Target plans to change parking lot lighting |

Target plans to change parking lot lighting

SILVERTHORNE – It would cost the corporation a pretty penny, but Target is considering replacing all the parking lot lights at its Silverthorne store in favor of softer bulbs.

The current white lights have drawn criticism from homeowners with bird’s-eye views of the new store, and from town officials – who say the lights don’t match up with approved store plans.

Mike Nelson, who’s in charge of construction at the Silverthorne Target, said he plans to test several varieties of bulbs and lighting fixtures. That could mean Target and the town will choose yellow lights to replace the existing white ones.

“Something is going to happen,” Nelson said, “but we want to know exactly what they (the town) want.”

Earlier this month, town employees said Target’s lights were out of compliance with the approved plan and that the store wouldn’t get its certificate of occupancy (CO) from the town until it corrected the situation. But Target has been working hard to come into compliance, so much so that Silverthorne community development director Mark Leidal said the town doesn’t plan to withhold the CO.

The store is set for a March 9 grand opening.

Leidal walked the Target site with store representatives Monday night, taking a second look at the lighting in the parking lot, near the loading docks and above the security doors – all areas identified two weeks ago. Target has installed cut-off fixtures in the parking lot to keep illumination in a small area and lessen the impact off site, replaced lights over the security doors and adjusted some of the lights so they don’t shine up into the sky.

But the parking lot lights still don’t match the approved lighting plan. Target’s lighting specialists had said the style of bulb they used requires a “burn-in” period of approximately 100 hours, after which the lights decrease in intensity by about 25 percent.

But the change hasn’t been as dramatic as the town had hoped.

“The light levels have not dropped significantly down to the point where they’re meeting their plan,” Leidal said.

Whatever the decision on the parking lot lights, the changes won’t happen overnight.

“We won’t do anything until springtime,” Nelson said. “(If we go from white to yellow), we will have to change the insides, the lamps themselves, the heads. It’s time consuming. It’s not cheap. And (now), it’s way too cold.”

Jane Reuter can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at

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