Division 10-50.70:
Outdoor Lighting Standards

Sections:

10-50.70.010    Purpose

10-50.70.020    Conformance with Applicable Codes

10-50.70.030    Applicability

10-50.70.040    Establishment of Lighting Zones

10-50.70.050    General Requirements – All Lighting Zones

10-50.70.060    Special Uses

10-50.70.070    Prohibited Outdoor Lighting

10-50.70.080    Exceptions

10-50.70.090    Nonconforming Outdoor Lighting

10-50.70.100    Violations and Enforcement

10-50.70.010 Purpose

A.    The City was recognized as the world’s first International Dark Sky City on October 24, 2001, for its pioneering work in the development and implementation of lighting codes that balance the need to preserve Flagstaff’s dark sky resource with the need for safe lighting practices. The purpose of this division is to help assure that dark skies remain a resource to be enjoyed by the Flagstaff community and its visitors, and to provide safe and efficient outdoor lighting regulations that protect Flagstaff’s dark skies from careless and wasteful lighting practices. Dark starry nights, like natural landscapes, forests, clean water, wildlife, and clear unpolluted air, are valued in many ways by the residents of this community, and they provide the natural resource upon which our world-renowned astronomical industry depends.

B.    The use of outdoor lighting is often necessary for adequate nighttime safety and utility, but common lighting practices can also interfere with other legitimate public concerns. Principal among these concerns is:

1.    The degradation of the nighttime visual environment by production of unsightly and dangerous glare;

2.    Lighting practices that produce excessive glare and brightness that interfere with the health and safety of Flagstaff’s citizens and visitors;

3.    Unnecessary waste of energy and resources in the production of too much light or wasted light;

4.    Interference in the use or enjoyment of property that is not intended to be illuminated at night by light trespass, and the loss of the scenic view of the night sky due to increased urban sky-glow; and

5.    The impact of inappropriately designed outdoor lighting that disrupts nocturnal animal behavior, particularly migrating birds and other species.

C.    The concerns of safety, utility, dark sky protection and aesthetic appearance need not compete. Good modern lighting practices can provide adequate light for safety and utility without excessive glare or light pollution. Careful attention to when, where and how much night-time lighting is needed results in better lighting practices, darker skies and reduced energy use and costs.

D.    It is therefore the intent of this division to encourage lighting practices and systems that will:

1.    Minimize light pollution, glare, light trespass;

2.    Conserve energy and resources while maintaining night time safety, utility, security, and productivity; and

3.    Curtail the degradation of the night time visual environment.

E.    It is recognized that since topographic and atmospheric conditions surrounding the City are uniquely suited for astronomical observation and since observatories have been established in the City’s vicinity, the City promotes the reduction of light pollution which interferes with the successful operation of these observatories.

F.    The sensitivity of different areas to the different obtrusive impacts of outdoor lighting use depends on many factors, including the dominant use of the area (e.g., residential, industrial, or commercial). Further, the effect of outdoor lighting on light pollution to the observatories is strongly dependent on the distance of those lights from the observatories. Therefore, three lighting zones are established, with varying standards designed to address the principal issues associated with the different areas.

10-50.70.020 Conformance with Applicable Codes

All outdoor lighting fixtures shall be installed in conformance with the provisions of this division and the applicable building codes currently in effect in the City under appropriate permit and inspection.

10-50.70.030 Applicability

A.    Existing Buildings and Uses. Any new outdoor lighting installed on a building or parcel shall meet the requirements of this division with regard to shielding and lamp type. The total outdoor light output after the new outdoor lights are installed shall not exceed that legally nonconforming or pre-approved on the site before the modification, or as permitted by this division, whichever is larger.

B.    New Uses, Buildings and Major Additions or Modifications.

1.    The requirements of this division apply to any and all new and major additions to land uses, developments, buildings or structures.

2.    If a major addition occurs on a property, the entire property shall comply with the requirements of this code. For purposes of this section, the following are considered to be major additions:

a.    Additions of 25 percent or more in terms of additional dwelling units, gross floor area, seating capacity, or parking spaces, either with a single addition or with cumulative additions subsequent to the effective date of this provision; or

b.    Single or cumulative modification or replacement of outdoor legally installed lighting fixtures constituting 25 percent or more of the lumens that would be permitted under this division for the property, no matter the actual amount of lighting already on a nonconforming site, constitutes a major addition for purposes of this section.

C.    Minor Additions or Modifications. Additions or modifications of less than 25 percent in terms of additional dwelling units, gross floor area, seating capacity, or parking spaces to existing uses shall require the submission of a complete inventory and site plan detailing all existing and any proposed new or modified outdoor lighting. Any new or modified outdoor lighting on the site shall meet the requirements of this division with regard to shielding and lamp type; the total amount of lighting after the modifications are complete shall not exceed that on the site before the modification, or that permitted by this division, whichever is larger.

D.    Change of Use.

1.    Except as provided in Section 10-20.60.080, Nonconforming Outdoor Lighting, whenever the use of any existing building, structure or premises is intensified through the incorporation of additional dwelling units, gross floor area, seating capacity, or other units of measurement which create a need for an increase in the total number of parking spaces of 25 percent or more either with a single change or cumulative changes subsequent to the effective date of this Zoning Code, then all outdoor lighting shall be reviewed and brought into compliance with the requirements of this division before the use is resumed to the maximum extent feasible as determined by the Director.

2.    For changes of use or intensity which require an increase in parking of less than 25 percent cumulative, the applicant shall only have to meet the requirements of this division for any new outdoor lighting provided.

E.    Public Rights-of-Way Exempt. The provisions of this division shall not apply to street lights installed in public rights-of-way.

F.    In accordance with A.R.S. § 49-1101, all outdoor light fixtures on property or buildings that are owned and operated by the City of Flagstaff shall be fully shielded.

(Ord. 2016-07, Amended, 2/16/2016 (Res. 2016-02))

10-50.70.040 Establishment of Lighting Zones

A.    Establishment of Lighting Zones. Three lighting zones are established, with varying development standards specific to their location within the City. Lighting zones are shown in Section 10-90.40.020, Lighting Zone Map.

B.    Lighting Zone Boundaries. The boundaries of the lighting zones are illustrated in Section 10-90.40.020, Lighting Zone Map.

C.    Split Parcels. A parcel located in more than one of the described zones shall be considered to be only in the more restrictive lighting zone.

10-50.70.050 General Requirements – All Lighting Zones

A.    Preferred Source – Low-Pressure Sodium (LPS) Lamps and Narrow-Spectrum Amber LEDs. Due to their high energy efficiency, long life, and spectral characteristics, low-pressure sodium (LPS) lamps are the preferred illumination source throughout the City. Their use is encouraged, when not required, for outdoor illumination whenever their use would not be detrimental to the use of the property. In all applications where LPS lighting is required or preferred, an acceptable alternative is narrow-spectrum amber LEDs.

B.    Lighting Classes.

1.    Class 1 lighting is lighting used for applications where color rendition is required to preserve the effectiveness of an activity. Recognized Class 1 lighting applications include only the following. Application of Class 1 lighting standards to uses not included in this list requires a finding by the Director of the essential nature of color rendition to preserve the effectiveness of the activity.

a.    Outdoor sales areas, including service station canopies;

b.    Primary customer building entry/exit areas (does not include service or emergency entry/exits);

c.    Outdoor eating areas at restaurants;

d.    Outdoor assembly or repair areas where assembly or repair work occurs at night on a regularly scheduled basis;

e.    Outdoor recreational field/track/arena areas; and

f.    External and internal lighting for signs.

2.    Class 2 lighting is lighting used for applications where general illumination for safety or security is the primary concern.

a.    Examples of Class 2 lighting applications include the following:

(1)    Pedestrian walkways, driveways and roadways;

(2)    Parking lots;

(3)    Equipment yards; and

(4)    Outdoor security.

b.    Low-pressure sodium (LPS) lamps or narrow-spectrum amber LEDs are required in all Class 2 lighting applications, except that up to 10 percent of all Class 2 lighting may be non-LPS lighting as noted in Table 10-50.70.050.A, Maximum Total Outdoor Light Output Standards.

3.    Class 3 lighting is outdoor lighting used for decorative purposes.

a.    Examples of Class 3 lighting applications include the following:

(1)    Architectural illumination;

(2)    Flag and monument lighting; and

(3)    Landscape lighting and the illumination of trees, shrubs, and other vegetation.

b.    Class 3 lighting fixtures shall be included in the total lumen calculations for the site. If decorative lighting is applied to the exterior wall of a building using LED lights or similar technologies that allow for the color of the light to change, only one color change every two minutes is permitted.

4.    The use of solar powered light systems as a light source in all lighting classes is appropriate.

C.    Total Outdoor Light Output.

1.    Total outdoor light output, excluding streetlights and pedestrian lighting used to illuminate public rights-of-way and any interior lighting shall not exceed the following limits averaged over the entire development (values listed are total initial lamp lumens per acre and per residence).

Table 10-50.70.050.A: Maximum Total Outdoor Light Output Standards 

Land Use

Zone 1

Zone 2

Zone 3

Commercial, Industrial, and Multifamily Residential (lumens per net acre)1

 

Total (Fully Shielded and Partially Shielded)

25,000

50,000

100,000

Partially Shielded only

0

5,500

5,500

Non-LPS and non-narrow spectrum amber LED

2,500

5,000

10,000

Single-Family Residential (lumens per parcel inclusive of accessory structures)1

 

Total (Fully Shielded and Partially Shielded)

10,000

10,000

10,000

Partially Shielded only

0

4,000

4,000

End Note

1To determine the allowed lumens per net acre for all LED lamps (i.e., narrow spectrum amber LED and all other LED lamps), divide the total number of lumens permitted in each lighting zone by 1.43.

2.    For determining compliance with this section, light emitted from outdoor lighting is to be included in the total outdoor light output as follows (see Figure 10-50.70.050A):

a.    Light fixtures installed as described below shall be included in the total outdoor light output by adding 100 percent of the initial lumen outputs of the lamps used:

(1)    All unshielded or partially shielded fixtures, regardless of location;

(2)    Light fixtures installed on poles (such as parking lot light fixtures);

(3)    Light fixtures installed on the side of buildings or other structures but not located as described in subsections (C)(2)(b) or (c) of this section; and

(4)    Light fixtures installed within open parking garages, or under canopies, building overhangs, or roof eaves that are not fully shielded or are fully shielded but not located as described in subsections (C)(2)(b) or (c) of this section.

b.    Fully shielded light fixtures installed as described below shall be included in the total outdoor light output by adding only 25 percent of the initial lumen outputs of the lamps used;

(1)    Fully shielded light fixtures located within open parking garages, or located under canopies, building overhangs, or roof eaves, where all parts of the light fixture are located at least five feet but less than 10 feet from the nearest outdoor opening, canopy, or overhang edge.

c.    Fully shielded light fixtures installed as described below shall be included in the total outdoor light output by adding only 10 percent of the initial lumen outputs of the lamps used;

(1)    Fully shielded light fixtures located within open parking garages, or located under canopies, building overhangs, or roof eaves, where all parts of the light fixture are located 10 feet or more from the nearest outdoor opening, canopy, or overhang edge.

Figure 10-50.70.050A

Elevation and Section Views of a Freestanding and Attached Canopy or Overhang, Showing Fixture Location and Initial Lamp Output Percentage Counted Toward Total Outdoor Light Output

D.    Lamp Source and Shielding. The standards provided in Table 10-50.70.050.B, Lamp Type and Shielding Standards, shall apply:

Table 10-50.70.050.B: Lamp Type and Shielding Standards 

Lamp Type and Lighting Class

Zone 1

Zone 2

Zone 3

Nonresidential2 Outdoor Lighting

Class 1 Lighting (Color Rendition):

 

All lamp types and outputs

FS

FS

FS

Class 2 Lighting (General Illumination):

 

 

 

All lamp types and outputs

FS

FS

FS

Class 3 Lighting (Decorative):

 

All lamp types 2,500 lumens1 or above per fixture

X

X

FS

All lamp types below 2,500 lumens1 per fixture

FS

A3

A3

Residential2 Outdoor Lighting

Class 1-3 Lighting

 

Lighting (Color Rendition):

All lamp types 1,000 lumens1 or above per fixture

FS

FS

FS

All lamp types below 1,000 lumens1 per fixture

FS

A3

A3

Key:

FS = Allowed; Only Fully Shield Fixtures permitted

A = Allowed; Fully Shielded Fixtures preferred, and Partially Shielded Fixtures permitted subject to the amounts listed in Table A (Maximum Total Outdoor Light Output Standards).

X = Prohibited

End Notes

1Examples of lamp types of 2,500 and 1,000 lumens and below for commercial and residential applications respectively are provided in Table 10-50.70.050.C, Lamp Type and Wattage with Outputs below 2,500 and 1,000 lumens. The acceptability of a particular lamp is decided by lumen output, not wattage. The values listed are approximate, and the manufacturer’s specifications for a particular lamp must be checked.

2For purposes of this subsection, residential refers to property developed primarily for residential purposes, including single-family residences, manufactured homes, duplexes, and triplexes as well as multifamily (i.e. apartment, condominium, townhome) uses. Nonresidential uses include all other uses.

3For purposes of determining total light output from a light fixture, lighting assemblies which include multiple unshielded or partially shielded fixtures or lamps on a single pole shall be considered as a single fixture (see Figure 10-50.70.050B). Partially shielded lighting is limited to the amounts listed in Table 10-50.70.050.A, Maximum Total Outdoor Light Output Standards.

Table 10-50.70.050.C: Lamp Type and Wattage with Outputs below 2,500 and 1,000 Lumens 

Lamp Type

2,500 lm (Commercial and Industrial)

1,000 lm (Residential)

Standard incandescent and less

100 watt

60 watt

Tungsten-halogen (quartz) and less

100 watt

60 watt

Fluorescent and less

25 watt

15 watt

Compact Fluorescent and less

26 watt

13 watt

No available data for High-Pressure Sodium or Metal Halide lamps

Figure 10-50-70.050B

Light Fixture with Multiple Unshielded Fixtures or Lamps

E.    Effective Shielding. All light fixtures that are required to be fully shielded shall be installed in such a manner that the shielding satisfies the definition of a fully shielded fixture.

F.    Light Trespass Standard.

1.    All light fixtures, including security lighting, shall be located, aimed and shielded so that the direct illumination from the fixture shall be confined to the property boundaries of the source.

2.    Any privately or publicly owned outdoor light fixture with a lamp of initial output over 10,000 lumens located within 50 feet of any residential (including multifamily residential) property or public right-of-way shall utilize an internal or external shield, with the light fixture and shield oriented to minimize light trespass over the adjacent property or right-of-way line. If an external shield is used, its surface must be painted black to minimize reflections (Figure 10-50.70.050C).

Figure 10-50.70.050C

Shielding Configurations

G.    Motion Sensing Light Fixtures. Motion sensing light fixtures shall be fully shielded.

H.    Time Limits for Outdoor Lighting. All outdoor Class 1 and Class 3 lighting, and outdoor Class 2 lighting located more than 50 feet from any building or outdoor product display or storage area shall be turned off at the times listed in Table 10-50.70.050.D, Time Limits for Outdoor Lighting, or no later than 30 minutes after the business closes, whichever is later, and remain off for the remainder of the night or until the business reopens. Decorative holiday lights are exempt in accordance with Section 10-50.70.080(D), and outdoor recreation facilities are exempt in accordance with Section 10-50.70.060(B).

Table 10-50.70.050.D: Time Limits for Outdoor Lighting

 

Zone 1

Zone 2

Zone 3

Time limit when outdoor lights must be turned off

9:00 p.m.

11:00 p.m.

11:00 p.m.

I.    Sign Illumination. Standards for external and internal sign illumination are provided in Division 10-50.100, Sign Standards. Lighting used for the external illumination of signs is included toward the total outdoor light output standards of subsection (C) of this section.

J.    Neon Building Lighting. Neon building lighting is included in the total outdoor light output calculations for the site. Lumens for neon lighting are calculated on a per foot basis, rather than per “fixture.” Unshielded neon lighting is not permitted.

K.    Multi-Class Lighting. Multi-class lighting must either conform to the lamp-type and shielding requirements of the strictest included class as shown in Table 10-50.70.050.A, Maximum Total Outdoor Light Output Standards, and Table 10-50.70.050.B, Lamp Type and Shielding Standards, or conform to the time limitations of the least restrictive included class as shown in Table 10-50.70.050.D, Time Limits for Outdoor Lighting.

L.    Internally Illuminated Architectural Elements. Any architectural element, including walls or portions of buildings that are internally illuminated and that is not a sign or fenestration (windows or doors), shall have 100 percent of the initial lamp output of all lamps used to provide such illumination counted toward partially shielded lighting for the purposes of calculating total outdoor light output for the site and is subject to the standards of subsection (C) of this section.

M.    Architectural/Landscape Lighting. Architectural lighting used to illuminate the wall of a building or landscape lighting used to illuminate trees or other landscape elements is permitted subject to the following:

1.    Architectural and landscape lighting that is directed downward onto a wall, tree or other landscape feature shall be included in the total outdoor light output standards provided in Table 10-50.70.050.A, Maximum Total Outdoor Light Output Standards, based on whether a fully shielded or partially shielded light fixture is used; and

2.    Architectural and landscape lighting that is directed upward onto a wall, tree or other landscape feature is not permitted.

N.    Emergency Lighting. Emergency lighting that is only turned on in the event of a power failure or when an alarm is activated is permitted in all lighting zones and is excluded from the total lumen calculations for the site.

O.    Use of Mercury Vapor Light Fixtures.

1.    No new mercury vapor outdoor light fixtures shall be installed after the effective date of this Zoning Code. No replacement equipment other than bulbs for mercury vapor lighting fixtures shall be sold in the State after January 1, 1991, and the use of mercury vapor light fixtures is prohibited after January 1, 2011.

2.    The provisions of this section shall not apply to outdoor light systems erected prior to 1950.

(Ord. 2016-07, Amended, 2/16/2016 (Res. 2016-02))

10-50.70.060 Special Uses

A.    Service Station Canopy Lighting.

1.    Lighting Class. Lighting for service station canopies shall be considered Class 1 lighting.

2.    Shielding. All light fixtures mounted on or recessed into the lower surface of service station canopies shall be fully shielded and utilize flat lenses. Such shielding must be provided by the fixture itself; shielding by surrounding structures such as canopy edges is not permitted.

3.    Total Under-Canopy Output. The total light output used under service station canopies, defined as the sum of all under-canopy initial lamp outputs in lumens, shall not exceed 40 lumens per square foot of canopy in Lighting Zone 2 and 3, and shall not exceed 20 lumens per square foot in Lighting Zone 1 (note: these values are not foot-candle illuminances).

4.    All lighting mounted under the canopy, including but not limited to light fixtures mounted on or recessed into the lower surface of the canopy and any lighting within signage (but not including any lamps mounted within the pumps and used to illuminate information indicating such items as the total cost of fuel pumped and price per gallon), shall be included in the total outdoor light output for the site and is subject to the standards of Section 10-50.70.050(C).

B.    Outdoor Recreation Facilities.

1.    Lighting Class. Lighting for field/track/arena areas only shall be considered Class 1.

2.    Lumen Cap Exemption.

a.    In Lighting Zone 1, lighting for field/track/arena areas is subject to the lumens per acre limit set in Section 10-50.70.050(C);

b.    In Lighting Zones 2 and 3, lighting for field/track/arena areas is not subject to the lumens per acre limit set in Section 10-50.70.050(C); and

c.    Illumination levels for the field/track/arena shall be designed to be no higher than recommended for Class IV play, as defined by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America publication IESNA RP-06-01.

3.    Shielding. Fixtures used for field/track/arena areas shall be fully shielded.

4.    Time Limits. No illuminated sports facility shall be illuminated after the time limits listed in Table 10-50.70.050.D, Time Limits for Outdoor Lighting, except to conclude a scheduled recreational or sporting event in progress prior to the time limitation.

5.    Certification. Lighting systems for outdoor recreational facilities shall be designed and certified by an engineer registered in Arizona as conforming to all applicable restrictions of this code before construction commences. Further, after installation is complete, the system shall be again certified by a registered engineer to verify that the installation is consistent with the certified design.

C.    Street Lighting.

1.    Standards for street lighting installed on public rights-of-way are found in the City Engineering Standards, Title 12, Street Lighting.

2.    Street lighting installed on private rights-of-way shall be included within the total outdoor light output for the development.

D.    Parking Garages.

1.    Lighting Class. Lighting installed for general illumination of parking areas within parking garages, where the parking areas are open to the outside, shall be considered Class 2.

2.    Inclusion Toward Total Outdoor Light Output. The lumen output of light fixtures mounted 15 feet or more from the nearest opening to the outdoors and within open parking garages shall not be included toward the Total Outdoor Light Output standards in Section 10-50.70.050(C). All light fixtures mounted less than 15 feet from the nearest opening to the outdoors shall comply with the total outdoor light output standards established in Section 10-50.70.050(C).

3.    Shielding. All light fixtures used on or within open parking garages, including those mounted to the ceilings over the parking decks, shall be fully shielded.

E.    Outdoor Display Lots.

1.    Lighting Class. Outdoor lighting for outdoor display lots shall be considered Class 1 lighting, and shall conform to applicable lumens per net acre limits applied to the entire parcel.

2.    Lighting Time Limitations. Outdoor display lot lighting shall conform to the hours of operation as established under Class 1 lighting standards. Any lighting on after the time limitations shall be considered Class 2 lighting and shall conform to all restrictions of this division applicable to this class.

3.    Shielding. All light fixtures used in outdoor display lots shall be fully shielded and be aimed so that the direct illumination shall be confined to the property boundaries of the source.

F.    Temporary Lighting. Temporary lighting which does not conform to the provisions of this division may be approved by the Director subject to the approval of an outdoor lighting permit in accordance with the provisions of Section 10-20.40.100, Outdoor Lighting Permits. Temporary lighting is intended for uses which by their nature are of limited duration, including for example, holiday decorations, civic events or construction projects.

(Ord. 2016-07, Amended, 2/16/2016 (Res. 2016-02))

10-50.70.070 Prohibited Outdoor Lighting

The following types of outdoor lighting are prohibited:

A.    Outdoor floodlighting by flood light projection above the horizontal plane.

B.    Search lights, flood lights, laser source lights, or any similar high intensity light, except in emergencies by police, fire or medical personnel or at their direction; or for meteorological data gathering purposes.

C.    Any lighting device located on the exterior of a building or on the inside of a window which is visible beyond the boundaries of the lot or parcel with intermittent fading, flashing, blinking, rotating or strobe light illumination.

10-50.70.080 Exceptions

A.    Airport Lighting. Required navigational lighting systems at airports for the safe and efficient movement of aircraft during flight, take off, landing and taxiing are exempt from the provisions of this division. Lighting used for illumination of aircraft loading, unloading, and servicing areas is exempt from the lumens per acre limits provided in Section 10-50.70.050(C), although it must conform to all other requirements of this division. All other outdoor lighting at airport facilities shall comply with the provisions of this division.

B.    Infrared Security Lighting. Lights emitting infrared radiation used for remote security surveillance systems are permitted in all zones with the following restrictions:

1.    Fixed lights must be fully shielded; and

2.    Movable lights, such as spot lights attached to infrared sensitive cameras, must be mounted such that the lights cannot be directed higher than 20 degrees below the horizontal, measured from the center of the light beam.

C.    Emergency Lighting by Emergency Services. Searchlights, floodlights, laser source lights, strobe or flashing lights, or any similar high intensity lights are permitted when used in emergencies by police, fire, medical, or utility personnel or at their direction.

D.    Holiday Decorations. In all lighting zones low voltage holiday decorations may be unshielded and remain on all night from November 15th to January 15th.

E.    Solar-Powered Lighting. Solar-powered lights of five watts or less per fixture used in residential landscaping applications and to illuminate walkways are exempt from applicable lamp type and shielding standards and are excluded from the total lumen calculations for the site.

F.    Construction and Renovation of Municipal Facilities. All outdoor lighting used for construction or major renovation of municipal buildings, structures and facilities is exempt from the provisions of this division.

10-50.70.090 Nonconforming Outdoor Lighting

Section 10-20.60.080, Nonconforming Outdoor Lighting, provides the standards and regulations for nonconforming outdoor lighting.

10-50.70.100 Violations and Enforcement

A.    It shall be unlawful to install or operate an outdoor light fixture in violation of this division. Any person violating any provisions of this division shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Each and every day during which the illegal erection, maintenance, and use continues shall be considered a separate offense.

B.    The requirements of this division shall be enforced in compliance with the enforcement provisions of Division 10-20.110, Enforcement.