The purpose of these regulations is to provide for ample but not excessive illumination levels, promote the general public health, welfare, and safety, to discourage light trespass beyond the boundaries of the property on which the light is located, as well as to accent key architectural elements and landscape features. (Ord. 5518, 12-14-2009)


The standards of this Section shall apply to the addition or replacement of light fixtures. Additionally, the standards of this Section apply to remedy existing residential lighting that creates nuisances to abutting properties per chapter 1-3 RMC, as defined in RMC 1-3-4A11c(21).


The following are exempt from the provisions of this Section:

1. Signage.

2. Temporary Holiday or Decorative Lighting: Temporary holiday or decorative lighting is exempt provided there is no light trespass beyond property boundaries of the subject site.

3. Official Government Flags: Display lights are permitted when providing illumination of official government flags, provided there is no light trespass beyond property boundaries.

4. Right-of-way lighting.

5. Stadiums, parks, and sports fields.


During development permit review, the Community and Economic Development Administrator shall determine compliance, apply conditions of approval if necessary to achieve compliance, and enforce the provisions of this Section. (Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012)


No use or activity shall cause light trespass beyond the boundaries of the property lines.

1. Building Lights: All building lights shall be directed onto the building itself or the ground immediately abutting to it. The light emissions shall not be visible above the roofline of the building.

2. Parking Lot or Display Lot Lights: Parking lot or display lot light fixtures shall be non-glare and mounted no more than twenty five feet (25') above the ground to minimize the impact onto adjacent and abutting properties. All fixtures shall be fitted with a cutoff type luminaire as exemplified below.


1. Exterior lighting shall be provided in order to enhance visibility and security while accenting key architectural elements and landscape features.

2. The standards portion of this subsection specifies a prescriptive manner in which the landscaping requirement can be met. The guideline portion of this subsection provides direction for those who seek to meet the required design element in a manner that is different from the standards. The determination as to the satisfaction of the requirement through the use of the guidelines is to be made by the Administrator. (Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012)

3. Guidelines: Lighting that is appropriate to the architectural character of the neighborhood and of a human scale shall be provided. Lighting shall be minimal where possible to achieve the desired purpose. Light spillover for all lighting, as well as single source lighting of large areas shall be avoided.

4. Standards:

a. Lighting shall be limited to illumination of surfaces intended for pedestrians, vehicles, or key architectural features.

b. Street lighting on residential access streets and limited residential access streets is required. Lighting facilities and fixtures shall be located outside public right-of-way unless owned, operated and maintained by a power utility franchise. Street lights shall be no taller than sixteen feet (16') and placed at regular intervals of no more than two hundred feet (200') on internal roadways and installed in accordance with chapter 4-6 RMC.

c. Lighting for residential access streets, limited residential access streets, alleyways, common greens, and parks shall be low intensity. Lighting for common greens and parks shall be downlighting.

d. All exterior house lighting shall be downlighting or placed beneath building eaves to prevent light projecting upward.

e. If alley lights are mounted on a garage, they shall be no higher than eight feet (8') above ground and directed away from adjacent backyards and structures.

f. Sidewalks and pathways not otherwise illuminated by street lighting shall be lit with ornamental downlighting fixtures that shall not exceed twelve feet (12') in height. (Ord. 5518, 12-14-2009)


Lighting which does not meet the standards in subsection E of this Section may be permitted by the Administrator as follows: Alternative shielding of lights, or lighting visible above the roofline may be permitted via the site plan development review process for applications requiring such review or via a modification approved by the Administrator in accordance with RMC 4-9-250D for applications which do not require site plan development review. In any case, no use or activity shall cause light trespass beyond the boundaries of the property lines. (Ord. 5518, 12-14-2009; Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012)


A variance to standards, pursuant to RMC 4-9-250, is required to alter any other requirements of this Section that are not allowed to be altered in accordance with subsection F, Modifications to Standards. (Ord. 5518, 12-14-2009)


See RMC 4-8-110. (Ord. 4963, 5-13-2002; Ord. 5518, 12-14-2009)