The outdoor commercial lighting ordinance is now approved in Norman, Oklahoma, despite heavy protest. The City council members voted 6-2 in favor of passing the ordinance.
The members of the city council in favor of the ordinance are claiming that the new lighting will not will be able to cut down energy waste and therefore enhancing the quality of life. The opponents are saying that such ordinance will be expensive for business owners and will still be unsafe and over regulated.
Attorney Sean Rieger of the Builders Association of South Central Oklahoma said that the new rules in lighting are unclear. This will only lead more property owners to be penalized unnecessarily or be found guilty of violating the ordinance.
According to business owner Greg Mattoon, he fears for the safety of his family given the type of mandate in lighting. He also added that this lighting ordinance will only cost him in his business. However, Architect Dave Boeck said that after building his business with the integration of the new standards of lighting in mind, he did not acquire any more expense as compared to the traditional lighting.
The rules accompanying the lighting ordinance will only be applied to new construction. These will address the type of light poles outside as well as other outdoor light fixtures to be used. This will help in addressing the light spillover of many commercial properties to residential areas.
The new Norman lighting ordinance will exempt the University of Oklahoma, public schools, public athletic fields and OG&E. This will take effect next month.