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Posted on: June 27, 2019

Dark Skies

Night sky-Bulger

Apache Junction is known for its beautiful sunrises, sunsets, moon rises and its gorgeous dark skies.  The city has long had regulations to preserve the night sky and counts on its residents, businesses and seasonal visitors to do their part so that everyone can enjoy the night sky.  

 

The city adopted regulations similar to those found in Flagstaff and Tucson which are promoted by the International Dark-Sky Association.  The city’s modest regulations affect all new installations of outdoor lighting and some replacement lighting when permits are required.  

 

There are a few exemptions for lights such as motion sensor security lights, flags, incandescent light bulbs less than 150 watts, temporary emergency lighting, vehicle lights and replacement lights not requiring a permit.  For a complete list of exemptions and prohibited lighting, please refer to the city code (see below for how to view the city lighting ordinance).

 

“One of the best parts of living in Apache Junction is being able to see the stars in our rural setting out here,” said vice mayor Chip Wilson. “We hope all of our residents will respect each other by practicing ‘good neighbor’ lighting and remembering the people around you when using outdoor lighting.

 

“Good neighbor” lighting considers not just the preservation of the night sky for celestial viewing but lighting that inadvertently leaves your property and affects the enjoyment of nearby neighbors. Good neighbor lighting is appreciated by everyone’s neighbor. Lighting that becomes a nuisance is prohibited. The city can require shielding of a nuisance light fixture.

 

More light is not necessary safer. Too much lighting can also be a problem when lights create shadows where you don’t want them. “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design” is a widely recognized program that can improve your property’s safety through proper lighting but also through landscaping and vegetation control.

 

Always remember to properly light the U.S. flag if you want to keep your flag up after sunset.

 

The city’s outdoor lighting regulations can be found in the city zoning code in Volume II, Chapter 1, Article 1-10. You can find it on the city’s website at https://www.amlegal.com/codes/client/apache-junction_az/. Click on "View Code" and search for lighting under Chapter 1-10, Zoning Ordinance.

 

The city asks that we all be good neighbors so that everyone can enjoy the night sky!

 

If you want more information or want to report a nuisance light, please contact the city’s 24-hour code violation complaint line at (480) 474-5112 or go the city website “suggestions and concerns” tab.

 

Any questions related to the plan should be directed to Larry Kirch at (480) 474-5082.

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