The city of Page is having a growing and, unfortunately, heated conversation regarding the approaching City Council vote on a lighting ordinance. I’m writing to give readers some perspective that may help them realize the value and reason behind an ordinance of this type.
First, it is a point of civic pride for everyone involved that citizens are concerned with so many facets of local life surrounding the issue. The issue, however, is a rather simple one. After discussion, hearings and revisions, the ordinance is not a “dark sky” resolution, it does not infringe on police vigilance, it does not diminish safety for individuals, families, properties, nor businesses — it stands as a code to protect property owners’ rights, to keep the supportive flow of tourism dollars entering the city and its businesses and to preserve the rural, independent, western character of Page.
Noise ordinances help protect residents from obnoxious rackets that diminishes the right to a quiet atmosphere. A lighting ordinance creates a similar code to preserve the property owners’ right and guards their space against bright lights from outside their property.
Since a neighbor’s stereo can keep you and your family awake, there is a noise ordinance in place to keep the volume lower at night. This is also why an ordinance that keeps the same neighbor’s floodlights from coming into your bedroom window is so important. It’s your bedroom to rest in, your view of night sky in the back yard to show your children and your city to enjoy in safety.
Page has been faced with much talk about “the lights going out,” though this simply isn’t the case. Motion sensing lighting, more advanced fixtures, better bulbs and nearly a decade to comply means that our city will slowly grow through the coming years into using light better, using less energy for safe streets and homes.
Funds generated from tourism by lodging tax, sales, tax and local business purchases strengthens the economy and vitality of our hometown. Tourists come to Page to stay at the middle of the Grand Circle, see the land and the beautiful skies above. These overnight stays add up — overnight visitors spend three times as much as a family passing through for the day. Page residents should be careful not to let that revenue, sales tax, lodging tax, publicity and visitation go elsewhere — Kanab, Flagstaff, Springdale or Moab for instance.
Keep the stars in your back yard — even better, add a few more.