Advertisement

Security measure or nuisance?: Lake Country neighbours at odds over lighting

Click to play video: 'Lake Country residents argue security lights a nuisance' Lake Country residents argue security lights a nuisance
WATCH: Lights are often used to deter crime, but when does lighting up the night become a neighbourhood nuisance? – Jan 14, 2021

Lights are often used to deter crime, but when does lighting up the night become a neighbourhood nuisance?

That’s the question in Lake Country, where a group of residents believes the security lights on a hardware store across the street amount to light pollution.

However, the business maintains the illumination is needed to protect the shop.

Read more: Neighbours’ dispute leaves Okanagan man without running water for 22 days

At the centre of the dispute is the lighting on the Home Hardware location on Woodsdale Road in Lake Country.

Residents of Woodsdale Place, a subsidized housing complex across the street, argue the lights are hard to live with.

“The lights are too bright shining into our units,” said resident Gloria Clay.

Story continues below advertisement

“If we want to sit on our patio, come the spring and summer, we won’t be able to because those lights will be blinding us.”

Read more: Only one-third of humanity can see Milky Way due to light pollution: study

Her neighbour, Chuck Hiemstra, agrees.

“It never gets dark, that’s the best way really to put it,” Hiemstra said.

“I often get up to see what we left on. It looks like your lights inside are left on.”

Read more: Neighbour dispute over Summerland mushroom farm leads to criminal charges

Clay said 13 people signed a petition expressing concerns and although the store has adjusted the lights down, Clay said it hasn’t fixed the issue.

“We are not trying to be difficult. All we want is to live comfortably in our suites,” Clay said.

Click to play video: 'District of Lake Country looks to plan the future of Oyama isthmus' District of Lake Country looks to plan the future of Oyama isthmus
District of Lake Country looks to plan the future of Oyama isthmus – Oct 2, 2020

However, the business said it has made adjustments tilting the lights “so nothing is shining directly” into the Woodsdale Place building.

Story continues below advertisement

Owner Mona McKay said the lights are important for security to prevent further vandalism and theft.

“One of the residents said we should put shades on our lights, but then that would completely defeat the purpose of having lights,” McKay said.

“All the commercial properties in this town have lighting that runs nighttime and that’s just how it is with commercial properties. We have to do that to maintain not having theft and vandalism.”

The hardware store said it only added one new light to the front of the building which faces the apartment complex and changed some burnt-out bulbs.

“We are in the process of upgrading other parts of our security but we feel that the lighting…we’ve done everything to accommodate them,” McKay said.

“We still need to cover the perimeter of the property.”

The District of Lake Country said both that it has asked for the lights to be adjusted further downward “to try and reduce the impact on the neighbouring residences” and that the business owner “is taking all possible steps and working towards being compliant with the bylaws.”

In general, the municipality said it is looking into whether changes to lighting rules are needed in Lake Country more broadly.

Story continues below advertisement

Sponsored content