© 2023 KPCW

Spencer F. Eccles Broadcast Center
PO Box 1372 | 460 Swede Alley
Park City | UT | 84060
Office: (435) 649-9004 | Studio: (435) 655-8255

Music & Artist Inquiries: music@kpcw.org
News Tips & Press Releases: news@kpcw.org
Volunteer Opportunities
General Inquiries: info@kpcw.org
Listen Like a Local Park City & Heber City Summit & Wasatch counties, Utah
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Wasatch County Planning Commission advises against stricter lighting code

An artist's rendering offers an early look at the Heber Valley temple.
Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints
An artist's rendering offers an early look at the Heber Valley temple.

The Wasatch County Planning Commission voted against proposed amendments to outdoor lighting rules.

A crowd of dozens gathered for the planning commission meeting on Thursday, Sept. 14. Filling every seat and crowding the hallway outside, attendees strained to hear the commission discuss outdoor lighting.

“I came to support the community and be able to show the planning commission that there are people in the valley that do care,” Heber City resident Elijah Morgan said. “I like seeing the stars at night.”

Dark skies advocates had requested amendments to make county rules stricter: dimmer lights, new lighting zones, no uplighting. But others have said changes are inevitable with so much growth and development happening in Wasatch County right now. It was the planning commission’s job to make a recommendation to the county council on the issue.

“We suggest that many of these ideas are viable and that we take the time to look through some of those and determine what the county can do to move toward less light pollution,” commission member Scott Brubaker said. “But I think we’ve got to make a decision on this, yes or no.”

The commission voted 5-1 the county council should deny the proposal as written. But they suggested the county should instead research how to achieve dark skies over time.

The decision left Lisa Bahash upset. She’s one of the cofounders of Save Wasatch Back Dark Skies.

“I don’t think the meeting went well today at all,” she said. “We offered two very detailed amendments in order to help slow down development in the county and ensure dark skies in the future, and I don’t think we’ve been treated with the same respect as other prior applicants have been.”

The issue has been a contentious one in Wasatch County specifically in relation to a temple for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Plans for the temple include building upward lighting, dividing the community into those who support dark skies and those who support the temple’s construction. Church representatives have said the temple’s lighting will not bleed into the night sky.

Now it’s the Wasatch County Council’s turn to consider the lighting decision. It will vote on the issue at its meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

Related Content