Chapter 17.55
NONRESIDENTIAL LIGHTING STANDARDS

Sections:

17.55.010    Purpose.

17.55.020    Applicability.

17.55.030    General requirements.

17.55.040    Lighting standards for uses within 50 feet of residential zones.

17.55.050    Outdoor parking lot lighting.

17.55.060    Exterior and parking lot lighting in transition overlays.

17.55.070    Canopy lighting and lighting of service stations.

17.55.080    Outdoor performance, sport and recreation facilities and playfields.

17.55.090    Security lighting.

17.55.100    Architectural accent lighting.

17.55.110    Landscape lighting.

17.55.120    Temporary lighting.

17.55.130    Effect on other codes.

17.55.140    Nonconforming fixtures.

17.55.150    Severability.

17.55.010 Purpose.

This chapter is established for the following purposes:

A. To regulate exterior lighting to avoid unsafe and unpleasant conditions.

B. To discourage excessive lighting.

C. To regulate the types of fixtures, lamps and standards installed in the city.

D. To protect all residential zones from the ill effects of nonresidential lighting.

E. To create a safe environment during hours of darkness. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.55.020 Applicability.

A. All new construction proposals for nonresidential projects and all proposals for nonresidential remodeling, redevelopment and/or expansion.

B. These regulations do not apply to residential construction (single-family, multifamily, duplexes, triplexes, apartments and rowhouses) or to residential common areas.

C. These regulations do not apply to traffic lights; light standards installed on street rights-of-way; lighting necessary for emergency equipment and work conducted for the health, safety, and welfare of the community; or temporary holiday lighting.

D. These regulations do not apply to sign lighting (see WRMC Title 19).

E. These regulations do not apply to safety lighting, hazard warning lighting, or other similar lighting which may be required by state or federal agencies. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.55.030 General requirements.

A. Light trespass from nonresidential uses onto adjacent residential zones shall be minimized.

B. Except for intermittent security lighting on motion detectors, all lights more than seven feet above the ground shall be downward directional lighting. The fixture’s housing must be totally opaque. Clear or refractive lenses shall not extend below the housing.

C. Where practical, exterior lighting installations shall include timers, dimmers, sensors, or photocell controllers that turn the lights off during daylight hours or hours when lighting is not needed, to reduce overall energy consumption and eliminate unneeded lighting.

D. Exterior lighting installations shall be designed to avoid harsh contrasts in lighting levels.

E. Fixtures and lighting systems established for safety and security shall be in good working order and shall not be diverted to other uses.

F. Project applicants shall submit an overall exterior lighting plan containing information sufficient to determine that the provisions of this chapter will be satisfied. The exterior lighting plan shall include the following:

1. Manufacturer specification sheets, cut-sheets or other manufacturer provided information for each type of proposed lighting fixture.

2. The proposed location, mounting height, and aiming point of all exterior lighting fixtures.

3. Structural illumination drawings shall be provided for all illuminated elevations and shall include: fixture locations, the portions of the elevations to be illuminated, the illuminance levels of the elevations, and the aiming point for all remote light fixtures.

4. The city may require additional supporting documents for a proposed lighting plan if necessary. Such additional information could include:

a. A brief written narrative, with accompanying plan or sketch, which demonstrates the objectives of the lighting.

b. Photometric data, color rendering index (CRI) of all lamps (bulbs), and other descriptive information on the fixtures, and if applicable or required, designation as Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) cut-off fixtures.

c. Computer generated photometric grid showing foot-candle readings every 10 feet within the property or site, and 10 feet beyond the property lines at a scale specified by the community development director. Iso-footcandle contour line style plans are also acceptable.

d. Landscaping information that indicates mature tree size, shrubbery and other vegetation in order to evaluate the long-term and seasonal effectiveness of lighting or screening of lighting. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.55.040 Lighting standards for uses within 50 feet of residential zones.

A. For exterior lighting installations and fixtures within 50 feet of a residential zone, the following requirements shall apply:

1. Lighting fixtures shall be no higher than 15 feet.

2. Lighting fixtures shall be aimed and shielded in a manner that shall not direct illumination on adjacent residential zones. Fixtures should be of a type or adequately shielded to prevent glare from normal viewing angles.

3. Additional landscaping may be required by the city to provide adequate light screening between commercial zones and existing residential zones. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.55.050 Outdoor parking lot lighting.

A. Parking lots shall comply with the standards of this section in addition to the requirements of Chapter 17.57 WRMC, Off-Street Parking (B-P).

B. For multilevel parking facilities, the roof level shall be considered an outdoor parking lot.

C. Lighting shall be designed to provide adequate vision, comfort and safety.

D. Lighting shall be designed to provide uniform lighting throughout the facility.

E. Lighting shall be designed to provide the minimum level of lighting necessary for user safety and identification of features.

F. Lighting shall not cause direct illumination on adjacent or nearby properties and streets. Fixtures shall be adequately shielded to prevent glare from normal viewing angles on adjacent and nearby properties and streets.

G. Light fixtures shall direct illumination only in a downward direction.

H. The following mounting height regulations shall apply to open-air parking lot lighting fixtures. Mounting height shall be measured as the vertical distance between the parking surface and the bottom of the lighting fixture:

1. The maximum permissible mounting height of lighting fixtures within 50 feet of a residential zone shall be 15 feet.

2. The maximum permissible mounting height of lighting fixtures on top or roof level of parking structures shall be 15 feet.

3. Lighting fixtures shall be no higher than the average height of the adjacent roofline with the maximum height being no more than 25 feet.

4. New lighting fixtures installed in, or adjacent to, an existing outdoor parking lot shall be no higher than those already in use in the contiguous parking areas.

a. Increases from allowable lighting levels when risk to individual or property security is demonstrated may be approved administratively. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.55.060 Exterior and parking lot lighting in transition overlays.

A. See Chapter 17.75 WRMC when compliance with transitional regulations is required for location of transition overlays and identification of protected and complying zones.

B. Within transition overlays, exterior lighting shall be designed, located, constructed, and maintained to minimize light and reflected light trespass into protected zones.

C. Within transition overlays, interior parking structure lighting shall be designed, located, constructed, and maintained so light and reflected light does not spill over or intrude into protected zones. The structure shall be designed and constructed so that light from moving and parked cars within the structure does not spill over or intrude into protected zones. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.55.070 Canopy lighting and lighting of service stations.

A. Lighting levels shall be adequate to facilitate activity in such locations.

B. To minimize extent of direct glare, light fixtures mounted to canopies shall be recessed so the lens cover does not extend below the bottom surface (ceiling) of the canopy or fixture housing and the emitted light is restrained to 85 degrees or less from vertical (see following illustration).

Recessed Fixture

C. As an alternative (or supplement) to recessed ceiling lights, indirect lighting may be used where light is beamed upward and then reflected down from the underside of the canopy. When this method is used, light fixtures must be shielded so that direct illumination is focused exclusively on the underside of the canopy.

D. Lights shall not be mounted on the top or sides (fascias) of the canopy. The sides (fascias of the canopy) shall not be illuminated in a manner other than as prescribed in WRMC Title 19. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.55.080 Outdoor performance, sport and recreation facilities and playfields.

A. Lighting levels for outdoor performance areas, sport and recreation facilities, and playfields shall not exceed by more than five percent the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) published standards for the proposed activity.

B. Where playing fields or other special activity areas are to be illuminated, lighting fixtures shall be mounted, aimed and shielded so that their beams fall within the primary playing area and immediate surroundings, and so that no direct illumination is directed off the site.

C. The main lighting shall be turned off as soon as possible following the end of the event.

D. The requirements of WRMC 17.55.040 shall apply to uses identified in this section. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.55.090 Security lighting.

A. “Security lighting” is defined as lighting designed and used to discourage crime and undesirable activity.

B. Security lighting should use the lowest possible illumination to effectively allow surveillance.

C. The use of sensor technologies, timers or other means to activate lighting in times when it is needed may be required by the city to conserve energy, provide safety, and promote compatibility between different land uses.

D. In order to direct light downward, all security lighting fixtures shall be full cut-off fixtures.

E. Lighting shall be shielded and aimed so that illumination is directed to the areas of concern.

F. Where security lighting is proposed, IESNA minimum and maximum guidelines are to be followed. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.55.100 Architectural accent lighting.

A. Fixtures used to accent architectural features, materials, colors, style of buildings, or art shall be located, aimed and shielded so that light is directed only on those features.

B. Lighting fixtures shall not generate excessive light levels, cause glare, or direct light beyond the facade onto neighboring property or streets.

C. Exterior lighting which may be considered a nuisance or hazard may be reduced or restricted or otherwise controlled upon such a determination by the community development director or other authorized administrator. Such action shall be provided to the building owner and/or manager within 10 days of the initial use and inspection of the exterior lighting installation.

D. Flags of the United States or Washington State may be illuminated from below, provided such lighting is focused primarily on the individual flag or flags. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.55.110 Landscape lighting.

Illumination of landscaping shall utilize diffused or muted lighting, avoid glare, and minimize light trespass and escape beyond landscaping onto neighboring property, streets, or the night sky. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.55.120 Temporary lighting.

A. Lighting used to illuminate temporary uses shall be reviewed, and if necessary conditioned, through the temporary use permit process.

B. The city may impose specific conditions for the lighting of temporary uses consistent with the purposes of this title. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.55.130 Effect on other codes.

The provisions of this title are intended to supplement other applicable codes and requirements. Compliance with all applicable provisions of building, electrical and other codes must be observed. In the event of a conflict between the requirements of this code and other requirements, the more restrictive requirement shall apply. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.55.140 Nonconforming fixtures.

A. All outdoor lighting fixtures existing and legally installed and operative before the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title are exempt from the requirements of this title.

B. When a nonconforming fixture is replaced, the replacement shall meet the requirements of this title. Nonconforming, preexisting fixtures may not be relocated to any location on or within an individual property or project site within the city limits without a variance to do so. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.55.150 Severability.

The provisions of this chapter are declared to be separate and severable, and the invalidity of any section, subsection, provision, clause, or portion of this chapter, or the invalidity of the application thereof to any person or circumstance, shall not affect the validity of the remainder of this chapter or the validity of this application to other persons or circumstances. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].