DARK SKY COMMUNITY
Isn’t it amazing to look up at night and see the stars, constellations, satellites and even the Milky Way here in Fountain Hills? Our ability to view these celestial objects can be attributed to the regulations regarding outdoor lighting within our Town. These “Dark Sky” regulations protect the night sky from “sky glow” – the yellow-orange glow you see in the sky when you look towards the Valley at night, which is also called “light pollution”. Why don’t we have that same glow? Well, one rather obvious reason is that we don’t have street lights. The Town uses reflective signage to aid drivers with navigating our hilltop roadways at night. Another reason is that we require lighting to be covered and pointed down at the area
intended to be lit. Preventing light from shining upward prevents the glow you see in the Valley. Being away from the light pollution allows us to look up and see the natural heritage of the night skies – think about the Big Dipper, also known as Ursa Major (“Great Bear”). Do you remember that two of the stars in the cup of the Dipper point to the North Star? The North Star has been used for navigating at night, by both land and sea, for thousands of years! Did you know that when you are in the Town Center you can see the International Space Station cross the night sky? The ability to see these things is thanks to our Dark Sky ordinance. The ordinance has been in place
since 1989, when the Town was incorporated. In November 2016, a revised version of the ordinance was adopted to update standards for current lighting specifications. For example, we all used to refer to the brightness of a light bulb by the “watts”. Now with fluorescent and LED lighting we determine the brightness by “lumens”. We’ve also learned more about the Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) and its relationship to glare. So, we have included new restrictions that ensure less glare while still maintaining safe lighting standards. By updating the ordinance, our community can ensure the starry night sky will be protected from light pollution for future generations. So look up and enjoy the stars tonight!
Adero Canyon TrailHead Contract Awarded On September 19, 2017, the Town Council approved a contract for the construction of the Adero Canyon Trailhead with Blucor Contracting, in the amount of $2,162,956.01. Staff anticipates the ground breaking of the trailhead to commence before the first of the new year.
Fountain Hills FIRST
Published on Nov 20, 2017