[Below is from Marci Turner. This is a lengthy post; but please read it and respond. At the very bottom in red is more info from Marci. Again, please read. Please contact your City Council representative and Matthew McElroy. Only elpasonaturally supplies you with email addresses to city representatives and others that go directly to them and not to staff.]
I need your help again. This item set for April 21st was postponed until May 19th. I urge you to forward this to anyone you believe would be interested in helping. We need to show the City community support!
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This Tuesday, May 19th, City Council will discuss and vote on items on the agenda. These item read as follows:
An Ordinance amending Title 18, Chapter 18.18 (Outdoor Lighting Code) Of the City Code by amending Chapter 18.19.310 (Nonconformance) to add an exception for upward directed sign lighting for off premise signs and by amending Chapter 18.18.120 (Externally Illuminated Sign Standards) to provide for an exception for upward directed sign lighting. The penalty being as provided in Section 18.02.111 (Violations And Penalties) of the El Paso City Code.
An Ordinance amending Title 18, Chapter 18.18 (Outdoor Lighting Code) Of the City Code by amending Chapter 18.19.310 (Nonconformance) to add an exception for upward directed sign lighting for off premise signs and by amending Chapter 18.18.120 (Externally Illuminated Sign Standards) to provide for an exception for upward directed sign lighting. The penalty being as provided in Section 18.02.111 (Violations And Penalties) of the El Paso City Code. [POSTPONED FROM 04-21-2015]
“off premise signs” means billboards. The billboard industry is asking for an exemption from our Outdoor Lighting Code (Dark Sky Ordinance). They are requesting permission to continue using upward directed lights on their billboards.
They are also requesting a one year extension to change their lights to LED. LED lights produce the same amount of light pollution as the current lights, but will save the company money.
HERE is an email I sent to City Council, Mayor, and the City Manager last Monday, before the introduction of this item. Please take a moment to read this message if you have not seen it. I first sent it in April.
I’m asking each of you to send an email to all members of City Council by noon this next Monday asking them to deny any exemptions from our current ordinance. If there are 2 or more in a household, I ask that you send 1 email from each individual account.
Simple Email Example: Dear City Council, please deny any requests for exemptions or changes to our current Dark Sky Ordinance.
Thank you for your help!! Marcia Turner
These emails can be sent as one email if you like….merely type (or cut and paste) each address separated by a semi-colon in the “to” box. I have added the last two names to this list.
District 1 Ann Morgan Lilly email@example.com
District 2 Larry Romero firstname.lastname@example.org
District 3 Emma Acosta email@example.com
District 4 Carl Robinson firstname.lastname@example.org
District 5 Michiel Noe email@example.com
District 6 Claudia Ordaz firstname.lastname@example.org
District 7 Lily Limon email@example.com
District 8 Cortney Niland firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mayor Oscar Leeser email@example.com
City Manager Tommy Gonzalez TGonzalaz@elpasotexas.gov
Matthew McElroy, City Planning firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m going to ask people to send emails to council again – and this time include Mathew S. McElroy, (915) 212-1550, email@example.com who stated there were no letters or calls objecting to the change.
Also – I’m trying to find three people to speak about the following items presented by the “industry” that convinced the staff to approve the change.
At a Council session of November 18, 2014, council directed staff to revise the Title 18.18 (Dark Sky) Lighting Ordinance subsequent to a presentation by industry representatives that indicated:
• LED lighting is less intrusive than current lighting (this is not true. LED lights emit a white light that is in fact more intrusive – I need someone in lighting who can say this briefly)
• LED lighting is considerably more energy efficient and cost effective. (true, but what benefit is this to the city? It only saves the industry money)
• Retrofitting currently existing signs would be cost prohibitive. (I need a money person to tell the industry revenue for a particular year, and to ask about the expense incurred by local businesses to comply)