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posted: 5/29/2013 12:03 AM

Rolling Meadows might outlaw 'light trespass'

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"Light trespass" could join offensive smells, materials, smoke and odors as outlawed nuisances in Rolling Meadows.

The city council gave preliminary approval Tuesday night to ordinance amendments prohibiting "intense glare or light trespass from one residential property onto another." Limits already exist on light from commercial properties spilling onto residential ones.

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The ordinance defines "light trespass" as "shining beyond the property" where the fixture is located.

Alderman Brad Judd of the 4th Ward asked that the proposal be made more specific so one person's front porch light or motion-sensitive rear light used for security was not defined as another's nuisance.

"I'd like some kind of standard rather than have it wide open for any complaint that we have," Judd said.

Some residents' lights cause their neighbors real problems, he acknowledged.

Under the proposal if city staff determines a complaint is legitimate and the owner of the light does not modify the light, the matter would go to the city's adjudication hearing process, not court.

Following Judd's request, city staff will research how other communities write their ordinances, said Valerie Dehner, community development director.

Exceptions in the proposed ordinance include "seasonal decorations," allowing them for 60 days.

The ordinance could come up again as soon as June 11.

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