Pronghorn Meadows street lights
Pronghorn Meadows street lights
In regard to the proposed street light installation that was just brought to my attention via letter received in the mail on 6/19. I have several concerns with the proposed plan.
1. Added expense to the community.
Monthly electrical costs and ongoing maintenance will be passed on to the homeowners. I keep hearing the response of "the costs are minimal" but the correct mindset should be, "we'll do whatever we can to cut costs for homeowners". In reviewing past budget documents, we currently pay almost $500 a year in electrical costs plus maintenance. For families on fixed incomes, people who have been affected by covid, and individuals dealing with any number of financial issues, any added expense would be a hardship. We should be good stewards of our budget in all aspects.
2. Origination of the proposed plan.
I was told that the lights were requested by homeowners several years ago. When I spoke with several neighbors, they indicated that they did not request or receive any notice of light installation. It appears that the letters were only sent to the select few homeowners who would be directly impacted due to location. For a change of this magnitude, it should be a majority decision made more recently. With HOA meeting attendance being so poor, better communication should be implemented.
The proposed location of the lights are at existing electrical boxes rather than locations that would actually benefit from additional lighting such as four way stops or neighborhood entrance/exit. In some cases, they are 3 doors down or across the street from existing lights which doesn't make any sense.
The existing lights we have are highly ineffective in terms of actually providing light. They only light up a single driveway and are not shielded, they shine 360 degrees and aren't dark sky friendly. The homeowners who want their property lit already turn on their house lights and it's much more effective than the street lamps. The two already existing lamps on our street don't even operate consistently.
Saying that the street lights add security is a falsehood. The break ins that took place on our street last year happened in driveways that were lit and had security cameras. Lights and cameras may help deter some incidents but they won't completely prevent theft. A better use of resources that would actually be effective would be organizing a neighborhood watch, which I have heard at least two homeowners mention that they would volunteer to do.
6. Curb appeal.
The lights are an eyesore to me. With already small yards, the lights encroach on the tiny areas and are not visually appealing. The current landscaping in some of the locations, if not all of them, will also have to be removed or altered to accommodate the lights. One of the things that appealed to me when buying our home was that the neighborhood wasn't lit up like a gas station and you could actually see some stars at night. That will no longer be the case with a street light less than 15 feet from our bedroom windows.
With all this being said, I don't see any added benefit and I do not agree with the proposed plan. I was told that the board has the right to make decisions for the neighborhood and because no one was able to attend the meeting (over a holiday and with 4 days notice) to oppose their "majority" vote, we would need homeowners to sign a petition to have our voices heard. Since I've not spoken with a single homeowner who is in favor of the lights, please sign so our voices can be heard.