Chapter 17.28
UNNECESSARY LIGHTS*

Sections:

17.28.010    Purpose and intent of provisions.

17.28.020    Industrial or commercial operations – Lights to be shielded when.

17.28.030    Residential districts – Certain lights prohibited when – Exceptions.

17.28.040    Lighting plans – Approval required when.

17.28.050    Complaints – Investigation – Notice – Hearing.

17.28.060    Unshielded lighting deemed misdemeanor when.

*    For statutory authority for city councils to declare what constitutes a nuisance, see Gov. Code § 38771; for statutory provisions regarding abatement of nuisances, see Gov. Code §§ 38773 and 38773.5.

17.28.010 Purpose and intent of provisions.

A. It is the purpose and intent of this chapter to provide reasonable restrictions and limitations upon the use of lighting in or near the residential zones of the City so as to prevent lighting from creating a nuisance to residents within said residential zones. It is recognized that lighting is widely used in commercial or industrial zones for the purpose of advertising and security and that such lighting is essential to the conduct of many commercial or industrial enterprises.

B. The City Council acknowledges that protective security lighting in residential zones constitutes a deterrent to crime and an aid in law enforcement and contributes generally to the safety of those persons residing in such residential zones. It is further accepted that properly controlled lighting in residential areas used for landscaping and highlighting of architectural features of buildings and structures enhances and promotes the aesthetic condition of the property and the general welfare of the area.

C. However, it is equally recognized that lighting, by virtue of its intensity, brightness, direction, duration and hours of operation, can constitute a nuisance to adjacent residential dwellers.

D. It is the intent of the City Council in adopting this chapter to encourage the continued and appropriate use of lighting for the purposes set forth in this section, but to require that said lighting be regulated and controlled in a manner so as to avoid the creation of a public nuisance in residential areas. (Ord. 1324 § 1, 1971; prior code § 20.35.3).

17.28.020 Industrial or commercial operations – Lights to be shielded when.

It is unlawful for any commercial or industrial operation to display lights in such a manner so that the beams or the rays from the light source shall be directed to and unshielded from adjacent residential properties. All light sources used for advertising, security or safety purposes shall be arranged or shielded in such a manner so that they will not constitute a public nuisance for residential property owners. (Ord. 1324 § 1, 1971; prior code § 20.35.4 (A)).

17.28.030 Residential districts – Certain lights prohibited when – Exceptions.

It is unlawful for any person in a residential zone to maintain lighting upon premises under his ownership or control for any purpose between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. in a manner so that the beams, rays, reflections or diffusions from the lighting spill out, over or onto adjoining or neighboring residential properties, as defined in the zoning ordinance of the city, so that said lighting, by its degree of intensity or duration of operation, interferes with the peaceful enjoyment of the property of such adjoining or neighboring landholders and unnecessarily or unreasonably disturbs the comfort and repose of the adjoining or neighboring landowners so as to constitute a nuisance. Protective security lighting, landscape lighting or architectural highlighting, properly directed and shielded, may be operated at all hours of the night. (Ord. 1324 § 1, 1971; prior code § 20.35.4(B)).

17.28.040 Lighting plans – Approval required when.

All lighting plans in multiple-family, commercial and industrial zones shall be submitted to the director of planning for approval prior to installation thereof. Should the city disapprove of the plans, appeal may be taken to the planning commission. The determination of the commission shall be final. (Ord. 1324 § 1, 1971; prior code § 20.35.4 (C)).

17.28.050 Complaints – Investigation – Notice – Hearing.

Upon the written complaint setting forth the particulars concerning any offending lighting situation by the adjoining or neighboring residential property dwellers, it shall be the responsibility of the city to investigate the basis of the complaint, and if there is found to be sufficient cause for said complaint which constitutes a nuisance to the adjoining or neighboring property owners, a written notice shall be sent to the owner or person controlling such lighting, directing that the lighting be modified, discontinued or abated within 15 days of receipt of the notice. If the lighting situation has not been discontinued or abated as required in this section, the city manager shall issue a notice to the property owner pursuant to Chapter 1.40 CVMC to appear and show cause as to why the lighting should not be declared a public nuisance and abated pursuant to Chapter 1.30 CVMC. (Ord. 2718 § 1, 1998; Ord. 1324 § 1, 1971; prior code § 20.35.4(D)).

17.28.060 Unshielded lighting deemed misdemeanor when.

Lighting which is unshielded or so directed as to focus the beams directly upon adjacent residential property is prohibited at all times, and such use of lighting shall constitute a misdemeanor subject to the penalties set forth in this code. (Ord. 1324 § 1, 1971; prior code § 20.35.4(E)).