City of Guelph looking at new bylaw to help reduce excessive lighting

By Josh Goeree

A ‘bright’ idea to combat light pollution in Guelph has been passed by a council committee.

During a committee of the whole on July 3, councillors passed a motion directing staff to draft a bylaw, or adjust current ones, to cut down on the amount of excessive lighting, or “light trespassing” in the city. The motion also directs staff to create guidelines to help residents reduce their own light pollution, such as using full cutoff light fixtures.

A report to councillors notes artificial lights can have an effect on humans and nature, and that the city is feeling the effects of light pollution.

“The major light pollution hot spots in Guelph are the commercial plaza at Clair Road and Gordon Street, the Hanlon Industrial Park, along Stone Road West from Stone Road Mall to the University of Guelph, Downtown Guelph, the west end industrial sector, and auto dealers on Woodlawn Road,” said the report.

Ward 1 councillor Dan Gibson said he wants the bylaw to clearly outline what is reasonable when it comes to excessive lighting. He also wants to be sure it does not affect residents who use a lot of lights during the holidays, like Christmas or Diwali.

“We want to make sure the reasonableness is properly defined and that we are not dampening the spirit of the season when people decorate their homes,” said Gibson. “That would be a terrible outcome for this, which would [have] bylaw officers visiting people because they have decorated their homes for the season they care about.”

The motion will be voted on at the next full council meeting on July 23.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today