City council is voting Monday whether to adopt new guidelines aimed at reducing light pollution in the city.
The Bright Skies Initiative would see the municipal development plan — the city’s overarching bylaw governing planning and growth — amended to include more stringent requirements to curb light pollution.
"You look at light egress — how much light is going where it’s not supposed to go," said Ward 11 Ald. Brian Pincott, who is spearheading the initiative.
The new guidelines would expand on existing requirement for new development in Calgary to include detailed lighting plans at the permitting stage.
"We’ve got the classic example … the car dealership that is across the river from you that lights their parking lot," he told the CBC Eyeopener’s David Gray.
"That’s great, they should be lighting their parking lot. But they shouldn’t be lighting your building and half of Hillhurst in the process. That is light pollution." "It essentially boils down to wasted light. It’s waste", Pincott said.
Earlier this year council heard that light pollution is affecting the ability of scientists at the University of Calgary's observatory south of the city to view the stars.
The guidelines would apply to new developments, with existing ones grandfathered in.
Pincott said there is growing awareness that light pollution is a problem.
"Calgary, not that long ago, used to brag about being the brightest city on the planet per capita," he said. "We don’t brag about that anymore."