Outdoor light pollution in Chester

Town /
| 10 Nov 2021 | 04:01

    Many people moved to Chester because of its rural nature. However, Chester and particularly the Village of Chester have had significant growth in the commercial and industrial areas.

    With this growth, light pollution now mars the rural ambiance and the problem has steadily worsened.

    The Village of Chester Code has a section that addresses the floodlighting of properties. The code reads as follows:

    Code 98-15: Floodlighting of buildings and front, side and rear yards is permitted. No floodlight, spotlight or other light shall be erected in such a manner that its beam shall be directed, in whole or in part, toward a street, road or highway or toward adjoining property, or in any way or manner that will cause a traffic hazard due to its glare.

    Every building in the Chester Industrial Park except the new STERIS building on Nucifora violates this code. The outdoor lighting for most of the buildings have been updated with much brighter LED lights and have been changed from downward facing to outward facing.

    I have brought this problem to the attention of the Village of Chester and Code Enforcement Officer John Orr. The Village Board told me that they don’t think that there is a light pollution problem.

    The Town Board acknowledges the problem but has stated that they have no authority over the Village. Additionally, the Town has done nothing to enforce the Outdoor Lighting ordinance they put into law in January 2021.

    So nothing gets done.

    The Village is clearly negligent in enforcing its own code. The Town has done nothing about the property owners that have changed their outdoor lighting to bright LED lights.

    I need your help. I ask all residents to request that both the Village and the Town enforce their outdoor lighting code/ordinance.

    Larry Dysinger

    Chester resident and author of the Chester Outdoor Lighting Ordinance