The Malibu City Council voted unanimously on April 23 to approve a Dark Sky Ordinance meant to preserve Malibu’s rural character and quality of life, protect wildlife and habitats from light pollution, preserve enjoyment of the night-time sky, and promote the City’s goal of conserving energy and natural resources.

“Our dark, starry skies are just as much a part of Malibu’s beautiful surroundings and rural community character as our mountains and beaches,” said Mayor Rick Mullen. “Once the dark skies are gone, they are gone forever, and all of Malibu should be proud that the action we took today will ensure that our grandchildren in Malibu will be able to see stars in the night sky.”

The goal of the Dark Sky Ordinance is to reduce night-time light pollution to preserve night skies by adding comprehensive citywide outdoor lighting standards to the Malibu zoning code. The ordinance, which has been five years in the making, will go into effect in October 2018. Grace periods have been drafted into the ordinance to assist residents and business owners with the implementation process. Some provisions will take effect on October 15, 2018.

The City has held numerous community workshops and meetings as part of developing the ordinance, including education about the impacts of light pollution on people and nature, model lighting ordinances that have been adopted in other cities, and light pollution-reducing lighting technologies.

The ordinance aims to provide safe and effective levels of outdoor lighting, mainly by ensuring lighting is used when and where it is needed so that it does not indiscriminately cause light pollution.

In 2013, the City Council enacted a citywide outdoor lighting ordinance that was created with assistance from the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). The IDA is a United States-based non-profit organization started in 1988 by astronomers in an effort preserve the nighttime environment and reduce light pollution.

For more information, visit the City’s project webpage at www.MalibuCity.org/DarkSky.

Submitted by Matt Myerhoff, Malibu Media Information Officer