Level Seven Closed for Brightness


]The parking garage at Montgomery College’s Rockville campus has seven levels of parking, but the seventh floor is closed off due to a complaint about the illuminating lights on the seventh floor.
Facilities manager James Gillis said that the garage officially opened on Jan. 23, 2017. Despite the garage’s completion, the seventh floor has remained closed to the students and faculty.
“The reason is, the neighborhood adjacent to the college asked that we try to find a way to dim the lights that are on top of the garage illuminating that floor,” Gillis said. “They were very bright—and as you can imagine, probably shining a bit onto the [neighboring] townhouses during the evening hours.” Director of media and public relations Marcus Rosano said the complaint was made in late February or early March of 2018 from the adjacent neighborhood. The complaint was sent to the City of Rockville.
The college took the complaint seriously and worked on dimming the lights on the seventh floor.
Gillis said that the lights for the seventh floor are correctly placed according to the plans with Carl Walker Associates and Chrisman Construction.
College Gardens civic association president Tom Miner was surprised to hear that MC is still waiting for approval by the City of Rockville. Miner believes that the City of Rockville is not involved with the garage as it is the property of MC.
Miner said that his association’s complaint was never made to the City of Rockville—instead, it was directly given to MC.
Miner’s association was worried about was the light pollution the lights on the seventh floor were producing. They were also concerned about how the lights directly shined on several neighbor’s backyards during the evening hours.
Miner said he has not heard from MC about any resolutions made for the lights on the seventh floor and never heard from anyone about the issue for over a year.
Project manager Kevin Redinger said in a statement that MC met with the City of Rockville Planning Department and the Chief Building Official to find a resolution about the lighting in the garage.
MC agreed to install Wattstoppers and motion activated sensors on the seventh-floor light posts to decrease brightness.
“The College has installed the dimmers on all of the pole lights, but still need to program and verify the illumination level across the entire parking deck on the 7th level,” Redinger said. “Once this is completed, the Chief Building Official from the City will inspect and verify the installation and light output, and the College will be allowed to reopen the 7th level for general parking.”
A date has not been established for when the seventh floor will be open. MC must continue to wait for the City of Rockville to allow them to open the garage’s seventh floor.