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Nevada City Council to discuss special event lighting, wastewater rates Wednesday night

Wednesday night, the Nevada City Council will consider adopting a resolution to govern the use of temporary lighting for special events, holidays and night-time street closure requests.

Such lighting became a point of controversy earlier this year, when the city received complaints over terrazzo lighting that had been left hanging over Commercial Street after last year’s farm to table dinner. Several council members took issue with the lighting, including then-mayor Sally Harris.

City staff was directed to bring back an ordinance codifying the rules on special event and holiday lighting, which is now available on the city’s website.



If the ordinance is approved, it will be illegal (in the civil sense) to leave holiday lighting turned on before Nov. 15 and after Jan. 15. Lighting will have to be strung in straight lines along the roof’s edge — and all lights will have to use 5 watt, C7 130V E12 bulbs.

For holiday lighting, it will be prohibited to use colored lighting, drape light strands on building surfaces other than the roof edging or put lighting on poles.




Special event lighting will be folded into the special event request process, and lighting plans will require approval from the city council. Those plans will need to include a sketch of the proposed lighting, details about how it would attach to any buildings, lighting design details including sketches or photographs, written authorization from the building or property owners, and specific dates and times for the installation and removal of lighting — which will have to occur within 48 hours of the event’s end.

Requests for overhead lighting, or lighting strung over roadways, will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

City staffers have indicated they expect discussions on this agenda item to be lengthy.

In other business, the Nevada City Council is reviewing the rate structure for wastewater utility customers, looking for a way to incentivize water conservation.

According to a study by Mike Forga, a consulting civil engineer, this can be accomplished by moving away from a fixed-fee formula to a combined fixed fee and flow charge formula. All customers would pay a base rate, but there would be an additional charge for usage.

“The Flow Charge component recognizes those who produce less wastewater should pay less than those who produce more,” Forga wrote in his report.

Wednesday night’s agenda also includes a final decision on the Kendall House bed and breakfast, on Spring Street. The consent calendar includes two Community Development Block Grant items worth a total of more than $75,000 in funding.

To contact Staff Writer Dave Brooksher, email dbrooksher@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.


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