Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Neptune Replacing Streetlights; New Style Goes to Areas Some Call Overlit

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Neptune Replacing Streetlights; New Style Goes to Areas Some Call Overlit

Article excerpt

Byline: Christopher F. Aguilar, Shorelines staff writer

NEPTUNE BEACH -- After months of debating about streetlights and testing new fixtures in parts of the city, the City Council wants Beaches Energy Services to change streetlights at locations where neighbors have complained about bright lights.

Beaches Energy Services, which provides electrical service to Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach and Palm Valley, will install "cobrahead" fixtures at several streetlights east of Third Street, where neighbors have argued over the lights' brightness. Some residents want the lights to shine for safety and security reasons while others said the lights shine too brightly into their homes and disrupt their quality of life.

The conflicts arose when some neighbors wanted the streetlights shaded while others didn't. The council has tried since last year to develop a policy that would satisfy all neighbors.

The council decided to experiment with a new cobrahead fixture that shines light downward instead of in all directions, as the current streetlights do. At the city's request, Beaches Energy Services installed two cobrahead streetlights, one at the end of Oak Street and the other in the 100 block of Pine Street, to test their efficiency and illumination.

Councilman John Weldon said he is affected by the glaring streetlights.

One streetlight near Weldon's home was changed to the cobrahead fixture.

"It has reduced the glare inside my second story living room by 75 percent," he said. "The exterior of the house is just as well lighted."

Weldon suggested changing the streetlight fixtures at locations where there have been disputes, especially in areas of the city where houses are closer together and streetlights are near the homes.

"I think this is a very good compromise for both those people that are concerned about the light as security for both their homes and their families and also with those people that prefer less light in their nighttime environment," Weldon said.

North Street resident Bryan MacDonald said he has a deck on his home's third level where the streetlight shines so brightly he doesn't have to turn on his porch light. …

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