Retrofit of town's 1,080 light fixtures mulled by leaders

By Matt Ward —

The first step toward a “Dark Skies Initiative” in Fredericksburg may come to fruition as the Fredericksburg City Council held discussion about a potential outdoor lighting ordinance during their regular meeting Monday.

The primary focus of the ordinance would be on new commercial establishments and does not regulate residential lighting.

No action on the ordinance was taken, though the council will discuss the proposal at a second reading slated for the May 5 meeting.

A complete draft of the proposed ordinance can be found on the city’s website,, in the meeting agenda for April 21.

Existing lighting would be deemed as nonconforming, but would not be required to come into compliance unless the business applied for a conditional use permit, subdivision permit, site plan permit or a sign permit.

The council is considering adding a “drop-dead date” to the ordinance that would set a date by which all businesses would be required to comply.

“Whatever ordinance is adopted can be improved or expanded in the future,” City Manager Kent Myers said. “This is intended to be a starting point in terms of getting some lighting standards in place. If they are effective and well-received by the general public, we can always look at expanding them in the future.”

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