Chapter 15.580


15.580.010    Purpose.

15.580.020    Applicability.

15.580.030    Exemptions.

15.580.040    Lighting standards and guidelines.

15.580.050    Submission of plans and evidence of compliance with code.

15.580.060    Approved materials and methods of construction or installation/operation.

15.580.010 Purpose.

A.    To encourage the judicious use of lighting in conjunction with other security methods to increase site safety;

B.    To encourage the use of lighting as an integral design component to enhance buildings, landscaping, and other site features and for the enjoyment of property;

C.    To encourage night sky visibility and to reduce the general illumination of the sky in Ellensburg;

D.    To promote energy conservation;

E.    To reduce the horizontal glare and vertical light trespass from a development onto adjacent parcels and natural features; and

F.    To discourage the use of lighting for advertising purposes. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.580.020 Applicability.

A.    All outdoor lighting fixtures that are to be installed on private and public property in association with any building permit application or subdivision application shall comply with this chapter. This chapter does not apply to interior lighting. Types of outdoor lighting to which this chapter applies include, but are not limited to, lighting for:

1.    Building and structures including, but not limited to, overhangs and canopies;

2.    Recreational areas;

3.    Parking lot lighting;

4.    Landscape and architectural lighting.

B.    The city’s building official shall administer and enforce this chapter. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.580.030 Exemptions.

The following are exempt from the provisions of this chapter:

A.    Traffic control signals and devices;

B.    Public street lights; provided, however, public street lights must conform to the most current version of the city’s public works development standards;

C.    Temporary emergency lighting (i.e., fire, police, medical personnel, repair workers) or warning lights;

D.    Moving vehicle lights;

E.    Navigation lights (e.g., on radio/television towers, microwave towers) or any other lights where state or federal statute or other provision of the Ellensburg City Code requires lighting that cannot comply with this chapter. In such situations, lighting shall be shielded to the maximum extent possible, and lumens shall be minimized to the maximum extent possible, while still complying with state or federal statute;

F.    Seasonal decorations;

G.    Outdoor lighting approved by the building official for temporary or periodic events (e.g., fairs, nighttime construction);

H.    Outdoor lighting fixtures installed prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter;

I.    Fossil fuel lights. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.580.040 Lighting standards and guidelines.

The following general standards shall apply to all nonexempt outdoor lighting fixtures and accent lighting unless specifically noted:

A.    All light trespass as defined in ECC 15.130.120 is prohibited.

B.    Shielding. (See Figures 15.580.040(B)(1) through (4).) Outdoor lighting fixtures and accent lighting with 2,000 lumens or more must be shielded and aimed downward. The shield must mask the direct horizontal surface of the light source. The light must be aimed to ensure that the illumination is only pointing downward onto the ground surface, with no escaping direct light permitted to contribute to light pollution by shining upward into the sky.

C.    All outdoor lighting fixtures and accent lighting shall be designed, installed, located and maintained such that there is no light trespass (see Figure 15.580.040(B)(3)).

D.    Accent lighting shall be directed downward onto the illuminated object or area and not toward the sky or onto adjacent properties (see Figure 15.580.040(B)(4)). Direct light emissions of such accent lighting shall not be visible above the roof line or beyond the building, structure, or object edge.

E.    Bridge, flag, fountain, statue, monument, similar public artwork, feature lighting and private street lighting are permitted provided such lighting does not cause the spilling of direct light to other properties or traveled public ways.

F.    Sports Field Lighting. Lighting shall be fully shielded with an allowance of five percent uplighting. Sports field lighting shall be exempt from the light trespass provisions of this chapter; provided, however, such light shall be extinguished when not in use and fixtures shall be aimed to control light trespass to the extent possible for the mounting height and required shielding.

Figure 15.580.040(B)(1). Wall-mounted lights.

Figure 15.580.040(B)(2). Freestanding outdoor lighting fixtures.

Figure 15.580.040(B)(3). Outdoor lighting fixturesstreet and lot light cut-off at property line.

Figure 15.580.040(B)(4). Accent lighting.

G.    Lighting Standards for All New Nonresidential and Multifamily Development within the City. An exterior lighting plan providing appropriate lighting levels in all areas used by pedestrians or automobiles, including building entries, walkways, parking areas, circulation areas, and other open space areas shall be submitted and meet the following standards and guidelines:

1.    All public areas shall be lighted with average minimum and maximum levels as follows:

a.    Minimum (for low or nonpedestrian and vehicular traffic areas) of 0.5 foot-candles;

b.    Moderate (for moderate or high volume pedestrian areas) of one to two foot-candles; and

c.    Maximum (for high volume pedestrian areas and building entries) of four foot-candles;

2.    Lighting shall be provided at consistent levels, with gradual transitions between maximum and minimum levels of lighting and between lit areas and unlit areas. Highly contrasting pools of light and dark areas shall be avoided;

3.    Parking lot lighting fixtures shall be non-glare and mounted no more than 25 feet above the ground, with lower fixtures preferable so as to maintain a human scale;

4.    Pedestrian-scaled lighting (light fixtures no taller than 15 feet) is encouraged in areas with high anticipated pedestrian activity. Lighting shall enable pedestrians to identify a face 45 feet away in order to promote safety; and

5.    Vegetation and landscaping shall be maintained in a manner that does not obstruct security lighting.

Figure 15.580.040(G). Lighting guidelines.

[Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.580.050 Submission of plans and evidence of compliance with code.

A.    Submission Contents. The applicant for any building permit or subdivision approval required by any provision of the laws of this jurisdiction in connection with proposed work involving outdoor lighting fixtures shall submit (as part of the application for permit or subdivision approval) evidence that the proposed work will comply with this chapter. The submission shall contain but shall not necessarily be limited to the following, all or part of which may be part of or in addition to the information required elsewhere in the laws of this jurisdiction upon application for the required permit or subdivision approval:

1.    Plans indicating the location on the premises of all proposed newly installed or relocated outdoor lighting fixtures;

2.    Description of all proposed newly installed or relocated outdoor lighting fixtures. The description may include, but is not limited to, catalog cuts and illustrations by manufacturers (including sections where required), lamp types, wattages and initial lumen outputs; and

3.    Photometric data, such as that furnished by manufacturers, or similar showing the angle of cut-off of proposed newly installed or relocated outdoor light emissions.

B.    Additional Submission. The above required plans, descriptions and data shall be sufficiently complete to enable the building official to readily determine whether compliance with the requirements of this chapter will be secured. If such plans, descriptions and data cannot enable this ready determination, the applicant shall additionally submit as evidence of compliance to enable such determination such certified reports of tests as will do so; provided, that these tests shall have been performed and certified by a recognized testing laboratory.

C.    Subdivision Plats. If any subdivision proposes to have installed street or other common or public area outdoor lighting, submission of the information as described in subsection (A) of this section shall be required for all such lighting, and the lighting shall comply with the most current version of the city’s public works development standards.

D.    Lamp or Fixture Substitution. Should any outdoor light fixture approved through the imposition of the requirements of this chapter, or the type of light source therein, be changed after the permit has been issued, a change request must be submitted to the building official for approval, together with adequate information to assure compliance with this chapter, which must be received prior to substitution. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.580.060 Approved materials and methods of construction or installation/operation.

A.    Approval of Alternatives. The provisions of this chapter are not intended to prevent the use of any design, material, or method of installation or operation not specifically prescribed by this chapter, provided any such alternate has been approved by the building official to meet the purpose and intent of this chapter. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]