Planners & Decision Makers

Helper Utah’s lighting inventory dashboard

When protecting natural darkness becomes a priority, municipal policy initiatives to protect the night sky will follow. Community engagement, action and education are critical to developing effective plans and policies.

The Planners & Decision Makers Toolkit offers a suite of resources to aid and educate planners and decision makers to better understand the implications of dark sky conservation and to plan for and implement effective policies.

DARK SKY PLANNING: GUIDANCE & BEST PRACTICES | GuidES

An introductory guide for local leaders about dark sky conservation benefits and planning best practices.

Utah Community Development Office in partnership with the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative

DARK SKY ASSESSMENT guide: evaluation methods, tools, & resources | GUIDES

This worksheet guides users through several evaluation methods which could be used for a general assessment of dark sky friendly lighting in a community.

Utah Community Development Office in partnership with the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative

BEST PRACTICES IN APPROACHING COMMUNITIES | TOPICS BRIEFS

Nine steps of action for effectively approaching communities in dark sky conservation.

Crystal White & Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative

LIGHTING ORDINANCES | TOPICS BRIEFS

A primer on the basic components of a lighting ordinance.

Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative

LIGHTING ORDINANCE WALKTHROUGH | INTERACTIVE

A breakdown of what a lighting ordinance is, the different formats it may take, links to examples, and best practices.

Utah Community Development Office in partnership with the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative

IDA/IES MODEL LIGHTING ORDINANCE | technical documents

IDA and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America have developed a Model Lighting Ordinance to address the need for strong, consistent outdoor lighting regulation in North America.

International Dark Sky Association & the Illuminating Engineering Society

ida model simple municipal resolution | technical documents

Not ready for a lighting ordinance? Consider adopting a non-binding municipal resolution as a way to warm up to a future lighting ordinance.

International Dark Sky Association

CODE ENFORCEMENT: RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SMALL TOWNS | guides

Code enforcement is a critical, and overlooked aspect of successful implementation of a lighting ordinance. This guide defines code, describes why enforcement is important, and outlines actionable strategies.

Utah Community Development Office

HELPER, UT LIGHTING INVENTORY DASHBOARD | INTERACTIVE

Struggling to visualize what a community lighting inventory looks like? Helper, UT was one of the first cities in the nation to have a thorough lighting inventory. Click the link above to interact with an ArcGIS Dashboard featuring collected data points for 487 public light fixtures.

Courtesy of Helper City and the Utah Community Development Office

good neigHBOR LIGHTING POLICY CONSIDERATIONS | 13 MIN VIDEO

A 13 minute overview of good neighbor policy considerations including: a description of common law nuisance, the definition of light trespass, indications for how to find appropriate lighting, and illustrations on how to make good neighbor behaviors both compulsory and durable.

John Barentine, International Dark Sky Association

economics of dark skies | TOPICS BRIEFS

This brief defines the concept of “dark sky development” and outlines several economic benefits of dark sky conservation. The purpose is to provide dark sky advocates with talking points for communicating the economics of dark skies to decision makers.

Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative

“…The bottom line for planners and elected officials is what’s good for dark skies also save money, by making sure light is used most efficiently — including the most effective ways to improve public safety.”

John Barentine, IDA Director of Public Policy