Lighting Ordinance Taskforce

Lighting and Signage outside the Central Square Theater

The City Manager has appointed the Lighting Ordinance Task Force to work with City staff and a lighting consultant to evaluate existing standards, offer guidance for the creation of a new ordinance, propose new regulatory approaches if needed, and develop enforcement mechanisms.  The proposed task force will comprise representatives from City departments, including Community Development, Electrical, Inspectional Services, and the License Commission, along with Cambridge residents, property owners, and business representatives. 

The Task Force will consider existing Cambridge lighting standards, as well as concerns raised in the Teague Zoning Petition.  In connection with the consultant’s efforts, the Task Force will review industry standards and technology innovations that can address environmental, safety, and economic concerns.  Finally, proposed enhancements to Cambridge lighting standards will be evaluated from a legislative and compliance perspective to recommend best practices for implementation in both existing and future fixtures and developments. 

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May 29, 2015

The Taskforce's next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 10, 2015 from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. in the Citywide Senior Center Ballroom at 806 Massachusetts Avenue.

July 10, 2014

Update: The Taskforce's next meeting, originally scheduled for July 16, 2014 has been RESCHEDULED for Wednesday, August 20, 2014 in the 4th Floor Conference Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway from 4:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.

December 5, 2013

The Task Force conducted the its first meeting on Wednesday, December 4, 2013.  At the meeting, the process and charge of this committee was discussed, along with a presentation by lighting consultant, Paul Lutkevich, P.E., Parsons Brinckerhoff.  Handouts were provided to the Committee Members that included Cambridge City Council Order #29 and Response by the Community Development Department; list of references to lighting in the Cambridge zoning ordinance; Teague, et al. Zoning Petition (Lighting Standards); Cambridge Planning Board Recommendations, and the Joint IDA-IES Model Lighting Ordinance with Users Guide.  These handouts and the PowerPoint presentation by Paul Lutkevich can be found under the Documents tab on this project page.

Tentative Schedule

Meeting #1 – December 4, 2013, 4:00 P. M. - 6:00 P. M.

  • Scope of Work for the Task Force
  • Existing Cambridge Lighting Ordinance
  • Planning Board Recommendations
  • Presentation of Model Lighting Ordinance and Best Practices from other Cities
  • Discussion by Committee and Next Steps

Meeting #2, January 15, 2014, 4:00 P.M. - 6:00 P.M.

  • Site visit to review common concerns with customary lighting
  • Discuss framework of proposed recommendations

Meeting #3, February, 26, 2014, 4:00 P.M. - 6:00 P.M. 

  • Review possible recommendations.

Meeting #4, April 2, 2014 4:00 P.M. - 6:00 P.M.

  • Continue review of draft recommendations.

Meeting #5, May 21, 2014 4:00 P.M. - 6:00 P.M.

  • Continue review of draft recommendations.

Meeting #6, August 20, 2014 4:00 P.M. - 6:00 P.M.

  • Review of draft of revised recommendations.

Meeting #7, June 10, 2015 5:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M.

  • Review of proposed Lighting Ordinance
  • Review of proposed Good Neighbor Brochure

Task Force Members:

  • Carol Lynn Alpert
  • Chris Basler
  • Andrea Boyer
  • Peter Calkins
  • David Chilinski
  • Gavin Kleespies
  • Steve Lenkauskas
  • Ranjit Singanayagam
  • Charles Teague
  • Bob Woodbury

Lighting Consultant: Paul Lutkevich, PE, Parsons Brinckerhoff

f you would like to receive information about this task force and updates, please contact Chris Basler at or 617/349-4601 to be added to the e-mail notification list.  You can also use this form to join the email list.