Exterior Lighting Regulation to be Revised

Regulations on exterior lighting play an essential part in controlling light pollution in Rancho Santa Fe. The RSF Regulatory Code, the County code, and the San Dieguito Community Plan all have rules in place to prevent excessive lighting. The Association will discuss a lighting regulation update to modernize Association rules, address advances in lighting technology and clarify inconsistencies and ambiguities within the existing regulation, Chapter 14 of the Regulatory Code, Exterior Lighting.  

The current Lighting regulation in Chapter 14 of the Regulatory Code states that its purpose is to "minimize outdoor lighting nuisances to private properties and public spaces, and to maintain the 'dark sky' standard of the community. The 'dark sky' standard includes the maintenance of a predominant rural darkness characterized by limited and controlled emissions of light that distinctly differ from more intrusive suburban lighting patterns."

The San Diego County Light Pollution Code states that the Light Pollution Code (LPC), also known as the Dark Sky Ordinance, was adopted "to minimize light pollution to allow citizens of the County to view and enjoy the night environment, allow communities within the unincorporated areas of the County to become recognized by the International Dark Sky Association as International Dark-Sky Communities, and protect the Palomar and Mount Laguna observatories from the detrimental effect that light pollution has on astronomical research". (Section 51.201)

The San Dieguito Community Plan states that "nighttime silhouettes of the mountains are experiences highly valued by the residents of San Dieguito, and these are possible because the night sky is still relatively free from light pollution. Many homeowners associations have restrictions on the type of lighting permitted and the times during which it can be used". (Page 67)

In its current form, the RSF Association Lighting Regulation outlines exterior lighting parameters that support the Rancho Santa Fe rural community character and the County Dark Sky Ordinance. The planned update to this regulation will continue its adherence to the same lighting principles, but will be modernized to account for advances in lighting technology and clarify certain omissions and ambiguities that exist in the current regulation. The revised regulation will also include specific measures to balance security concerns while abiding by the rural and dark sky requirements of the Rancho Santa Fe community.