliance as requested under the current code? If it was a fire code issue, you could bet that Lake Dillon Fire Chief Francis Winston would lock the doors.
There is mention of better defining light levels through candle-power measurement. Certainly addressing lumens to be measured would be a good tool, but lights from any development should not shine in neighboring bedrooms and living rooms.
Additionally, what is the use of having a sign turned on during all hours – dusk to dawn? The movie theater locks its doors before midnight, but it leaves the sign on all night. Why? Part of any new light pollution sign code has got to address the hours lights are allowed to be turned on. There are good conservation and environmental arguments for this as well.
In no case should any sign code be weaker.
Dillon Ridge Market Place is a tax bonanza for the town. The residents on Buffalo and Labonte streets make the sacrifice of tolerating the noise, the eye-sore and the light pollution. What is the town doing to mitigate our loss? Much was done by the developers to mitigate the problems with Piney Acres (not even Dillon residents) but absolutely nothing was done for the Dillon residents on our side of Highway 6 who really pay the price.
It is wonderful that we have the tax money to do lots of nice town improvements, but we insist that the town does something to mitigate the losses we have on our side of Highway 6. And after three years, it’s high time our priority moved up to top priority.
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