§ 21.301.07  EXTERIOR LIGHTING.
   (a)   Purpose and intent. The city recognizes the health, safety, welfare and aesthetic value of providing lighting standards in the community. This section’s provisions are intended to:
      (1)   Promote the public health, safety and general welfare;
      (2)   Establish efficient and cost effective lighting requirements adequate for safety and security;
      (3)   Reduce light pollution, light trespass, glare and offensive light sources;
      (4)   Provide an environmentally sensitive nighttime environment;
      (5)   Discourage inappropriate, poorly designed or installed outdoor lighting by requiring quality lighting design, light fixture shielding and maximum uniformity ratios;
      (6)   Protect motor vehicle operators, pedestrians and adjacent land uses from glare; and
      (7)   Implement the city’s Comprehensive Plan.
   (b)   Lighting plan. Except for single- and two-family dwellings, no exterior lighting may be installed prior to approval of a lighting plan by the issuing authority. Modifying approved lighting, including lamp or fixture substitution, requires issuing authority approval. All plans must be signed by a registered electrical engineer or a lighting certified (LC) professional certified by the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions. The lighting plan must include the following information and attachments:
      (1)   Name of project, developer, property owner and architect/designer (all applicable);
      (2)   Date of initial plan preparation and all amendments;
      (3)   Scale of plan (engineering scale only, at a scale of one inch equals 50 feet or less) with north point indication;
      (4)   An accurate site plan indicating the location of property lines and all existing and proposed land improvements including, but not limited to, buildings, parking lots, aisles and driveways, streets, walkways and accessory buildings;
      (5)   The location and description of all existing over story landscaping unless an approved or proposed landscape plan is provided;
      (6)   The location and height above grade of all proposed and existing exterior fixtures (includes decorative and all mounted lighting) on the property;
      (7)   Control descriptions including hours of operation and type of controls (timer, motion sensor, time clock and the like), the light fixtures to be controlled by each type and control schedule;
      (8)   Two separate photometric plans superimposed on a site plan (see subsection (b)(5) above), one plan with the initial at-grade foot candle levels and the other the maintained at-grade foot candle levels. Photometric points must be on a grid ten feet by ten feet or less across the entire site and a minimum of ten feet or more beyond the lot or parcel property line. Each point must be to the nearest 0.1 foot candle;
      (9)   A luminaire schedule table indicating maximum to minimum uniformities for each specific use area such as parking and circulation areas, pedestrian areas and other common public areas, the type of light source, light source wattage and initial light output lumens rating, color rendering index, color temperature and light loss factor of each lamp source;
      (10)   Detailed information on each light fixture including copy of the manufacturers catalog information sheet and IESNA photometric distribution type, including any shielding information such as house side shields, internal and/or external shields; and
      (11)   Energy use calculations showing compliance with the State Energy Code, without exemptions. All parking lots regulated by this section are considered public parking lots in the Minnesota State Energy Code.
   (c)   Lighting standards. In addition to the following specific requirements, all exterior lighting must comply with the standards set forth in this section.
      (1)   Prohibition. No person may install or operate any device with light levels other than as specified in this section.
      (2)   Luminaire. A complete lighting unit extending from a support structure, parallel to the ground, consisting of a light source and all necessary mechanical, electrical and decorative parts. The light source, lens and other components do not extend below the cutoff angle for the luminaire where a 90 degree cut-off is required. A luminaire does not include a pole or other support. All lighting, unless specifically allowed in this section, must be 90 degree cut-off with a flat lens design as shown in subsection (c)(3) below.
      (3)   Graphic illustration.
         (A)   Examples of 90 degree cut-off, flat lens fixtures.
   Figure 21.301.07(c)(3)
      (4)   Architectural lighting of building facades, signs, landscaping or other features. The installation of lighting for architectural, aesthetic or decorative purposes is permitted subject to the limitations in the State Energy Code and the following restrictions.
         (A)   Upward aimed lighting (except for flagpoles) must not exceed 22,500 initial light output lumens per source and must not exceed an average of 15 initial light output lumens per square foot for each facade. All upward aimed light must be fully shielded from public view.
         (B)   Downward aimed lighting must not exceed 45,000 initial light output lumens per source, must not exceed an average of 20 initial light output lumens per square foot for each facade illuminated and must have a 90 degree cut-off with a flat lens.
         (C)   In no instance may the combined upward and downward lighting for building facades exceed 25 initial light output lumens per square foot for each facade illuminated.
         (D)   All landscape lighting shall be less than 500 initial light output lumens per source or the light source must be fully shielded from view and limited to 3,000 initial light output lumens per source fixture.
      (5)   Brightness of signs and unshielded decorative light sources.
         (A)   Dusk to dawn external illuminance standards.
            (i)   Downward aimed lighting must not exceed 200 initial light output lumens per square foot of sign surface illuminated. The source must provide a 90 degree cut-off with a flat lens.
            (ii)   Upward aimed lighting must not exceed 100 initial light output lumens per square foot of sign surface illuminated. The light source must be fully screened from direct view.
            (iii)   In no instance may the combined upward and downward lighting exceed 25 initial lumens per square foot of surface illuminated.
         (B)   Dusk to dawn luminance standards.
            (i)   All sign and decorative light sources must not exceed the luminance standards below:
 
Location
All Signs (Except Those Sign Types Listed in the Next Column)
Electronic Graphic Display, Video or Time and Temperature Signs and Decorative Light Sources
Within the residential zoning districts of R-1, R-1A, RS-1, R-3, R-4, RM-12, RM-24, RM-50, RM-100, and RO-24 or within 500 feet of and visible from protected residential property
125 nits
350 nits
Within all other zoning districts when greater than 500 feet and not visible from protected residential property within 500 feet
200 nits
425 nits
On sites adjacent to I-494, I-35W or within the South Loop District and not visible from a protected residential property within 500 feet
300 nits
500 nits
 
         (C)   Dawn to dusk luminance standards.
            (i)   All sign and decorative light sources must not exceed 6,500 nits.
      (6)   Flagpoles. A flagpole may be illuminated by no more than three upward aimed fully shielded spotlight light fixtures per flag. For flag poles up to 35 feet in height, the fixtures must not exceed a combined 40,000 initial light output lumens for flags of 35 feet or less in height. An additional 500 initial light output lumens for each foot in flag height, not pole height, over 35 feet is allowed up to a maximum of 75,000 initial light output lumens. The light fixtures must be placed as close to the base of the flagpole as reasonably possible and recessed into the ground.
      (7)   Canopy lighting. Light fixtures mounted under roof overhangs and canopies must be recessed so that the lens cover is recessed or flush with the bottom surface (soffit) of the canopy and/or shielded by the fixture or the edge of the canopy so that light is restrained to no more than 85 degrees from vertical. Lights must not be mounted on the top or sides (fascia) of the canopy for the purposes of illuminating a portion or the entire canopy.
         (A)   Example of complying recessed canopy light:
   Figure 21.301.07(c)(7)
      (8)   Building entrances or exits. A light source must be located at each building entrance and exit.
      (9)   Glare. In all zoning districts, all lighting must be arranged so as not to shine directly on any adjoining property. A person must not create light that produces glare clearly visible beyond a property line or creates a sensation of brightness within a visual field so as to cause annoyance, discomfort or impairment of vision. Lenses, deflectors, shields, louvers or prismatic control devices must be used to eliminate nuisance and hazardous lighting to facilitate compliance with this requirement.
      (10)   Parking structures. Luminaires used for illumination of designated pedestrian walkways in parking structures must be at least two times the average illumination or of a significantly different color value than luminaires used for illuminating vehicle parking and drive aisles. Convex lenses in open parking garages must not extend more than two inches below the source. Fully enclosed and secured parking structures are exempt from the cut-off and lens restrictions.
      (11)   Proof of lighting. A parking lot used exclusively for daylight use or secured to prohibit nighttime use is exempt from the lighting requirements subject to installation of all conduit and material, other than the lighting and lighting supports, subject to approval by the issuing authority.
      (12)   Lighting standards. All exterior lighting must comply with the following standards, which vary by use. In the event more than one use is present, the highest regulatory standards apply. Single-family and two-family dwellings and residential parking lots with fewer than 12 parking spaces are exempt from the minimum light levels required but shall comply with the lights source and height requirements for any lighting installed. Maintained lighting levels shall be calculated at a light loss factor of 0.81 or the actual tested light loss factor for the source, whichever is less.
 
Residential Zones or Uses
Nonresidential Uses Within 300 Feet of Protected Residential Uses
Office/ Industrial Uses
Retail and Service Oriented Uses
Maximum height (grade to top of luminaire – includes base)
28 ft.
33 ft.
Maximum power for a 90 degree cut-off – flat lens single light source
30,000 initial light output in lumens
50,000 initial light output  in lumens
Maximum power for a zero cut-off fixture
3,000 initial light output in lumens
6,000 initial light output in lumens
Special controls
All lights required for security must be on an alternate circuit. All other exterior lighting must be illuminated no earlier than one hour before the start of business and must be extinguished no later than one hour after the end of business.
Uniformity ratio (max.:min.) (25-ft. parking perimeter exempt from this calculation)
6 max. :1 min.
10 max. : 1 min.
Minimum illumination on surface (up to a 50% reduction allowed for the perimeter 25 ft. of parking, loading, access or other surfaced areas along the property line)
1.0 FC
As required for the specific uses
1.5 FC
2.0 FC
Minimum illumination for primary building entrance and exits
5.0 FC within 5 ft. of the entrance/exi t
As required for the specific uses
7.0 FC within 10 ft. of the entrance/exi t
10.0 FC within a radius extending from the door by a distance equal to twice the door opening width
Minimum illumination for secondary and emergency building entrance and exits
2.0 FC within 3 ft. of the entrance/exi t
As required for the specific uses
2.0 FC within 5 ft. of the entrance
2.0 FC within 5 ft. of the entrance
Minimum illumination on the pedestrian access surface from a primary building entrance
2.0 FC within 20 ft.
2.0 FC within 30 ft.
3.0 FC with 30 ft.
Minimum illumination on the designated pedestrian crosswalks to the primary entrance
2 times the minimum illumination level of the area where the crosswalk is located
Minimum illumination on all pedestrian access surfaces to primary building entrances other than listed above
Same as the parking surface for the use
Maximum illumination at property line (no limit along public street)
0.5 FC
2.0 FC
 
      (13)   Lighting for special uses. All exterior lighting must comply with the following standards, which vary by use type. In the event more than one use is present within a development, the more restrictive requirements apply.
 
Parking Structures
Convenience Facilities with Fuel Sales and Automobile Dealers
Exterior Storage
Maximum height
33 ft. (open air level)
33 ft.
Maximum power for 90 degree cut-off – flat lens single light source
50,000 initial light output in lumens
70,000 initial light output in lumens
50,000 initial light output in lumens
Maximum power for no cut-off fixtures – initial light output in lumens
20,000 lumens (source shielded) 3,000 lumens (unshielded)
6,000 lumens
6,000 lumens
Special controls
Required – all lights required for security must be on an alternate circuit; all other exterior lighting must be illuminated no earlier than one hour before the start of business and must be extinguished no later than one hour after the end of business
Not required
Max.:min. Uniformity ratio (25-ft. perimeter exempt)
10 max. : 1 min.
Not required
Minimum illumination on parking surface (up to a 50% reduction allowed for the perimeter 25 ft. of the parking, loading, access or other surfaced areas along the property line or ramp)
5.0 FC enclosed areas for retail uses; 3.0 FC enclosed areas for non-retail uses; open air levels are regulated as open air parking lots
2.0 FC
1.0 FC (when unsecured)
Minimum illumination for pedestrian entrance and exits
10.0 FC within a radius extending from the door by a distance equal to twice the door opening width for pedestrian exits and entrances on all levels
10.0 FC within 20 ft. of primary entrances; 5.0 FC within 10 ft. of secondary entrances
Not applicable
Vehicle entrance and exits
25.0 FC within 35 ft. of 100% closed structure and within 20 ft. for structure at least 45% open
2.0 FC
Not applicable
Minimum illumination on the pedestrian access surface within 30 ft. of a primary building entrance
4.0 FC
Not applicable
Maximum illumination at property line (no limit along public street)
2.0 FC
0.5 FC
 
   (d)   Points of measurement. Illumination measurements taken at the property line will be measured at the greatest point of illumination of said property line. Illumination measurements to determine the minimum and maximum illumination internal to a site will be measured by positioning the meter horizontally at ground level at the highest and lowest points of artificial illumination for the area illuminated and shall not include exempt areas.
   (e)   Prohibitions. After the effective date of this section, no person may install any of the following types of outdoor lighting fixtures:
      (1)   Lights with a color rendition index of less than 50 (except for approved architectural lighting);
      (2)   Lights with a color temperature (K) of less than 2,500 K (except for approved architectural lighting);
      (3)   Blinking, flashing, moving, revolving, flickering, changing intensity or color, and chase lighting, except lighting for temporary seasonal displays, lighting for public safety or required for air traffic safety;
      (4)   Any light fixture that may be confused with or construed as a traffic control device;
      (5)   Any upward oriented lighting, including searchlights, beacons and laser source light fixtures, except as otherwise provided for in this section or approved by the City Council for a special event or purpose;
      (6)   The installation or replacement of parking lot and access lighting with an efficacy less than 70 lumens per watt for the luminaire; and
      (7)   Building and grounds lighting that operate at greater than 100 watts must have an efficacy of 60 initial lumens per watt unless controlled by a motion sensor.
   (f)   Preliminary and final inspection and certification. Prior to the installation of outdoor lighting, an inspection to verify delivery of the approved lamp, fixture and pole heights must be completed. Before a certificate of occupancy may be issued, a post-installation inspection by the issuing authority must verify compliance with the approved plan depicting the initial foot candles levels. Individual points may not vary more than 20% with the average of all points within 10% of the initial foot candle level on the approved plans. Any deviation beyond these criteria must be remedied prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.
   (g)   Exceptions. This section’s standards do not apply to the following types of exterior lighting:
      (1)   Ornamental lighting. Low voltage light fixtures (12 volts or less), low wattage ornamental landscape lighting fixtures and solar operated light fixtures having self-contained rechargeable batteries, where any single light fixture does not exceed 200 initial light output lumens;
      (2)   Right-of-way lighting. Public lighting located within and intended for the right-of- way;
      (3)   Temporary lighting. Temporary lighting for approved public sporting events and theatrical, television or performance areas;
      (4)   Required lighting. Lighting required as part of the city adopted Electrical or Building Codes or required by the Federal Aviation Administration or other state or federal agency; and
      (5)   Public safety lighting. Temporary lighting for police, fire or public safety construction and repair personnel.
   (h)   Conformance triggers. Any new lighting designed after the effective date of this section must be in compliance with the requirements of this section. Any lighting legally in existence before the effective date of this section that does not comply with its requirements must come into compliance upon the occurrence of any of the following events. Any lighting illegally in existence before the effective date of this section must come into compliance immediately upon adoption of this section.
      (1)   Alterations to existing lighting.
         (A)   When poles and support structures are removed and replaced for reasons other than acts of God or accidents, they must be replaced with luminaires, poles and supports that comply with this section; and
         (B)   When luminaires are replaced without replacement of poles or support structure, they must be replaced with luminaires that comply with all provisions of this section except the minimum light intensity provisions of subsection (c)(11) above. In no event, however, may the existing light intensity levels be reduced below existing lighting levels for the parking area.
      (2)   Removal and replacement of parking lot surface. When less than 50% of the gross area of the parking lot surface on a particular site is removed and replaced, the parking area replaced must be provided with lighting in compliance with this section within 30 days of parking lot completion. If 50% or more of the parking area on a particular site is removed and replaced within one year, the entire parking lot or lots on the site where the construction activity occurs must be brought into full compliance with this section within 30 days of parking lot completion. A parking lot or portion thereof is “removed and replaced” when any portion of the existing parking surface material is removed and a new surface is installed.
      (3)   New parking lots or parking lot additions. When a new parking lot or addition to an existing parking lot is constructed, the new lot or lot addition must be provided with lighting in compliance with § 21.301.06 of this code.
      (4)   New structures, additions or replacements. When a site is improved with new structures or additions to or replacements of existing structures, the lighting for the new structure, addition or replacement on the site must be upgraded with complying lighting and the parking lot lighting must be upgraded with complying lighting over a portion of the parking area that is equivalent to the amount of parking that would be required for the new structure, addition or replacement by § 21.301.06 of this code. In the event the new structure, addition or replacement is accompanied by new or replaced parking area, the amount of upgraded lighting area must be that required under this subsection (h)(4), or that required under the combination of subsections (h)(2) and (h)(3) above, whichever is greater.
      (5)   Change of type of occupancy. When the type of occupancy for a portion or entire site or structure is changed, site lighting must be upgraded throughout the site, as necessary, to comply with this section for the structure, or portion thereof, and the parking lot be upgraded for the required parking for the occupancy as established in § 21.301.06 of this code. For purposes of determining the type of occupancy of a site, the occupancy classifications of the State Building Code must be utilized.
      (6)   Unoccupied sites. When a site has been unoccupied for a period of one year, the lighting must be upgraded to fully comply with this section prior to any reoccupation of the site.
      (7)   Conditions of approval. When a development application is made for a site, the City Council may as a condition of approval require compliance with any or all of the performance standards of this section, and the extent of compliance required in such cases may be greater than that otherwise required under subsection (d) above, if deemed reasonably necessary to protect the public health, safety or welfare and to achieve the purposes of this section.
      (8)   Nuisance conditions. Lighting that creates a public nuisance must be brought into compliance upon issuance of orders from the issuing authority.
   (i)   Date for final compliance. Notwithstanding any of the above, all site lighting within the city must be in compliance with the minimum illumination levels at ground level as specified in this section no later than December 31, 2024, unless the site or portion thereof meets one of the following exemptions:
      (1)   The site has an approved lighting plan with installation on or after August 19, 1996, and the lighting has been maintained at the levels on the approved plan;
      (2)   Reserved;
      (3)   The site has an approved lighting plan with installation prior to August 19, 1996, that documents illumination levels of no less than 75% of the illumination levels required in subsections (c)(11) or (c)(12) above for the respective use, provided code complying light fixtures are used and illumination levels are maintained as per the approved plan;
      (4)   The site or portion thereof is mapped and scheduled for acquisition by January 1, 2026, by a federal, state or local government agency. In the event that only a portion of the site is mapped, only that portion is exempt from compliance;
      (5)   The site is planned for redevelopment prior to January 1, 2026, as evidenced by an approved preliminary development plan; or
      (6)   The City Council has approved a variance exempting compliance due to a hardship or special circumstance.
   (j)   Flexibility measures. Site lighting levels in a specific area may be reduced from the standards discussed above subject to the inclusion of the following crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) measures and approval by the City Police Department. These flexibility measures are limited to a total reduction in site lighting levels of 25%:
      (1)   Enhanced max.:min. Uniformity ratio at or below 3:1 max.:min. qualifies for up to a 10% lighting level reduction;
      (2)   Inclusion of CCTV or sound surveillance devices monitored by security personnel qualify for up to a 10% lighting level reduction;
      (3)   Installation of panic buttons, intercoms or emergency phones throughout the parking area qualifies for up to a 5% lighting level reduction;
      (4)   Secured access and use of the parking area qualifies for up to a 5% lighting level reduction;
      (5)   Inclusion of signs and graphics to enhance movements throughout the site qualifies for up to a 3% lighting level reduction;
      (6)   For parking structures, increased parking structure windows or openings to enhance natural surveillance of parking structure occupants qualify for up to a 3% lighting level reduction in the parking structure; or
      (7)   Additional measures identified in a CPTED study submitted and approved with the reduction level determined by the City Police Department.
(Ord. 2008-13, passed 4-21-2008; Ord. 2009-41, passed 12-7-2009; Ord. 2010-1, passed 1-4-2010; Ord. 2012-2, passed 1-23-2012; Ord. 2013-19, passed 8-19-2013; Ord. 2015-5, passed 1-26-2015 Ord. 2016-6, passed 4-18-2016; Ord. 2017-9, passed 5-1-2017; Ord. 2019-3, passed 1-7-2019; Ord. 2019-47, passed 12-2-2019; Ord. 2019-58, passed 12-16-2019)