Dougherty expects dark skies public hearing June 28

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Supervisor Jim Dougherty told a radio audience Friday he favors some form of dark skies legislation.

Supervisor Jim Dougherty told the WLNG listening audience Friday afternoon that the Shelter Island Town Board will continue to seek a path between those who eschew more regulations and those who believe there’s a need to enact some form of ‘dark skies’ legislation.

“It’s a classic dilemma between two sincere groups,” Mr. Dougherty said. There are those who don’t want more regulations on the books and others who see the light intrusion as environmentally unacceptable.

Neighboring communities all have dark skies legislation, he said, noting, “It seems to be complaint driven” as opposed to police riding around and identifying those who fail to properly shield their lights, Mr. Dougherty said.

“Ninety six percent do the right thing,” the supervisor said about Shelter Island full- and part-time residents. But there are a few with automatic lights that shine brightly even when homeowners aren’t in residence.

As for concerns some may have about the possibility of burglaries because of low lighting, there isn’t a large problem on Shelter Island, Mr. Dougherty said. Homeowners tend to have security systems that  protect them from break-ins, he said.

The Town Board will continue its discussion of legislation at Tuesday’s work session and Mr. Dougherty predicted members would agree to schedule a public hearing on June 28 to hear from residents about the pros and cons.