Letter to Folsom re Ecological Light Pollution

Subject: Agenda item 8(a) under New Business of the November 27, 2018 City Council Meeting — Bridge Lighting
Date: 11/27/2018 03:11 PM

Dear Mayor Miklos:

The “presentation on the opportunity to light the upstream side the Lake Natoma Crossing Bridge” implies bringing new lighting to Lake Natoma, American River Parkway, and Folsom Lake State Recreation Area.

In a word — DON’T.

Additional night lighting would expand the impact of Ecological Light Pollution to the area.

Theatrical vanity lighting on the bridge is unnecessary and detrimental to the ecology of the area.

The night time environment of Lake Natoma, American River Parkway, and Folsom Lake State Recreation Area should be preserved as much as possible.

Protect, Moderate, Mitigate —

Protect – Protect the night time environment of Lake Natoma, American River Parkway, and Folsom Lake State Recreation Area.

Moderate – Should any additional lighting including the proposed lighting be installed, it must be extremely low level and controlled including time of use.

Mitigate – Should any additional lighting including the proposed lighting be installed, other lighting in the area should be reduced.

This topic provides an opportunity for the City of Folsom to embrace reducing night time lighting impacts on Lake Natoma and on the entire region.

Having studied and advocated for reduction in bridge lighting to protect salmon from the impacts of night lighting, I am concerned that this type of lighting may start a bad trend to light bridges in the Lower American River and other in the region.

Dialog on this topic provides an opportunity to the City of Folsom to consider an Outdoor Lighting ordinance such as the City of Malibu has recently enacted.

As I understand the city is well on it’s way to improved lighting with the adaptation of 3000K color temperature for most of municipal lighting.
The International Dark-Sky Association requires 3000K or below to qualify for its Fixture Seal of Approval. Many cities around the world are implementing 2700K for all lighting.

Regards,

Jack E. Sales

California Section International Dark-Sky Association

cc:
Ernie Sheldon, City Council
Andy Morin, City Council
Kerri Howell, City Council
Roger Gaylord III, City Council
Lynda Konopka, Deputy City Clerk

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Hidden money, weaponized disinformation and a dark development

By Scott Thomas Anderson

July 19, 2018

Sacramento News and Review

Who’s behind the leading phone survey and sponsored Facebook campaign that are trying to assuage Folsom residents about a massive attack on open space?

Folsom Ranch, an embattled series of housing developments, is on track to be the largest of its kind in Sacramento County in decades—which means an enormous loss of open space, agricultural land and wildlife habitat.

I scanned the room for reactions and paused at former Mayor Bob Holderness. After leaving his elected post, Holderness became a consultant for prominent developers and then spearheaded the campaign for Measure W, the 2004 ballot initiative for the city to annex the land on its southern border, which would be taken over by Folsom Ranch. Today, Holderness represents Westland Capital Partners, a major developer of Folsom Ranch, as well as AKT Development, a major seller of its land.

His jump from elected leader to special-interest contractor was mirrored by former City Manager Martha Lofgren, who helped prepare the South of 50 project on the taxpayers’ dime until 2006, and is now serving as legal counsel for the New Home Company, one of the project’s main developers. But wait, there’s a three-peat! Former city planner Mike McDougall is now a top-ranking manager for Folsom Ranch.

Similar to The Folsom Way’s story-weaving in The Bee—and the meditative voice-over work on its sky-soaring Facebook video—Holderness discusses the South of 50 project as if it was approved by locals when they passed Measure W. But that vote for the city to take control of the rolling land’s future, instead of leaving that up to the county, nowhere mentioned 11,000 homes and suburban sprawl. In fact, the measure specifically forbade housing without a new, secured water supply, which remains in doubt.

Did Holderness know who was behind The Folsom Way? Before I could think more about it, he stood up and decided to jump into the kerfuffle unfolding in the chambers. Holderness strolled over to the podium. “I’m frankly disappointed to see that two of our planning commissioners don’t have a good understanding of what their role is in our city government,” he said. “Perhaps they didn’t understand their assignment, and that’s unfortunate.”

Commissioner Mallory, who’d just finished arguing that consultants have too much power in the city, glanced wearily up and replied, “You, sir, are one of the consultants.”


Photo by Devon McMindes

Click here to read the full article.

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ECOS Comments on the Folsom General Plan

On June 25, 2018, ECOS submitted our comments/testimony on the latest changes to the City of Folsom’s General Plan.

Here is an excerpt:


ECOS and Habitat 2020 are greatly relieved to see that the Study Area for new City growth south of White Rock road has been removed from the General plan.

Further growth in this area would pose potentially un-mitigatable impacts to invaluable agricultural and biological resources and severely inhibit successful implementation of the South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan (SSHCP), currently in its final phase of adoption after decades of development.

Further growth in this area would be critically inconsistent with the Sacramento Area Council of Governments’ (SACOG) Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS) for meeting State mandated greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, Federal mandates for Air Quality Attainment under the State Improvement Plan (SIP), as well as myriad regional goals for social equity, public health and natural resource conservation.

Finally, ECOS is extremely concerned about the ability of the City to supply adequate water supplies to this potential growth area, or any new expansion area. With the decision to supply the City’s current expansion south of US 50 solely with conservation efforts of existing supplies, it is apparent that the City has fully allocated those supplies. We remain concerned that the City will not be able to supply the current expansion area without severe burdens on existing residents with the mandatory cut-backs in supply that the City is subject to in Dry and Extremely Dry years. We have not seen evidence that the City has yet acquired back up supplies to prevent these burdens, and given this, it is extremely difficult to see how the City could speculate on further expansion of their footprint.


Click here to read the full comment letter.

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