Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Murrieta Valley Mitsubishi searchlights

In March, 2008, Murrieta Valley Mitsubishi started using search lights to advertise. This use of searchlights is occuring within 30 miles of Palomar Observatory and is a violation of Murrieta's municipal code (from see Section 16.18.100, Lighting; G. Prohibitions; 4.: "Operation of searchlights for advertising purposes is prohibited.").

Aside from the violation of municipal code, this activity if offensive to amateur astronomers and to anyone one who enjoys the night sky. Mitsubishi is essentially saying that the sky is their advertising space.

Mitsubishi should be reminded that amateur astronomy is quite alive in their community. Each year, local astronomy clubs set up telescopes for thousands of visitors. A star party for a local cubscout pack is planned for March and another for the entire community in two months. Do they need Mitsubishi's permission to use the sky these nights?
It should be noted that while taking these photos, no customers came or went. But of course, it's hard to prove a negative.

An update: It turns out the star party for cub scouts did need permission to use the sky. The floodlights were quite prominent during the event. Thankfully, Murrieta Mitsubishi has stopped using the searchlights.


Edward said...

Thanks for shedding light on this issue, please forgive the pun.

I called the City of Murrieta’s Code enforcement department over two months ago to report this use of searchlights. My complaint was taken and it looks like nothing was done about it.

It's my hope that your blog will encourage others in the community to get involved and make a phone call or write a letter.

Thanks for your service,


SBrodie said...

I like! - I too have to wonder how affective a search-light is as a mechanism to boost sales and as you noted, its a violation to begin with.

Good article!

Douglas said...

Has anyone ever run to a business because of a searchlight? I go to a business when they have something I need or want. I don't need, and I don't want a ridiculous light-polluting searchlight!

Hey, Murrieta? Why do you even have an ordinance if you're not going to bother to enforce it?