RSF Association rule on hours of exterior lighting posted for public comment

The Rancho Santa Fe Association offices.
(Karen Billing)

This month, Rancho Santa Fe Association board members once again discussed their “favorite regulation”: the regulatory code chapter on exterior lighting.

After multiple drafts over two years, the board finally approved its new lighting regulation in December, simply changing the dated language of watts to modern lumens. The board is now individually taking on nine lighting policy topics including uplighting, tree lighting, safety lighting, outdoor chandeliers, hours of exterior lighting and maximum lumens.

At the March 2 meeting, the board approved the new rules for safety lighting. Per the policy, safety lighting for residential entries must be downlit and fully shielded with a maximum of 2,000 lumens (90 watts) for one light or a combination of lights.

The board also approved the regulation on hours for exterior lighting for posting and public comment. Per the rule, exterior lighting shall be turned off by 11 p.m. except for safety lighting, address markers and entry gate lighting.

RSF Association Planning and Development Director Maryam Babaki said they receive about three to four complaints a month on this topic. RSF Association Board President Dan Comstock said this is not meant to target a one-time party but those properties that are lit-up 24 hours and become a nightly nuisance to neighbors. Those properties were described alternatively during the meeting as looking like a prison camp, Disneyland and a hotel.

The regulation will be posted for a month. Comments can be directed to