Saturday, May 03, 2014

Palmetto Bay: The Village of Lights. By Geniusofdespair

Before the Council:
Agenda Item 12B (scroll down to “B”) includes changes to Ordinance 30-110 sponsored by Councilman Timothy Schaffer. These proposed changes will allow stadium style lighting across all the residential districts of the village on outdoor athletic fields/recreational areas at religious facilities, private schools, child care facilities, and other non-governmental public assembly. These proposed changes will apply to current and future facilities.

The Neighborhood Protection Charter Amendment approved by 67% of the residents of Palmetto Bay was meant to protect residents from the negative impact of non-single family residential uses. This change in ordinance is against the amendment and will allow 90 foot light towers to be placed adjacent to single family homes without controls such as proximity or wattage. It will allow lights and hours of use to 10 PM and 11 PM every day. Currently, there is an athletic field lighting plan submitted to the Village’s Zoning Department that includes over 40 light poles (with rows of lights) ranging in height from 60 to 90 feet. The poles had almost 300 bulbs - each 1500 watts.

This proposed ordinance change will dramatically alter the quality of life for residents across the Village now and in the future.

Forget stargazing in Palmetto Bay. Dexter, this is stupid, you should tell the Council so.

According to Net Doctor:
In fact, according to new research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, exposure to certain types of electric light before bed and at night can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.

From BreastCancer.Org:
The results of several studies suggest that women who work at night -- factory workers, doctors, nurses, and police officers, for example -- have a higher risk of breast cancer compared to women who work during the day. Other research suggests that women who live in areas with high levels of external light at night (street lights, for example) have a higher risk of breast cancer.

Palmer Trinity has applied for 90 foot light poles (but needs this passed first) - Shielded, of course, but ambient light is pretty hard to hide. Why would anyone want to live by a school in Palmetto Bay? Why would anyone want to live in a place that enacts stupid laws? Palmetto Bay, vying for the title of worst place in the South of Miami Dade County to live, that Homestead has held for years.


Anonymous said...

Never fear, I've done dozens of these sports lighting debates over the years. Although all experience, evidence and research points to the huge benefit of sports as a tool for social assimilation and noralaization for the generations of kids that will use them (look up Konrad Lorenz Noble prize winning work on the subject) a few dozen old fart NIMBY will block any expansion of recreation or parks.

"Palmetto Bay, a village in the dark, and likes it that way"

Anonymous said...

An anonymous expert: The best kind.

Anonymous said...

No one is saying no lights: But this opens the pandora's box on lights. There is a middle ground. 90 foot poles is not a middle ground.

Derrick said...

Quoting from Lorenz who does not seem to believe in competition, much less stadium lighting issues:

Lorenz does not see human independence from natural ecological processes as necessarily bad. Indeed, he states that:

"A completely new [ecology] which corresponds in every way to [humanity's] desires... could, theoretically, prove as durable as that which would have existed without his intervention (36).

However, the principle of competition, typical of Western societies, destroys any chance of this:

"The competition between human beings destroys with cold and diabolic brutality... Under the pressure of this competitive fury we have not only forgotten what is useful to humanity as a whole, but even that which is good and advantageous to the individual. [...] One asks, which is more damaging to modern humanity: the thirst for money or consuming haste... in either case, fear plays a very important role: the fear of being overtaken by one's competitors, the fear of becoming poor, the fear of making wrong decisions or the fear of not being up to snuff..." pp45–47.

Anonymous said...

Lorenz's work in this context was socialization and imprinting of the species. He concluded aggression was needed in the gene pool. However modern humans, unlike their primitive ancestors who used brutalization of the youth at their tool of socialization, organized sports to serve the same ritualized fuction. aggression thus channeled, it's negative effects neutralized.

At it's extreme it's one of the components for the success of midnight basketball in inner-city neighborhoods.

At the very least it's why many of us remember Friday night football in high school with such fondness.

Anonymous said...

GOD is correct about the effects of stray light on health (and as a side note, of the three ethologists who received the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine, Lorenz's contributions have proven the least durable). The physiological dependency of sleep and health on darkness is part of why municipalities pass dark skies ordinances. Sports fields always prove to be the sticking point. Where I used to live, some people defended their right to darkness by shooting out the offending bulbs with an air rifle. Just saying,

Anonymous said...

I went to the website and read the item. While the affects of light are important what I took away from the item is the affect on the people who live near the facilities that would use the lights. When I was in college I lived next to a high school sports field that had lights. Literally didn't have to turn the lights on at night in the house. And of course, the owner could only rent to college kids. I do know that my poinsettias need darkness to grow properly as well as my orchids.
Too much light affects people, plants, and animals.

Why is it so important to do this?

Anonymous said...

Marc Sarnoff promotes legislation to allow unlimited LED billboards with bright distracting light 24/7. Carlos Gimenez refuses to enforce the Federal Highway Beautification Act. No surprise Palmetto Bay pols refuse to find a compromise.

Anonymous said...

Musco provides the stadium style lights in Miami Beach. As everybody knows you don't need 60' poles for tennis courts. It's all about the manufacturer and the city lumen requirements. You need to find what manufacturer is providing the lights and what lumen the city is requiring. Dig deeper and you will see the residents are getting the shaft. Please tell me these aren't Musco poles.

Anonymous said...

Stadium style lights with 90 foot poles in a residential area? Torture the residents? Read below.

Sleep Deprivation:
Studies have shown that missing a night's sleep temporarily drains 10 points from a person's IQ. Consistent sleep deprivation, through harassment, exposure to bright lights, and exposure to loud, jarring music and recordings, can drastically impair judgment.

Resident of the Village of Lights. said...


I am your neighbor. I am one of the ones who uses Bahama shutters so that light doesn't interfere with my rest.

I do not have any outside yard lights placed on my house anywhere it would intrude into my sleeping area.

I can't imagine sleeping in and area where commercial lighting is allowed to hover over my yard/windows.

It is bad enough that the folks around South Motors, Palmetto Bay special event venues and fast food establishments have to listen to speaker systems calling out orders or blasting music or screaming for someone to answer phones without those neighbors getting a suntan at night.

Come on, Palmetto Bay Elected Officials, stand up for rest and tranquility. Of course, most of you didn't live here when agreements were struck with the county on lighting at Coral Reef Park or over at the nature preserve by Palmer. You have to be a long time south Dade resident to remember those meetings.

And truly, our vice mayor doesn't have a clue about unwanted lighting or noise, when he sits on the edge of a very dark Biscayne Bay on 8 acres with only the sound of sail boats and his own installed lights to be used when he is feeling up to nighttime lighting.

This is not a NIMBY issue, it is a right to sleep and enjoy the comfort of being at home in the evening. Really.

Anonymous said...

It is apparent that some members of the Council care not about the residents who elected them. I can name 3.

Suzette said...

Open Letter:
As someone who has spent her entire life serving people in one way or another, I find it disheartening to constantly find that MY hometown, the village where I live, disrespects the constituents who live within its boundaries.

Some of you may remember that I served Miami-Dade County residents in three different elected official offices. I was a serious activist before Palmetto Bay was a blip on the radar screen. In fact, my dear elected council, the reality that the South Dade area was ignored by the county was the igniting force in my community activism.

Most of you were not even residents of the area when I began my community work by learning zoning/community planning and working with the police department to improve the quality of life and public safety of the residents.

I would hazard a guess that most of you weren't here as this community struggled to arise once again from the slime of Andrew. I was attending meetings downtown and writing grants to help this area recover when you all were thinking about your home after Andrew (if you were even living in our hurricane impacted areas). My family's life went on hold for the benefit of everyone else. I worked doing these things along with others in this community, BEFORE I did it as a career, because quality of life in a community matters.

I consider myself knowledgeable in constituent service and how quality of life impacts the people living in a community. If you don't think the way a community looks affects the quality of life, then let's go together and visit some communities that are currently lacking the representation a proper local government can provide.

The beginning of my adult life began in this community as I married into the Mangowood neighborhood. All the great things that I had hoped for my children came along as this community matured.

Now, I see those wonderful quality of life aspects disappearing into the fog created by outside interests, people who are not residents, but who are commuting folks that use Palmetto Bay as a daytime hangout, while the residents are left behind to deal the overbuilding, poor community planning, traffic and noise.

No, I am not a NIMBY. I am trained to understand NIMBYs, just as I am trained to understand political agendas and developers.

In closing, my children are adults, and I am looking forward to retirement.

I am asking you, my village council, to step up and defend this village against those changes that would further harm or cause further decay to our quality of life in Palmetto Bay.

Proper use of zoning/planning, excessive traffic, and public safety all matter in a community's cycle of life. If we can't successfully manage those things, then we are no better than any other unincorporated area in this county, and perhaps we are worse off, because we managed to create a fine community and we lost it.

With regards,
Suzette Rice
Palmetto Bay

Anonymous said...

Miami - Dade County, Florida, Code of Ordinances
Code of Ordinances Part III.
Section 33-4.1. Outdoor lighting
Lights for area lighting of outdoor areas, such as, but not limited to, tennis courts, golf courses, sporting areas or grounds, parking lots or areas, amusement or entertainment areas, and outside lighting for security purposes, shall not be permitted...

Anonymous said...

Final day should be left for free tour.

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