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Putt Comments On Woodward Facility Lighting

Summit County-Pat Putt Community Development Director

The lighting from the Woodward Park City Youth Sports Camp near Kilby Road has prompted a lot of discussion from residents, and from the Summit County Council.

But County Development Director Pat Putt said the long and the short of it is, the facility’s lighting is within the requirements set by the county’s approval.   

Putt said that Woodward’s approval is based on an entitlement going back several years.    It had a lengthy review and an appeal before the County Council.

And it conforms to its lighting plan.    The lights have to be turned off by 10 p.m., Putt said, and operators are turning them off even earlier than that.      

“There were some specific conditions of approval about the height of the poles, the number of the poles, where they were located.    I think the maximum height of the poles were 50 feet.  I think there was originally some concern about the impacts of the lighting on the Sun Ridge residential lots there to the south.  And those were further limited, I believe, 15 feet in height if they were gonna be within 300 feet of those property lines.   The lighting requirements themselves in terms of the illumination, lumen limits and the color of the lighting were subject to our recently-adopted outdoor lighting requirements.”

Putt added they’ve complied on items such as the color.        

“In terms of the color of the lighting, it’s well within our 3000-degree Kelvin limitation.   The lumens, based on what we’ve been out and measured, appear to be within the limits.”

He said some locals have felt that the limits on the lighting are satisfactory.    On the other hand, he said he understands the frustration of those who feel the lighting is too intense and he’s open to talking to them.

He said the lighting  can be affected by the weather.     

“On evenings where there isn’t snow, or a snow-making haze, what we’re finding is the lights are primarily contained to the ski terrain.  When we have more of that air vapor in there, it does create a glow.    But that’s consistent with some of the other snow-making and lighting areas that we have over in the Basin with our other ski and jumping terrain.”

Putt said another factor is the angle of sight.        

“If you’re viewing those lights from below the source of the light, you’re going to see a direct illumination of that.  There are hoods on these lights, but again, because they’re ski terrain lights, they’re not fully shielded.   The bulbs themselves have a downward cutoff, and I believe—can’t quote, but I believe they’re cut at about 25 degrees.”

He said he’s been in touch frequently with Woodward, and they have responded when glitches occurred.      

“Initially, there were lights on the snow-making guns.  And when they first turned em on the lights were upward lit, so they were illuminating the snow-making plume.  We got a lot of calls on that.  They’ve turned those off.  I do believe that there are times when the operators, the staff are actually working on the gun, or turning on the gun, they’ll turn those lights on.   But other than that, they have turned those off.  There was at least one incident where, due to a malfunction in the system, in the switch, a bank of the lights were on overnight, or a period of overnight.  We were the first ones to hear when we got in the next morning.   They had contacted us and let us know that the problem had been corrected.”

County Development Director Pat Putt, who said they will work with Woodward to fine-tune the impacts as best they can.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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