Chapter 8.55


8.55.010    Title/purpose.

8.55.020    Applicability.

8.55.030    Effect on other codes.

8.55.040    Definitions.

8.55.050    Requirements.

8.55.060    Special exemptions.

8.55.070    Severability.

8.55.080    Penalty.

8.55.010 Title/purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to improve nighttime public safety, utility and security by restricting the nighttime emission of light rays which are the source of light trespass and/or unnecessary glare, and/or are detrimental to the safety and/or security of persons, property or vehicular traffic, and/or are detrimental to the traditional aesthetic values of the Town of East Troy, and/or unnecessarily restrict persons from the peaceful enjoyment of their property. (2008 code § 10.13(1))

8.55.020 Applicability.

The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all outdoor luminaries used, installed, replaced, altered, moved or repaired after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, except as this applicability is specifically expanded or reduced herein. (2008 code § 10.13(2))

8.55.030 Effect on other codes.

The provisions of this chapter are intended to supplement other applicable codes and requirements. Compliance with all applicable provisions of building, zoning, electrical and other codes must be observed. In the event of a conflict between the requirements of this chapter and other requirements, the more stringent requirement shall apply. (2008 code § 10.13(3))

8.55.040 Definitions.

“Light shield” means any attachment which interrupts and blocks the path of light emitted from a luminary or fixture.

“Light trespass” means light emitted by a luminary that shines beyond the boundaries of the property on which the luminary is located with an intensity greater than one-half foot candle at a point four feet above the ground at the property’s boundary line and/or at a point four feet above the surface of the water and 150 feet from the property’s shoreline when measured on the water.

“Lighted sign” means a variety of light that is characterized by being in the form of glass tubes filled with neon, argon or krypton that is located outdoors, or faces outdoors; and also a variety of light characterized by being in the form of translucent material that depicts a sign or other display, that is illuminated wholly from within, and that is located outdoors, or faces outdoors.

“Luminary” means the complete lighting system, including lamp and the fixture.

“Private driveway” means any way (1) serving not more than three lots, (2) used primarily for ingress and egress to and from said lots by motor vehicles, and (3) for which ingress and egress right is established by private easement and/or private ownership.

“Private road” means any street, highway, road or other way that is privately owned that is used primarily for ingress and egress to and from lots by motor vehicles, and that is not a private driveway as defined herein.

“Public street” means any street, highway, road or other way owned by or dedicated to the Town of East Troy or governmental entity and used primarily for public travel in motor vehicles. (2008 code § 10.13(4))

8.55.050 Requirements.

1.    Light Trespass. All outdoor luminaries shall be located, sized, shielded and/or directed in such a manner that they do not constitute light trespass as defined herein.

2.    Hours of Operation. All outdoor luminaries must be turned off between 11:00 p.m. (local time) and sunrise except when used for:

a.    Lighting necessary for security purposes; or

b.    Lighting necessary to illuminate walkways, staircases, or public street and/or private roads.

3.    Searchlights. The outdoor operation of searchlights, lasers or other high-intensity beams is prohibited except when authorized by conditional use or as authorized under ETMC 8.55.060(1).

4.    Safety. No outdoor luminaries may be operated in such manner as to constitute a hazard or danger to persons, or to safe vehicular or boating operation.

5.    Illuminating Elevated Objects. In the case of state and national flags, statues, entrance way markers, or other top of pole-mounted objects which cannot be illuminated with downward directed lighting, upward directed lighting may be used only in the form of one or two narrow cone spotlights which confines the illumination to the object of interest, and provided that the lighting is restricted to an angle of not less than 75 degrees up from horizontal.

6.    Pole Fixtures. Outdoor light pole fixtures shall not exceed a maximum height of 25 feet.

7.    Lighted Signs. Lighted signs, as defined herein, are prohibited. (2008 code § 10.13(5))

8.55.060 Special exemptions.

The following are exempt from the requirements of this chapter, to the extent described as follows:

1.    Temporary Exemption. Request for temporary exemption from the provisions of this chapter may be submitted to the Town Clerk in written form describing the reason for the request and the nature of the request. The Town Clerk shall provide the Town Board with this request for its approval. If approved and granted in writing by the Town Board, such exemption shall be in force for not more than 30 days. Request for a maximum of one 30-day renewal may be made in a similar manner. The Town Board may terminate any temporary exemption for any reasonable cause, including but not limited to concerns about safety or light trespass.

2.    Low Voltage. All low voltage landscape or accent lighting and holiday lighting are exempt from the requirements of this chapter, except for the requirements of ETMC 8.55.050(1) and (4).

3.    Security. Motion detector security lights, which are normally “off” and which are activated “on” for less than four minutes occasionally when motion is detected, are exempt from the requirements of this chapter, but are not exempt from ETMC 8.55.050(1) or (4).

4.    Public and Private Roads. Outdoor luminaries used to provide illumination for public streets and private roads are exempt from the requirements of this chapter.

All reasonable attempts shall be made to meet the goals of this chapter and to eliminate light trespass from all outdoor luminaries used to provide illumination for public streets and private roads whether existing, newly installed or replacement and whether low pressure sodium light fixtures or high pressure sodium light fixtures are used. (2008 code § 10.13(6))

8.55.070 Severability.

The several sections of this chapter are declared to be severable. If any section or portion thereof shall be declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, unlawful or unenforceable, such decision shall apply only to the specific section or portion thereof directly specified in the decision, and shall not affect the validity of any other provisions, sections or portions thereof of the chapter. The remainder of the chapter shall remain in full force and effect. Any other ordinances whose terms are in conflict with the provisions of this chapter are hereby repealed as to those terms that conflict. (2008 code § 10.13(7))

8.55.080 Penalty.

1.    General Penalty. Except as otherwise provided, any person who shall violate this chapter shall upon conviction thereof forfeit not less than $100.00 nor more than $250.00 together with the costs of prosecution.

2.    Continuing Violations. Each violation and each day a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. Nothing in this chapter shall preclude the Town from maintaining any appropriate action to prevent or remove a violation of any provision of this chapter. (2008 code § 10.13(8))