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Posted on: October 3, 2018

Malibu Dark Sky Ordinance in Effect Oct. 15. Special Public Counter Hours Available

Dark Sky Ordinance In Effect

On October 15, 2018, the City’s Dark Sky Ordinance goes into effect, aimed at reducing light pollution in order to protect wildlife, habitats and Malibu’s rural coastal village character. The Planning Department will hold special Public Counter Hours at Malibu City Hall on Thursdays from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM, October 4 through October 25 to offer outdoor lighting guidance to residents or businesses. The City Council unanimously approved the ordinance in April 2018 in order to preserve Malibu’s rural character and quality of life, protect wildlife and habitats from light pollution, preserve enjoyment of the night-time sky, and promote the City’s goal of conserving energy and natural resources. 


The Dark Sky Ordinance adds comprehensive citywide outdoor lighting standards to the Malibu zoning code. It aims to provide safe and effective levels of outdoor lighting, mainly by ensuring lighting is only used when and where it is needed so that it does not indiscriminately cause light pollution. The ordinance has been five years in the making. Grace periods were drafted into the ordinance to assist residents and business owners with the implementation process. The City held numerous community workshops and meetings that provided education about the impacts of light pollution on people and nature, model lighting ordinances that have been adopted in other cities, and light pollution-reducing lighting technologies. In 2013, the City Council enacted a citywide outdoor lighting ordinance that was created with assistance from the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). The IDA is a United States-based non-profit organization started in 1988 by astronomers in an effort preserve the nighttime environment and reduce light pollution. 

Requirements of the Ordinance

• Outdoor light fixtures that are fully shielded, directed downward and do not exceed 850 lumens.

• Maximum Kelvin temperature of 3000 K.

• Requirements for motion detectors, string lights and allowable light trespass from property lines.

• Additional lighting requirements based on zoning districts.


For more information including requirements, examples of compliant lighting visit the City’s project webpage at www.MalibuCity.org/DarkSky or call 310-456-2489, ext. 234 or email JColvard@MalibuCity.org.