ST. JOHN | The Plan Commission voted Wednesday to send a favorable recommendation to the St. John Town Council for a new lighting ordinance that will eliminate glare and change the look of night skies throughout town.
The new ordinance is based on one adopted in 2010 by the village of Homer Glen, Ill., and has been in the works for more than two years.
Although the lighting standards aren’t as restrictive as dark skies ordinances in areas such as Arizona, the new ordinance “will make our developments more attractive and eliminate glare," said Michael Forbes, a member of the Plan Commission and president of the Town Council.
Steve Hastings, the commission’s newly elected vice president, said, “I love looking at the stars. It will be nice to be able to look up and see beautiful stars, especially this time of year."
The new ordinance sets specific illumination standards for outdoor lighting in commercial zones. The total light output of all lighting can’t exceed 100,000 lumens per net acre. This doesn’t apply to such illumination as street lighting, outdoor display lots or playing fields on public property.
The measure also addresses lighting in residential zones and commercial or industrial areas with specific maximum light levels and permitted hours for outdoor lighting.
The new ordinance specifies full-cutoff performance for all lighting in commercial and industrial zones and street lighting. Full-cutoff means that the light distribution from a fixture is controlled and does not spill into the adjoining area with glaring illumination. However, such lighting fully illuminates an area, such as a business, when someone enters a parking lot.
The Town Council will consider the ordinance at its next regular meeting Feb. 14.
Representatives of McDonald’s LLC and Eenigenburg Quality Water also were on hand at Wednesday’s meeting seeking permission to advertise for a public hearing March 6. That public hearing will be at 7 p.m. at the St. John Municipal Building, 10955 W. 93rd Ave.
McDonald’s Corp., of Oak Brook, plans to build a new restaurant at the corner of 97th Lane and U.S. 41. The site is the location of Eenigenburg Quality Water in the Eenigenburg second addition. That building will be torn down to make way for the McDonald’s.
In other business, the Plan Commission elected new officers. They include Tom Ryan, president; Hastings, vice president; and Steve Kozel, secretary.