Protecting Dark Skies
As part of our commitment to being a good neighbor, Coral Mountain addressed neighbors’ concerns about lighting spillover from the development. We are dedicated to protecting the natural night environment by controlling light pollution. We decreased the height of the tall Wave Basin light poles so that there is no light source visible from the line of sight as viewed from the project perimeter. While they have always been so, the fixtures will continue to adhere to ‘Dark Skies’ design standards.
Here’s what we’re doing to safeguard La Quinta’s commitment to night sky views:
The height of all light poles at the Wave Basin was reduced from 80 feet to 40 feet. This addresses the primary concern expressed at the public hearings, and now the light fixtures will be below the line of sight as viewed from the project perimeter.
Coral Mountain Resort complies with City of La Quinta policies and regulations for nighttime lighting.
Light fixtures will be located and oriented to efficiently illuminate the Wave Basin, while avoiding spillage of light onto surrounding areas. The project’s Environmental Impact Report concluded that operation of the Wave Basin will not have any significant light and glare impacts.
Photometric measurements and modeling of the Wave Basin lighting demonstrates strict “cut-offs” of the light footprint on the ground. The footprint is smaller with the reduced light pole heights than previously indicated with the taller poles.
There is no light spillage onto adjacent properties or Coral Mountain. The latter was a requirement of wildlife agencies and is a mitigation measure contained in the Environmental Impact Report. All lighting fixtures will have light shields to prevent light from spilling onto Coral Mountain and disturbing wildlife.
Details about the project’s lighting specifications can be found in the following documents:
Yes. The light fixture manufacturer has designed the lights in accordance with dark skies requirements. The lights will not spill light into the sky like some local parks that use technology from the 1970s to the 1990s. In response to neighbor concerns, Coral Mountain has reduced the height of all poles and fixtures from 80 feet to 40 feet, keeping the tops of the light fixtures below the line of sight at the project perimeter and eliminating a major concern expressed during the public hearings. In fact, reduction in height of the light poles has resulted in a corresponding reduction in the “light footprint.” The area lighted by the poles at the new 40-foot height will be smaller than the previous 80-foot poles.
No. The proposed lighting specifications were computer modeled for the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and updated in subsequent Technical Memos submitted to the City. In late September 2021, the City requested that two of the actual light fixtures be set up on site to assess the results of the modeling in the EIR. This test was completed in November 2021. Light measurements taken during the test confirmed that the lighting “cut-offs” are very precise, and there is no light overspill. This data is presented in the Final Environmental Impact Report, both in the Topical Issues and the Appendix. As noted above, lights will not illuminate the Coral Mountain at night. In fact, there is explicit agreement with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife that this will not occur. With the reduction of the height of the light poles from 80 to 40 feet, all of the photometrics were recalculated, and evidence a reduction in impact, both in terms of brightness and the light footprint (“cut-offs”).