Why over-light paradise? | AspenTimes.com

Why over-light paradise?

(Editor’s note: This letter was originally addressed to the Pitkin County commissioners.)Dear Editor:An April 25 Aspen Times newspaper article stated that the Board of Commissioners is “moving toward allowing citizens to keep holiday lights up until May 1,” and “there will likely be a 30-day period when lights can be up under the whim of the property owner” (“BOCC: Let there be lights”). The current turn off date is Jan. 30, with no “whims” allowed.I’m incredulous!This is a step backwards.Just three days prior, an Aspen Daily News item advertised “National County Government Week,” wherein Pitkin County declared its commitment to protecting the night sky against light pollution.The potential extension would go against the county’s commitment to energy conservation.The Times article mentioned that there is an enforcement issue. If this be so, then it is obvious that a significant segment of your constituency is complaining and is bothered by these lights. To extend the time period would only move the enforcement issue to a later date. I suggest going the other direction and putting some “teeth” into the ordinance. Write a ticket citing the violators. Fine them. This would get their attention and ultimately alleviate the enforcement issue.Another suggestion is to change the name of “holiday lighting” to “decorative lighting,” to refute the argument that “my holiday is at a different date than yours.” The current county ordinance was written after many hearings and much consideration. It does not have to be the same as the City of Aspen’s lighting ordinance. The county is not the city.Let’s not “Disneyland” the county any more than we have to. The stars in the sky are beautiful enough!Thanks for hearing these comments, and keep things as they are.Don LemosWoody Creek

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