Chapter 18.17


18.17.010    Purpose.

18.17.020    Definitions.

18.17.030    Scope and applicability.

18.17.040    Exemptions and exceptions.

18.17.050    Approved materials and methods of installation.

18.17.060    Submittals.

18.17.070    General standards.

18.17.080    Nonpermitted lighting.

18.17.090    Appeals.

18.17.100    Violations.

18.17.110    Penalty.

18.17.120    Severability.

18.17.010 Purpose.

This chapter is established for the following purposes:

(1)    To regulate exterior lighting in order to avoid unsafe and unpleasant conditions as the result of poorly designed or installed exterior lighting.

(2)    To discourage excessive lighting.

(3)    To regulate the type of light fixtures, lamps and standards.

(4)    To protect low and low-moderate density residential zones from the ill effects associated with nonresidential and multi-family exterior lighting.

(5)    To create a safe environment during hours of darkness.

(6)    To promote the conservation of energy. (Ord. 1598 § 1 (part), 2007).

18.17.020 Definitions.

The “IES” (Illuminating Engineering Society of North America) Lighting Handbook, most recent edition, the city of Omak zoning code, and the building code shall be used for the definition of terms used in this chapter but not defined herein. In the case where a definition of a term of this chapter is found to be in conflict with a definition of a term of any other ordinance, “IES” handbook or regulation, the more restrictive definition will apply.

“Area light” means light that produces over two thousand fifty lumens. Area lights include, but are not limited to, street lights, parking lot lights and yard lights.

“Automatic timing device” means a device that automatically controls the operation of a light fixture or fixtures, circuit or circuits. Photocells and light and/or motion sensors shall be considered automatic timing devices.

“Average foot-candle” means the level of light measured at an average point of illumination between the brightest and darkest areas. The measurement can be made at the ground surface or at four to five feet above the ground surface.

“Bulb” means the source of electric light to be distinguished from the whole assembly (see “Luminaire”).

“Candela (cd)” means unit of luminous intensity.

“Eighty-five-degree full cut-off type fixtures” means fixtures that do not allow light to escape above an eighty-five-degree angle measured from a vertical line from the center of the lamp extended to the ground.

“Exterior lighting” means temporary or permanent lighting that is installed, located or used in such a manner to cause light rays to shine outside. Fixtures that are installed indoors that are intended to light something outside are considered exterior lighting for the intent of this chapter.

“Fixture” means the assembly that holds the lamp in a lighting system. It includes the elements designed to give light output controls, such as a reflector (mirror) or refractor (lens), the ballast, housing, and the attachment parts.

“Floodlight” means a light that produces up to one thousand eight hundred lumens and is designed to “flood” a well defined area with light. Generally, floodlights produce from one thousand to one thousand eight hundred lumens.

“Foot-candle” means illuminance produced on a surface one foot from the uniform point source of one candela measured by a light meter.

“Full cut-off fixture” means a fixture which, as installed, gives no emission of light above a horizontal plane.

Glare (Direct). “Direct glare” is defined as the visual discomfort resulting from insufficiently shielded light sources in the field of view.

“Holiday lighting” means festoon-type lights, limited to small individual bulbs on a string, where the output per bulb is no greater than fifteen lumens.

“Illuminance” means density of luminous flux incident on a surface. Unit is foot-candle or lux.

“Illuminating devices” means:

(1)    Light Fixture Types.

(A)    Full Cut-off Fixture Types. A fixture which, as installed, gives no emission of light above a horizontal plane.

(B)    Floodlights and Spotlights. Fixtures defined as having a full beam width or beam spread of less than one hundred ten degrees.

(2)    Lamp Types.

(A)    Incandescent Lamps. Lamps which produce light via an electrically heated metallic filament.

(B)    Fluorescent Lamps. Lamps that use fluorescence of a phosphor to produce visible light.

(C)    High Intensity Discharge Lamps. Lamps which produce visible light directly by the electrical heating or excitation of a gas. Examples of such lighting include, but are not limited to, metal halide, high-pressure sodium, low-pressure sodium and mercury vapor. For purposes of this chapter, fluorescent lights are not considered HID lighting.

“Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES or IESNA)” means the professional society of lighting engineers, including those from manufacturing companies, and others professionally involved in lighting.

“Lamp” or “bulb” means the light-producing source installed in the socket portion of a luminaire.

“Light pollution” means any adverse effect of manmade light including, but not limited to, light trespass, uplighting, the uncomfortable distraction to the eye, or any manmade light that diminishes the ability to view the night sky. Often used to denote urban sky glow.

“Lighting” means any or all parts of a luminaire that function to produce light.

“Lighting trespass” means light emitted by a luminaire falls where it is not wanted or needed or shines beyond the property where the luminaire is installed.

“Lumen” means a unit of luminous flux; the flux emitted within a unit solid angle by a point source with a uniform luminous intensity of one candela. One foot-candle is one lumen per square meter.

“Luminaire” means the complete lighting unit, including the lamp, the fixture, and other parts.

Luminance. At a point and a given direction, the luminous intensity in the given direction produced by an element of the surface surrounding the point, divided by the area of the projection of the element on a plane perpendicular to the given direction. Units: candelas per unit area. The “luminance” is the perceived brightness that we see, the visual effect of the illuminance, reflected, emitted or transmitted from a surface.

“Measurement” means:

(1)    Lamp Output.

(A)    Total Output. Measurement of total output is in lumens. This should be understood to be the initial lumen value for the lamp.

(B)    Illuminance. Measurements of illuminance are expressed in initial lumens per square foot. (A desktop illuminance of twenty initial lumens per square foot is adequate for most purposes.)

In measuring illuminance, the light detector should be pointed at the light source or sources. The intervening light path should be free of obstruction.

“Outdoor light fixture” means an outdoor illuminance device, outdoor lighting or reflective surface, luminous tube, lamp or similar device, permanently installed or portable, used for illumination, decoration, or advertisement. Such devices shall include, but are not limited to, lights used for:

(1)    Parking lot lighting;

(2)    Roadway lighting;

(3)    Buildings and structures;

(4)    Recreational areas;

(5)    Landscape buildings;

(6)    Billboards and other signs (advertising or other);

(7)    Product display area lighting;

(8)    Building or structure decoration;

(9)    Building overhangs and open canopies.

“Recessed” means a light built into a structure or portion of a structure such that the light is fully cut off and no part of the light extends or protrudes beyond the underside of a structure or portion of a structure.

“Partially shielded” means the bulb of the fixture is shielded by a translucent siding and the bulb is not visible at all. Light may be emitted at the horizontal level of the bulb.

“Shielded” means the light emitted from the fixture is projected below a horizontal plane running through the lowest point of the fixture where light is emitted. The bulb is not visible with a shielded light fixture, and no light is emitted from the sides of the fixture. Also considered a full cut-off fixture.

“Spotlight” or “floodlight” means any lamp that incorporates a reflector or a refractor to concentrate the light output into a directed beam in a particular direction (see definition for “Floodlight”).

“Temporary lighting” means lighting that is intended to be used for a special event for seven days or less.

“Uplighting” means lighting that is directed in such a manner as to shine light rays above the horizontal plane. (Ord. 1598 § 1 (part), 2007).

18.17.030 Scope and applicability.

(a)    New Lighting. All exterior outdoor lighting installed after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter in any and all zones in the city of Omak shall conform with the requirements established by this chapter and other applicable ordinances unless otherwise exempted. This chapter does not apply to indoor lighting.

(b)    Existing Lighting. All existing lighting located on a subject property that is part of a land use application or building permit, dependent on the value of the project, shall be brought into conformance with this chapter.

(1)    When development or redevelopment exceeds fifty percent of the Okanogan County assessor’s actual value of the existing structure, then:

(A)    All exterior lighting, except existing parking lot lighting, shall be brought up to conformance with this chapter; and

(B)    All existing parking lot light fixtures shall be retrofitted with shielding to prevent light trespass.

(2)    When development or redevelopment exceeds seventy-five percent of the Okanogan County assessor’s actual value of the existing structure, then all exterior lighting fixtures shall be brought into full conformance with the requirements of this chapter.

(3)    Replacement of Fixtures. If an existing light fixture is removed, it shall be replaced with a conforming light fixture.

(c)    Conformity shall occur prior to issuance of certificate of occupancy, final inspection, or final plat recordation, when applicable.

(d)    The regulation of sign lighting is governed by Chapter 14.24, Sign Code. (Ord. 1598 § 1 (part), 2007).

18.17.040 Exemptions and exceptions.

(a)    Federally funded and state-funded roadway construction projects are exempted from the requirements of this chapter only to the extent it is necessary to comply with federal and state requirements.

(b)    These regulations do not apply to public rights-of-way and shall not conflict with the city of Omak street light standards and design criteria.

(c)    These regulations do not apply to individual dwelling units, with the exception to common areas, which are regulated. Examples of common areas include, but are not limited to, pathways, clubhouses, shared driveways, parking lots and play areas.

(d)    Fossil Fuel Light. Fossil fuel light produced directly or indirectly by the combustion of natural gas or other utility-type fossil fuels is exempted from the provisions of this chapter.

(e)    Holiday Lighting.

(f)    Lighting of sports facilities or stadiums prior to eleven p.m. Illumination after eleven p.m. is also permitted if it is necessary in order to conclude a recreational, or sporting or other scheduled activity, which is in progress prior to that time.

(g)    Specialized lighting necessary for safety, such as navigation or runway lighting of airports, or temporary lighting associated with emergency operations, road hazard warnings, etc.

(h)    Traffic control signals and devices. (Ord. 1598 § 1 (part), 2007).

18.17.050 Approved materials and methods of installation.

The provisions of this chapter are not intended to prevent the use of any design, material or method of installation or operation not specifically prohibited by this chapter, provided such alternative design, material or method conforms with the intent of this chapter and has been approved by the building official. The building official/administrator may approve an alternate design provided he/she finds that:

(1)    It complies with the applicable specific requirements of this chapter; or

(2)    It has been designed or approved by a registered professional engineer and complies with the purpose of this chapter. (Ord. 1598 § 1 (part), 2007).

18.17.060 Submittals.

All applications for building permits or land use planning reviews which include installation of outdoor lighting shall include lighting plans conforming to the provisions of this chapter.

(1)    The submittal shall contain the following information and be submitted as part of the site plan to the planning and building department for approval:

(A)    Plans indicating the location, type, intensity, and height of luminaires including both building- and ground-mounted fixtures;

(B)    A description of the luminaires, including lamps, poles or other supports and shielding devices, which may be provided as catalogue illustrations from the manufacturer;

(C)    Photometric data, such as that furnished by the manufacturer, showing the angle of light emission and the foot-candles on the ground; and

(D)    Additional information as may be required by the city in order to determine compliance with this chapter.

(2)    Applications for single-/multi-family residential or other projects where any single outdoor light fixture exceeds two thousand fifty lumens output shall be required to comply with subsection (1) of this section. (Ord. 1598 § 1 (part), 2007).

18.17.070 General standards.

The following general standards shall apply to all outdoor lighting installed after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, which is not exempted above:

(1)    Site lighting trespass onto adjacent residential zones shall be minimized.

(2)    Site lighting shall minimize light spill into the dark night sky.

(3)    All areas lights, including street lights and parking area lighting, shall be full cut-off fixtures and are encouraged to be eighty-five-degree full cut-off type fixtures. Street lights shall be high-pressure sodium, low-pressure sodium, or metal halide, unless otherwise determined by the city that another type is more efficient.

(4)    Canopy Lights. Lighting fixtures mounted under canopies used for vehicular shelter shall be aimed downward and installed such that the bottom of the light fixture or its lens, whichever is lower, is recessed or mounted flush with the bottom surface of the canopy. A full cut-off light fixture may project below the underside of a canopy. All light emitted by an under-canopy fixture shall be substantially confined to the ground surface directly beneath the perimeter of the canopy. No lighting, except that permitted by the sign code, shall be permitted on the top or sides of a canopy.

(5)    Open Air Parking Lot Lighting.

(A)    Open air parking lots shall comply with the standards of this section in addition to the other requirements of this chapter.

(B)    Open air parking lot lighting shall be designed to provide adequate vision, comfort and safety.

(C)    Open air parking lot lighting shall be designed to provide for uniform lighting throughout the facility with no dark patches or pockets.

(D)    Open air parking lot lighting shall be designed to provide the minimum value of lighting necessary for the safety and identification of features.

(E)    The maximum permissible mounting height of open air parking lot lighting fixtures shall be twenty-five feet.

(6)    Illumination Levels. Illumination levels and uniformity shall be in accordance with current recommended practices of the Illuminating Engineering Society. Recommended standards of the Illuminating Engineering Society shall not be exceeded.

(7)    All outdoor lighting systems shall be designed and operated so that the area twenty feet beyond the property line of the premises receives no more than one-half of a foot-candle of light from the premises lighting system.

(8)    Temporary Lighting. Temporary lighting that conforms to the requirements of this chapter shall be allowed. Nonconforming temporary exterior lighting may be permitted by the building official only after considering: (A) the public and/or private benefits which will result from the use of temporary lighting; (B) any annoyance or safety problems that may result from the use of the temporary lighting; and (C) the duration of the temporary nonconforming lighting. The applicant shall submit a detailed description of the proposed temporary nonconforming lighting to the building official.

(9)    Towers. All radio, communication, and navigation towers that require lights shall have dual lighting capabilities. For daytime, the white strobe light may be used, and for nighttime, only red lights shall be used.

(10)    Flagpoles. A flagpole meeting the requirements of Section 14.24.060(d) may be illuminated by one upward-aimed, fully shielded spotlight light fixture which shall not exceed three thousand five hundred lumens. The light fixture shall be placed as close to the base of the flagpole as reasonably possible. (Ord. 1598 § 1 (part), 2007).

18.17.080 Nonpermitted lighting.

(a)    Newly installed fixtures, which are not full cut-off fixtures.

(b)    Lighting which presents a clear hazard to motorists, cyclists, or pedestrians.

(c)    Any light fixture which may be confused with or construed as a traffic control device.

(d)    Searchlights, beacons, and laser source light fixtures, except as provided for in Section 18.17.070(8). (Ord. 1598 § 1 (part), 2007).

18.17.090 Appeals.

If an application is denied, an individual shall have the right of appeal to the city of Omak hearing examiner. (Ord. 1598 § 1 (part), 2007).

18.17.100 Violations.

Any person, firm or corporation violating any part of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to have committed a civil infraction of the laws of the city. (Ord. 1598 § 1 (part), 2007).

18.17.110 Penalty.

Any person, firm or corporation deemed to have committed this civil infraction of the laws of the city shall be subject to civil penalty of up to five hundred dollars for each day or portion thereof during which any violation of this chapter is committed or permitted. (Ord. 1598 § 1 (part), 2007).

18.17.120 Severability.

The provisions of this chapter are severable and if any paragraph, section, subsection, or part of this chapter is held to be invalid, unenforceable, or inapplicable to any person or circumstance, such illegality, invalidity, unconstitutionality, or inapplicability shall not affect or impair the remainder of this chapter. (Ord. 1598 § 1 (part), 2007).