Phil Johnson’s Nov. 5 letter on the proposed Outdoor Lighting Standards ordinance is a year out of date. He testified at the subcommittee meeting, and we listened. Johnson claims that the bill “would require substantial changes to light fixtures along Front Street and South Kihei Road,” etc. No changes to existing lights are required under the draft ordinance, thanks to an amendment I proposed for the bill. Standards for new lights are needed now to prevent such problems in the first place.
Other corrections to Johnson’s letter: Street lights are not to be “only at intersections.” The County Code makes street lights mandatory at intersections, but discretionary elsewhere. The draft ordinance leaves that code unchanged. Street and parking-lot lights are not required to be low-pressure sodium (LPS) wherever businesses depend on color rendition. Street-light wattage is to be reduced only when more efficient, fully shielded lamps are used, and only if the illumination levels still meet federal, state and other accepted standards, amendments I proposed for the bill. Tiki torches are unregulated before 11 p.m. and can shine all night long if they do not interfere with turtle nesting. Accent lighting for trees, buildings and landscapes need not be shielded if turned off after hours.
Read the minutes at www.co.maui.hi.us/county/committees/ for the facts on our work. And make your thoughts known when the County Council Public Works Committee takes up the bill.