IMD’s Board of Directors, and the Resident Improvement Guidelines Committee (RIGC) are conducting research to determine if the current lighting guidelines are sufficient or if they need to be updated to suit the needs of the community. Background:

Homes in the Inspiration community come with builder-installed lighting that includes carriage lights located in the front of the residence by the garage doors, a front porch light, a light by an entrance door (if so equipped) to the garage located on the side of the residence, and a light or lights in the rear exterior of the home.

Residents in the community often augment these builder-installed lights with permanent and non-permanent lights that 1) are installed along the roof line or eaves in the front or sides of the residence, 2) string lights in social spaces such as patios & decks; 3) motion-detecting security lights often located in the front of the residence; 4) landscaping lights that highlight landscaping features; and 5) lighting that illuminates walkways.

Recently, many residents have been installing permanent lighting along the soffits and rooflines on homes that are largely undetectable during the day when not illuminated and are remotely controlled. (e.g. Jellyfish, Trimlight, etc.)

The current Residential Improvement Guidelines For All Lots (Guidelines) for exterior lighting are written in a way to reduce the impact of lighting on neighbors and respect the Douglas County Dark Skies Initiative.

1. Residential Improvement Guidelines Committee (Committee) approval is required to install any non-builder installed lighting including soffit lighting, string lighting, flood lights, and spotlights other than the period November 15 to January 15 (see #6 below)

2. Other than the period November 15 to January 15, non-builder and builder installed lighting must be soft or warm white (correlated color temperature (CCT) no higher than 3000K) and not exceed 800 lumens, 60 watts or 14W (LED)

3. Non-builder installed lighting on patios, decks and pergolas in the rear of the home must be turned off by 10:00 pm if the area is unoccupied.

4. Lighting for pathways and planting beds is permitted if it is low-voltage (5W or less) and is downward pointing. Committee approval is not required for pathway and planting bed lighting.

5. Uplighting of trees and sides of the residence is permitted only with prior approval of the Committee and must be turned off by 10 pm.

6. Seasonal lighting (typically lighting with multiple colors and movement) can be displayed from November 15 to January 15.

  • Seasonal lighting located in the front of the home and in the front yard has no time-of-day restriction from November 15 to January 15.
  • Seasonal lighting located on the side of the home and in the rear yard can be only illuminated until 10 p.m. if the side or rear yard is immediately adjacent to another home so as to not disturb neighbors.
  • Seasonal lighting can be affixed to District-owned fences using only temporary means, such as wreath hangers, so long as it does not damage the wood or stain. No nails, hooks, screws, or other hardware are to be attached to District fences.

Given this background, and after reviewing the current Guidelines, the IMD and RIGC would like your feedback and suggestions on how to improve the Guidelines in a way that strikes a balance between the Douglas County Dark Skies Initiative and the desire for residents to have lighting options beyond the established seasonal lighting window.

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