Since initiating the application process to receive this designation in October 2021, city officials have worked to preserve the night sky in the Hill Country region by enacting lighting restrictions inside city limits.
Becoming a Dark Sky Community requires cities to apply through the International Dark-Sky Association and meet certain criteria, such as operating under IDA-compliant outdoor lighting ordinances, educating the public on the importance of having a dark sky and gaining community support for the designation, according to the IDA.
The city's initiative in 2021 came in the wake of the Texas Legislature during that year's session passing Senate Bill 1090, which allows cities to adopt lighting restrictions to meet the IDA's criteria, according to previous Community Impact reporting.
Community Impact previously reported the city of Bee Cave operates under a lighting ordinance passed in 2007, which set standards for light brightness and glare control. Many of the rules the city has operated under for years are similar to those required by the IDA, and the city has been working with the organization in recent years to comply with its standards, Senior Planner Amanda Padilla said at the time. Some of these standards include shields on streetlights to prevent glare and lights-out curfews for nonresidential areas.
“It’s something that shows that we're committed to preserving the night sky,” Padilla said during an April 25 council meeting. “Hopefully in the future, we can host events and have people recognize that there's something beautiful in Bee Cave and in our night sky.”