By Phil Trubey
December 5, 2022
The XVII is facetious, I actually tried to count the number of articles in the Post about the lighting regulation and gave up.
Watts to Lumens Regulation Passed
The good news is that at December’s Board meeting, the Board adopted a revised lighting regulation that isn’t hopelessly outdated by new LED technology. The Board passed a simple “Watts to Lumens” regulation revision after a 30 day comment period (minor wording changes were suggested at the Board meeting, but no policy changes).
Exterior Landscape Uplights
There are further changes that need to be addressed however. At the December Board meeting, staff presented several options on the topic of uplights.
We had three members who provided valuable input during this Board debate. Current Art Juror Beth Nelson, and two members that are currently building their houses and have recently gone through the Art Jury process: Rochelle Putnam, and Colin Black.
The current regulation prohibits the Art Jury from approving uplights in a lighting plan.
However, it also recognizes the concept of “Minor Construction” for landscape lighting. Minor Construction are exceptions to the regulations when the construction is deemed small enough. For instance, members may build a wall up to 32 inches high without Art Jury approval. They may also add, subtract or move 100 cubic yards of dirt without Art Jury approval.
Similarly, the current lighting regulation makes an exception for the installation of up to twelve low voltage lights. The thought being that a homeowner can spend $300 at home depot, buy a 12V landscape light transformer, lay exterior lighting cable and wire up some lights all in about an hour without the services of an electrician. In particular these landscape lights could be uplights or downlights/path lights.
It would be a waste of everyone’s time if a homeowner was required to get Art Jury approval for a few landscape lights here and there.
After much back and forth debate, the Board directed Babaki to propose draft language that would:
- Allow the Art Jury to approve uplights in a lighting plan, the number left up to Art Jury discretion (which could be zero), as long as the lights meet certain requirements like maximum lumen output, color temperature, light source cannot be visible off property, and are shielded from being directed into the sky by being directed onto foliage, a fountain, or equivalent.
- Continue to allow up to twelve lights like is done now as Minor Construction without Art Jury approval with the new proviso that any uplighting must also adhere to the above restrictions (maximum lumen output, color temperature, light source cannot be visible off property, and are shielded from being directed into the sky by being directed onto foliage, a fountain, or equivalent).
Just to be clear, high output uplighting like this would always be prohibited under the proposed new language.