Chapter 15.24


15.24.010    Definitions.

15.24.020    Requirements generally.

15.24.030    Prohibited lighting.

15.24.040    Exemptions.

15.24.050    Appeals – Variances.

15.24.060    Conflict with other provisions.

15.24.070    Enforcement authority.

15.24.010 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

A. “Individual” means any private individual, tenant, lessee, owner or any commercial entity including, but not limited to, companies, partnerships, joint ventures or corporations.

B. “Installed” means the initial installation of outdoor light fixtures as defined in subsection (C) of this section made subsequent to the enactment of the ordinance codified in this chapter and shall not pertain or apply to those outdoor light fixtures existing at the time of enactment of the ordinance codified in this chapter or those outdoor light fixtures for street lighting projects on order or in stock at the time of enactment of the ordinance codified in this chapter; provided, that a list, detailing the quantity and description, by order or stock number, of any such lighting fixtures on order or in stock is filed with the Building Inspector of the City within 90 days of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter.

C. “Outdoor light fixtures” includes but is not limited to lighting for billboards, street lights, shopping center parking area lights, externally or internally illuminated on-site or business advertising signs and area-type lighting. [1956 Code § 4-901.]

15.24.020 Requirements generally.

A. All outdoor light fixtures, installed on or after 90 days from the enactment of the ordinance codified in this chapter shall be shielded from above in such a manner that the edge of the shield is level with or below the center of the light source, so that any direct light emitted from the horizontal is minimized. Light-directing refractors shall be considered to be light sources.

B. The approved light source for streets, parking lots and other area-type lighting shall be clear mercury vapor, high-pressure sodium vapor or other similar lighting as approved by the City. [Ord. 1251 § 3, 1980; 1956 Code § 4-902.]

15.24.030 Prohibited lighting.

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

A. The operation of a searchlight for advertising purposes between midnight and sunrise;

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

C. The outside illumination of any building, public or private, by floodlight projected above the horizontal between midnight and sunrise; provided, that this prohibition shall not apply to any emergency lighting as may be required by any public service agency engaged in the performance of their duties;

D. The illumination of outdoor signs by floodlighting projected above the horizontal, between midnight and sunrise. [Ord. 1251 § 1, 1980; 1956 Code § 4-903.]

15.24.040 Exemptions.

The following shall be exempted from the provisions of this chapter:

A. Outdoor light fixtures of all types within the City limits existing prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter;

B. Private residential incandescent outdoor illumination;

C. Light produced directly by the combustion of natural gas or other fuels;

D. Signs in which light is produced by glass tubing filled with neon, argon and/or krypton;

E. Signs of the type constructed of translucent materials and wholly illuminated from within which are in compliance with SMC 15.24.020;

F. Fluorescent-type lamps having at least eight percent of total emergent flux lying in the spectral region above 4,900 angstrom units;

G. Private and commercial holiday lighting. [1956 Code § 4-904.]

15.24.050 Appeals – Variances.

A. In order that the provisions of this chapter may reasonably be applied in instances where practical difficulties are apparent or unnecessary hardships would result from carrying out the strict letter of this chapter, or in cases where the applicant deems himself aggrieved, an appeal may be made to the City Council, and the Council shall have the power to vary, by resolution, the mandatory provisions of this chapter in any specific case in such a manner that substantial justice is done and the spirit and purpose of the provisions of this chapter are upheld.

B. Such appeal shall be made in writing to the Council by filing with the City Clerk a written notice of such appeal, setting forth the specific grounds or basis thereof. The City Clerk shall forthwith set such matter for hearing before the Council and cause notice thereof to be given to the applicant not less than five days prior to such hearing unless the giving of such notice is waived in writing by the applicant. At such hearing, the applicant shall show cause on the grounds specified in the notice of appeal why the requirements of this chapter should not apply in specific instance. The Council may continue such hearing from time to time, and its findings on the appeal shall be final and conclusive in the matter. [1956 Code § 4-905.]

15.24.060 Conflict with other provisions.

Where a provision of this code, the Washington Revised Statutes, or the United States Code requires for the purpose of health, welfare or public safety a lighting requirement contrary to the provisions of this chapter, that provision shall prevail over any and all requirements of this chapter. [1956 Code § 4-906.]

15.24.070 Enforcement authority.

The Building Inspector is authorized and directed to perform all acts necessary and appropriate to enforce and to give effect to this chapter. [1956 Code § 4-907.]