BOGUE — The town of Bogue will host an information session Monday at town hall on a so-called “dark sky” ordinance.
The session, led by Chad Davis, regional planning director for the Eastern Carolina Council of Governments, will begin at 4:30 p.m. The town council meeting will follow at 6 p.m.
The public, including non-Bogue residents, is invited to attend, Town Clerk Elizabeth Sweeney said this past week.
Friday, Mr. Davis said a “dark sky” ordinance basically seeks to limit light pollution by setting standards aimed at keeping light from being directed upward.
He said it’s a movement being pushed by the International Dark-Sky Association, originally intended to reduce light that limits the ability of people to see stars. However, military, including the U.S. Marine Corps, likes dark sky ordinances because light pollution can inhibit night-time training by military aircraft and personnel.
The town is home to Bogue Field, an auxiliary landing and training facility for Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Havelock.
A few years ago, when the Marine Corps and some Carteret County towns participated in a joint land-use planning effort, a dark sky ordinance was one of the recommendations, Mr. Davis said. The Eastern Carolina Council got a contract with the military to make presentations to local governments near military installations in the area. He’s set to make the same presentation in Emerald Isle.
The idea, Mr. Davis said, is to adopt something simple, such as an ordinance that states all new lighting will be “dark sky-compliant.”
The Eastern Carolina Council, he said, “believes something simple like that will be easy to enforce” and can make a difference as more development occurs in town.
In addition to lighting, he said, it could be used to reduce light pollution from signs.
It’s not just for the military or for star-gazers, he said.
“Studies show that light pollution – that glow you see in the sky – can have impacts on human health and on wildlife by affecting sleep patterns, the ‘day-night’ cycle,” he said.
He said a simple ordinance can help the military, other residents and wildlife without imposing severe rules on property owners.
Many local governments across the country have already adopted such ordinances, Mr. Davis said, ranging from simple ones to complex ones that set differing requirements in different geographic locations and zoning districts.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.