Save Me From The Supermarket Light Pollution Menace

Until a few months ago, Chris didn’t mind sharing a fence with a grocery store. Being able to scoot next door to pick up a few items would be pretty convenient. Then the lights came on. Two terrible, bright, glaring parking lot lights. They shine in his windows, illuminating his bedroom to an extent that even the thickest curtains can’t block. The lights are, of course, on 24/7. The store manager promises to solve the situation, but no solution is in sight. The only things in sight are those parking lot lights. Those bright, bright parking lot lights. What would the Consumerists do?

In my neighborhood, we share a fence with a large grocery store and up until a few months ago, they were not such bad neighbors. The convenience of the store outweighed the disadvantages of the noise. However, during some recent city electrical work, two formerly dormant parking lights were reactivated directly at my property line. The arc sodium lights now cast their garish glare fully into my backyard and bedroom windows. Even with heavy curtains, the light still invades the house.

Complaints to the manager of the store are met with positive response and the promise of a solution, but six months have shown no result. As a renter, what are my rights and courses of action? Should the property owner be fighting this for me? is there something more I can do as an individual? Should the city or a lawyer be involved?

We didn’t ask whether Chris had tried Eclipse brand curtains, which claim to block more than 100% of light, but it would be hard to access Gmail from inside a black hole, so that seems unlikely.

Whether the city should be involved involves the codes in Chris’s city, and whether they regulate commercial and residential properties bordering each other, and what kind of lights stores can have and inflict on their neighbors. Check with the city. As the directly affected party, discuss it with your landlord, but deal with the city directly.

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