Fallston council proposes lighting limits

Members of the Fallston Community Council hope to create a proposal regarding lighting, noise, dust and fume pollution to present to the Harford County Council for consideration.

Inspired by ongoing issues the community has had with car dealership Jones Junction and its lighting, council member Morita Bruce said during Tuesday's meeting at the Fallston fire station that an amendment should be made to the county's zoning code that could be used to enforce such nuisances.

Bruce said lighting pollution "has to be something that is measured" and should include specific measurements.

An ordinance the council wants to use as a model was written by a committee in Pennsylvania and, Bruce said, included detailed lighting measurements, how to measure it and suggestions for the best types of lighting in the area.

"We need to start somewhere," she said.

Community council member Larry Kress suggested having two measurements in the proposal, one for commercial and one for residential because, he explained, an acceptable level of lighting for a commercial property could be seen as unacceptable if used at a residence.

Bruce agreed and added residences as well as businesses should be protected under the proposed ordinance.

Noise pollution, she continued, would be easier to write into the proposal because the Maryland Department of the Environment already has decibel limitations that the Harford County Sheriff's Office enforces.

Hamilton Reserve development

Councilman Joe Woods, who represents the Fallston area, recapped information on the proposed 69-home development on Harford Road.

He clarified that the "only entrance is going to be the one they [the engineers] are proposing," in reference to past comments made about having an additional entrance and exit rather than just the one on Harford Road.

Woods added that the plan for the development is to have high-end buildings, and children who live there would attend Youth's Benefit Elementary School, a decision that was "questioned heavily."

"With 200 extra kids," he said, how does the school system plan on accommodating those children in an already crowded school?

Kress noted that it is hard to anticipate how many kids would be living in one development before families start to move in.

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