The arrogance shown by officials at Lawrence Welk Village in deciding to use a legal loophole to avoid installing low-pressure sodium lights on private streets is certainly disappointing.
Because of a flaw in the ordinance that calls for use of the yellow lights in the unincorporated areas, Welk officials, in effect, were able to thumb their noses at other residents of San Diego County who--whether they like them or not--are or will be living with the so-called “bug lights.”
Welk will install the brighter, high-pressure sodium lights along private streets in a new mobile home park in the retirement community north of Escondido.
The county ordinance that went into effect this year requiring the use of the low-pressure sodium lights was intended to reduce light pollution, which hampers the effectiveness of observatories on Mt. Palomar--not far to the east of Lawrence Welk Village--and Mt. Laguna. Through an oversight, the dark-sky ordinance excluded private lighting systems owned an operated by San Diego Gas & Electric.
So the lights will be bright at Lawrence Welk Village and its “rural ambiance” will not be sullied, as Supervisor Paul Eckert feared it would be--and San Diego County’s small contribution to mankind’s quest for knowledge will be a little less significant.