Chapter 15.52


15.52.010    Intent and purpose.

15.52.020    Definitions.

15.52.030    General requirements.

15.52.040    Procedures.

15.52.050    Acts declared unlawful.

15.52.060    Conditional exemptions.

15.52.070    Nonconforming outdoor lighting.

15.52.080    Enforcement.

15.52.090    Violation--Penalty.

15.52.010 Intent and purpose.

The purpose and intent of this chapter is:

A.    To protect a dark nighttime sky and visual environment near the Goldendale Observatory;

B.    To prevent excessive illumination, glare, and reflection;

C.    To provide safe lighting where needed for safety and security;

D.    To allow for flexibility in the style of lighting fixtures; and

E.    To provide assistance to property owners in reducing nighttime light pollution, light trespass, glare and skyglow by bringing nonconforming lighting into conformance with this chapter.  (Ord. 1470 §1(part), 2017:  Ord. 1341 §1(part), 2005)

15.52.020 Definitions.

“Full cut-off fixture” means a fixture designed and installed where no light is emitted, refracted or reflected at or above a horizontal plane running through the lowest point on the fixture (Figure 1 provides sample types of full cut-off fixtures).

Figure 1

“Glare” means the lighting entering the eye directly from luminaires or indirectly from reflective surfaces that causes visual discomfort or reduced visibility.

“Lumens (LM)” means a rated output by an industry recognized listing agency.

“Outdoor lighting” means any lighting not within a completely enclosed building.  (Ord. 1470 §1(part), 2017:  Ord. 1341 §1(part), 2005)

15.52.030 General requirements.

A.    Shielding.  All outdoor light fixtures shall be designed, located and lamped with full cut-off fixtures to prevent glare.

B.    Types of Fixtures.  All outdoor lighting shall use full cut-off fixtures with the light source downcast and fully shielded, with the following exceptions:

1.    One fixture per single-family residence that has a maximum output of one thousand LM, regardless of the number of illumination elements (equal to or about one sixty-watt incandescent light), may be left partially shielded provided the fixture has an opaque top or is under an opaque structure.

2.    Sensor activated fixtures that are set to only go on when activated and to go off within five minutes after activation has ceased.

3.    Private and commercial holiday lighting.

4.    Sign lighting wholly enclosed from the inside.

5.    Lighting of radio, communication and navigation towers where the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has required a light that does not meet the requirements of this chapter.

C.    Lighting Replacement.  All replacements of existing mercury vapor lamps or other existing outdoor lighting fixtures shall meet the requirements of this section.  (Ord. 1470 §1(part), 2017:  Ord. 1341 §1(part), 2005)

15.52.040 Procedures.

All permit or development applications that require land use review shall include outdoor lighting plans showing location, type of all proposed outdoor lighting in sufficient detail to demonstrate compliance with the provisions of this chapter.  (Ord. 1470 §1(part), 2017)

15.52.050 Acts declared unlawful.

It is unlawful for any individual to engage in the following activities:

A.    The operation of a searchlight for advertising purposes between eleven p.m. and sunrise;

B.    The illumination after eleven p.m. of an outdoor public recreation facility, unless a specific recreational activity is already in progress;

C.    The use of quartz or metal halide lamps for outdoor illumination.  (Ord. 1470 §1(part), 2017:  Ord. 1341 §1(part), 2005. Formerly 15.52.040)

15.52.060 Conditional exemptions.

A.    Any property owner may submit a written request to the board of adjustment for an exemption to the requirements of this chapter.  The request for the exemption shall contain as a minimum the following information:

1.    Type and use of outdoor light fixture involved;

2.    Specific exemption requested;

3.    Total lumen of lamp or lamps;

4.    Proposed location of outdoor light; and

5.    Duration of use of outdoor lighting exemption.

B.    In addition to the above data, the board of adjustment may request any additional information which would enable the board to make a reasonable evaluation of the request for exemption.  (Ord. 1470 §1(part), 2017:  Ord. 1341 §1(part), 2005. Formerly 15.52.050)

15.52.070 Nonconforming outdoor lighting.

All nonconforming outdoor lighting fixtures installed prior to and operable after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this revised and amended chapter shall be removed or converted to a conforming use within seven years.  (Ord. 1470 §1(part), 2017)

15.52.080 Enforcement.

The building official or his/her duly appointed alternate is authorized and directed to perform all acts necessary and appropriate to enforce and to give effect to this chapter.  (Ord. 1470 §1(part), 2017:  Ord. 1341 §1(part), 2005. Formerly 15.52.070)

15.52.090 Violation--Penalty.

Any person, firm or corporation that fails to comply with, or violates any of the provisions of this chapter, is guilty of a civil infraction as provided in Section 1.20.010.  (Ord. 1470 §1(part), 2017:  Ord. 1341 §1(part), 2005, Formerly 15.52.080)