City councilors approved measures to reduce the brightness of 10 lights installed along the Harbor Walk in the area of Steamboat Landing.

The lighting the city installed along the Harbor Walk, and specifically in Steamboat Landing, has been an issue of contention for neighbors who have stated in the past that the lighting is excessive and has negatively impacted their views of the night-time sky.

On Wednesday, Nov. 6, City Manager Joseph Slocum explained two options the councilors could pursue to address concerns from residents regarding the nature of the lighting in Steamboat Landing. The first option is to change out an internal reflector for a low brightness reflector.

That option would reduce the brightness of the light, as well as reduce the width of the illuminated ground beneath the fixture. Slocum estimated it would cost about $153 per light to install the lower brightness reflector.

The second option to reduce the intensity of the lighting is to install a solid state resistor, which will reduce the overall lighting by about 25 percent, but does not change the distribution pattern of the light on the ground, Slocum said.

Installing the solid state resistor would cost about $127 per light, he estimated.

Before councilors began discussing which option they would like to pursue, City Planner Wayne Marshall said he has received comments from the Front Street Shipyard and other businesses that they are pleased with the level of lighting along the walkway.

Marshall then suggested that any changes to the lights should be limited to the fixtures in the area of Steamboat Landing.

When councilors had the opportunity to weigh in on a possible fix for addressing complaints about the lighting in Steamboat Landing, Councilor Mike Hurley blasted the intensity of the lights and characterized the lighting as “glaring” and “intrusive.”

“It's like having a spotlight on you,” Hurley said of the lighting, “a glaring, bright spotlight.”

Slocum said he would suggest the city try installing the low brightness reflectors first, and if that solution does not reduce the intensity of the lights sufficiently, then the city could also have the solid state resistor installed.

Councilor Hurley made a suggestion to outfit some of the lights with both the reflector and the resistor. Slocum then clarified that the city would install the low brightness reflectors on all 10 of the lights in the area and that two of the 10 lights would also have the resistor installed.

“I hope the neighbors realize that we're trying to respond to their concerns,” Slocum said.

A motion to alter the 10 lights was approved unanimously.