Charleston City Council discussed Tuesday a side effect of commercial and residential development — light pollution.

Council requested that its Committee on Public Works and Utilities and the city’s Office of Resilience and Sustainability look at best practices and what other coastal cities are doing to reduce light pollution.

Suggested solutions included replacing street lights with models that direct light toward the ground and incorporating light ordinances to protect wildlife and reduce the impact on neighborhoods as commercial development continues.

Charleston City Council member Karl Brady noted the city lacks commercial regulations to limit light output.

“As we see some commercial development occurring in and near residential areas, it struck me that we control the amount of noise that they would output and also the noise that the construction outputs,” Brady said at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting. “But we don’t have any type of regulation on the books looking at the amount of visible light that these businesses and other residences could put off that could disturb their neighbors.

“I know also from talking to some folks on Johns Island about this, especially as we have urban growth boundaries both on Johns Island and on Bees Ferry Road, light can also impact the wildlife as we get close to the urban growth boundary,” he said. 


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