The City of Fort Wayne passed a light pollution ordinance this week. The quantity of criticism of this commonsense law is amazing. I certainly agree that this shouldn’t need to be a law, but unfortunately, it does. The only problem I see with this ordinance is that it only applies to residential properties. It is also strange that it is not also part of the building code. It is still a good first step.

Here is the text of the new Fort Wayne light pollution ordinance:

An Ordinance to amend Chapter 96: “Noise Control” of the Municipal Code of Ordinances for the City of Fort Wayne, Indiana

Whereas, the Fort Wayne City Council recognizes that all citizens expect a certain quality of life and respect; and,

Whereas, residents and neighborhoods should be mindful of certain assaults to sensory perceptions such as sound and light intensities; and,

Whereas, the Fort Wayne City Council has recognized a gap in the city’s Municipal Code that can give residents an avenue for relief of such offenses and assaults,


Section 1. Chapter 96: “Noise Control” shall be amended to read:

Chapter 96: “Noise Control and other Sensory Control”

Section 2. §96.02: Definitions be amended to add the following definition:

A. Directional Lighting—any exterior lighting fixture that is placed so as to create a direct path of light aimed toward an object or structure or an exterior lighting fixture that has the capability of swiveling, turning or rotating the aim or direction to the light path including but not limited to spot lights, bullet and/or spot lights.

B. Exterior Lighting—Any directional lighting source that is mounted on or about the exterior of a residential property that emits any level of light, other than a lighting source in a public right-of-way.

Section 3. A new section– Exterior Lighting–be added with the provision that reads as follows:

§96.25 Use of Exterior Lighting.

Any directional exterior lighting on residential property should be designed, installed and maintained so as to re-direct or aim any directional light away from any adjoining residential property.

Section 4. §96.30: Enforcement, be amended to read as follows:

The Fort Wayne Police Department shall be charged with enforcing all provisions of this chapter. The Fort Wayne Police Department and the Fort Wayne Fire Department shall be charged with enforcing the provisions of §96.20 of this chapter.

Section 5. That this Ordinance shall be in full force and effect after its passage and any and all necessary approval by the Mayor, or an override of a Mayoral veto, and any legal publications required by Indiana law thereof.

The original file can be found on the city website.