Outdoor Lighting Code Updates

Aspen City Council on February 28th voted to approve a Policy Resolution opening the lighting section of the Land Use Code to make updates to the Outdoor Lighting regulations on private and public property. 

Proposed changes to the Outdoor Lighting policy are based on national and international dark skies best practices. Street and pedestrian lighting play a key role in how people experience communities at night. Lighting can create a sense of place and identity throughout a city. It can also adversely affect people and wildlife habitats with glare and light trespass.

When designed with purpose and clear intent, our light can enhance the aesthetic character of Aspen, as well as improve visibility, visual comfort, wayfinding, public safety, and security. If poorly designed, lighting may create undesirable effects such as glare, light trespass, and light pollution.

As we move forward in updating our lighting policies, we will focus on key areas including:

  • Reduce pedestrian accidents and promote the health, safety and welfare of people;
  • Reduce obtrusive and glaring light that inhibit human vision and detract from enjoyment;
  • Curtail light pollution and improve nighttime environment for residents, visitors and astronomer enthusiasts;
  • Protect local and migrating ecological systems from the adverse effect of artificial light; 
  • Minimize light trespass across property lines so as to avoid disturbing neighbors and restricting access to nighttime darkness as a shared natural resource; 
  • Bring clarity for applicants and City review staff in evaluating lighting performance standards during the development review process;
  • Differentiate residential and commercial lighting needs.

Community Development staff plans to return to City Council in the second quarter of 2023 with a proposed ordinance after receiving feedback during this phase of public engagement. 


Have questions? What to submit feedback? Email: Haley Hart, Long Range Planner.

  1. Ben Anderson

    Deputy Director

  2. Haley Hart

    Long Range Planner

  3. Sophie Varga

    Planner I