Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(A) Purpose: The purpose of this section is to regulate lighting to balance the safety and security needs for lighting with the city's desire to preserve the nighttime skyscape and to ensure that light trespass and glare have a negligible impact on surrounding property, especially residential. It is not the intent of this section to require exterior lighting of an entire site or property, but rather to only provide lighting standards and criteria in areas where exterior lighting is necessary to provide for the health and safety of the community.
(B) Definitions: For the purpose of this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this subsection:
FOOT-CANDLE: A unit of illumination produced on a surface, all points of which are one foot (1') from a uniform point of one candle.
FULL SHIELDING: A technique or method of construction which causes all light emitted from an outdoor light fixture to be projected below an imaginary horizontal plane passing through the lowest point on the fixtures from which light is emitted.
GLARE: A light emitting from a luminaire with an intensity great enough to reduce a viewer's ability to see and, in extreme cases, causing momentary blindness.
HIGH INTENSITY DISCHARGE (HID) LAMP: An exterior lighting type which produces light by passing an electrical current through a gas. HID lamps include mercury vapor, high pressure sodium (HPS), low pressure sodium (LPS), and metal halide.
LIGHT POLLUTION: An artificial light which causes a detrimental effect on the environment, astronomical research or enjoyment of the night sky or causes undesirable glare or unnecessary illumination of adjacent property.
LIGHT TRESPASS: The shining of light produced by a luminaire beyond the boundaries of the property on which it is located.
LUMINAIRE: A complete lighting unit consisting of a light source and all necessary mechanical, electrical, decorative, and support parts.
SHIELDING: A technique or method of construction which causes light emitted from an outdoor light fixture to be projected below an imaginary horizontal plane passing through fixtures. (Ord. 1582, 1-22-2002)
(C) Site Plan Review Required: Unless otherwise exempt by this section, all outdoor light fixtures for new multi-family residential and nonresidential development shall be subject to review and approval in conjunction with any land use and development permits for a project. Any retrofit or amendment to an existing multi-family residential or nonresidential site and/or building with a value greater than twenty five thousand dollars ($25,000.00) or twenty five percent (25%) of its assessed value as shown on the most recent tax rolls, whichever is less and whose exterior lighting is deemed by the development services director to have a measurable impact on abutting property or views from street rights of way shall require planning commission approval and may be subject to the criteria set forth herein. (Ord. 1582, 1-22-2002; amd. Ord. 1654, 6-25-2013)
(D) Exemptions: The following types of outdoor lighting fixtures are exempt from the requirements of this section as specified below and are subject to compliance with all other provisions of this title:
1. All outdoor light fixtures existing and legally installed prior to the effective date hereof are exempt from the provisions of this section, provided, however, that no replacement, structural alterations, or restoration of outdoor light fixtures shall be made unless it thereafter conforms to the provisions of this section. However, exemptions shall be granted to this conformance standard if:
(a) Utilization of conforming outdoor light fixtures would have the effect of decreasing the lighting levels to below the minimum illumination levels required by this section, and the additional cost necessary to meet the minimum illumination levels would pose an unreasonable financial burden; and/or
(b) Utilization of conforming outdoor light fixtures would negatively impact the aesthetic quality/architectural design of the property or immediate area by mixing substantially different styles and types of fixtures/poles.
2. All outdoor light fixtures producing light directly by the combustion of fossil fuels, such as kerosene lanterns or gas lamps.
3. Temporary lights used for holiday decorations.
4. Construction or emergency lighting, provided such lighting is temporary and is discontinued immediately upon completion of construction work or abatement of said emergency.
5. Lighting of temporary uses and special events permitted consistent with the provisions of this title.
6. Low wattage, noncommercial incandescent, or fluorescent luminaries typically considered "porch lights" in association with multi-family residential uses.
(E) Outdoor Lighting Standards:
1. Shielding Required: Except as otherwise exempt, all outdoor lighting fixtures for new multi-family residential and nonresidential development shall be constructed with full shielding. Where the light source from an outdoor light fixture of a nonresidential development is visible beyond the property line, shielding shall be required to reduce glare so that neither the light source nor its image from the reflective surface shall be directly visible from any point five feet (5') or more beyond the property line.
In single-family residential zoning districts, outdoor lighting shall be located and/or shielded in a manner to ensure that the intensity and direction of lighting does not constitute a nuisance to abutting residential dwellings or abutting street rights of way.
2. Minimum/Maximum Level Of Illumination: The minimum and maximum levels of illumination permitted are listed below. A photometric study listing the number, type, height, and level of illumination of all outdoor lighting fixtures shall be required in conjunction with the development permit application and prior to issuance of a building permit or site improvement plans to ensure compliance with these provisions.
(a) Minimum lighting for sidewalks, walkways, parking areas, and other similar areas shall not average less than 0.5 foot- candle, measured at ground level.
(b) The maximum level of illumination on any lighted area shall not exceed an average greater than ten (10) foot- candles, measured at ground level.
(c) In order to prevent severe contrasts in illumination levels in parking areas, the ratio of the average level of illumination to the minimum level of illumination shall not exceed four to one (4:1).
(d) In order to minimize light trespass on abutting property, illumination measured on the property line of a subject parcel shall not exceed 0.3 foot-candle, measured on a vertical plane at six feet (6') in height along the property line.
3. Maximum Height Of Outdoor Light Fixtures: The maximum height of freestanding outdoor light fixtures for new multi- family residential development and nonresidential development abutting a single-family residential zoning district or use shall be twenty feet (20'). The maximum height for freestanding outdoor light fixtures in nonresidential zones shall be twenty five feet (25').
4. Type Of Illumination: All new outdoor lighting fixtures shall be energy efficient. Energy efficient lights include all high intensity discharge (HID) lamps (high pressure sodium, low pressure sodium, and metal halide).
Outdoor light fixtures used to illuminate flags, statues, or any other objects mounted on a pole, pedestal, or platform shall use a very narrow cone of light for the purpose of confining the light to the object of interest and minimize light trespass and glare.
5. Hours Of Illumination: Automatic timing devices shall be required for all new outdoor light fixtures on multi-family residential and nonresidential development with off hours (exterior lights turned off) between eleven o'clock (11:00) P.M. and six o'clock (6:00) A.M. Exceptions are that outdoor lights may remain on in conjunction with the hours of operation of the corresponding use, for security purposes, or to illuminate walkways, roadways, equipment yards, and parking lots.
(F) Lighting Prohibited: The following outdoor light fixtures shall be prohibited as specified below. Existing light fixtures legally permitted or authorized prior to adoption hereof may be maintained.
1. Uplighting/backlit canopies unless otherwise approved by the planning commission in conjunction with a site plan review.
2. Neon tubing or band lighting along building structures as articulation, unless otherwise approved by the planning commission in conjunction with a site plan review.
3. Flashing lights.
4. Illumination of entire building. Building illumination shall be limited to security lighting and lighting of architectural features authorized by the planning commission in conjunction with the required development permit(s).
5. Any light that imitates or causes visual interference with a traffic signal or other necessary safety or emergency light.
6. Mercury vapor lights.
(H) Severability: If any provision of this section is invalid, all valid parts that are severable from the invalid part remain in effect. If a part of this section is invalid in one or more applications, the part remains in effect in all valid applications that are severable from the invalid applications. (Ord. 1582, 1-22-2002)