ORDINANCE 1966, SERIES 1998
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 6 OF THE DAVIS
MUNICIPAL CODE PERTAINING TO OUTDOOR LIGHTING CONTROL
THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF DAVIS DOES HEREBY ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Article VIII of Chapter 6 of the Davis Municipal Code is hereby added as follows:
Article VIII. OUTDOOR LIGHTING CONTROL
Sec. 6-58. Findings.
The purpose of this article is to create standards for outdoor lighting to minimize light pollution, glare, and light trespass caused by inappropriate or misaligned light fixtures, while improving nighttime public safety, utility, and security, and preser
ving the night sky as a natural resource and thus peoples enjoyment of looking at the stars.
Sec. 6-59. Definitions.
Unless the context specifically indicates otherwise, the following terms and phrases, as used in this article, shall have the meanings designated in this section:
- "Building Official" shall mean the Building Official of the City of Davis or his/her representative.
- "Fully Shielded" shall mean a technique or method of construction and/or manufacture which does not allow any light dispersion to shine above the horizontal plane from the lowest light emitting point of the light fixture. In addition, the l
ight emitting, distributing, reflecting and refracting components of the light fixture, i.e. lamp, lens, reflective surface, etc., shall not extend beyond the shielding of the fixture. Any structural part of the light fixture providing this shielding sh
all be permanently affixed to the light fixture.
- "Glare" shall mean artificial light that causes annoyance, discomfort, or loss of visual performance and visibility.
- "Installed" shall mean the initial installation of outdoor light fixtures defined herein, following the effective date of this article. A project with an approved building permit prior to the effective date of this ordinance is excluded fro
m compliance with the article for the initial installation only.
- "Light pollution" shall mean any artificial light which causes a detrimental effect through uplighting on the environment, astronomical research, and/or enjoyment of the night sky or causes undesirable glare or light trespass.
- "Light trespass" shall mean artificial light that produces an unnecessary and unwanted illumination of an adjacent property.
- "Luminous tube lighting" shall mean gas-filled tubing which, when subjected to high voltage, becomes luminescent in a color characteristic of the particular gas used, e.g. neon, argon, etc.
- "Outdoor light fixtures" shall mean outdoor electrically powered illuminating devices, outdoor light or reflective or refractive surfaces, lamps and similar devices including all parts used to distribute the light and/or protect the lamp, pe
rmanently installed or portable, used for flood lighting, general illumination or advertisement.
Such devices shall include, but are not limited to, search, spot, and flood lights for:
- buildings and structures, including canopies and overhangs;
- recreation facilities;
- bike paths, greenbelts and parks;
- parking lot lighting;
- landscape lighting;
- billboards and other signs (advertising and other);
- street lighting;
- display and service areas; and
- walkway lighting
- "Outdoor recreation facility" shall mean an area designed for active recreation, whether publicly or privately owned, including, but not limited to, baseball and softball diamonds, soccer and football fields, golf courses, tennis courts and
- "Public Works Director" shall mean the Public Works Director of the City of Davis or his/her representative.
- "Uplighting" shall mean any artificial light source that distributes light above
an imaginary horizontal plane passing through the lowest light emitting point of the light fixture.
Sec. 6-60. General Requirements
- All outdoor light fixtures installed after the effective date of this article and thereafter maintained upon private property used for commercial, industrial or multi-family purposes, as defined in the Zoning Code of the City of Davis, shall be fully
shielded. In addition, light trespass and glare shall be limited to a reasonable level through the use of shielding, and directional lighting methods, including, but not limited to, fixture location and height.
- All outdoor light fixtures installed after the effective date of this article and thereafter maintained upon public property or in the public right-of-way shall be fully shielded. In addition, light trespass and glare shall be limited to a reasonable
the use of shielding, and directional lighting methods, including, but not limited to, fixture location and height.
- Externally illuminated signs, advertising displays, billboards, and building identification shall use top mounted light fixtures which shine light downward and which are fully shielded.
- Low-pressure sodium lighting by itself shall not be used in outdoor light fixtures due to poor color rendition and the need by public safety personnel to identify color in the nighttime environment. A combination of low pressure sodium lighting and
other type(s) of lighting, such as, fluorescent, may be used if color rendition can be maintained.
- Outdoor light fixtures used to illuminate flags, statues, or any other objects mounted on a pole, pedestal, or platform shall use a very narrow cone of light for the purpose of confining the light to the object of interest and minimize spill-light and
- Outdoor light fixtures used for outdoor recreational facilities shall be fully shielded except when such shielding would cause an impairment to the visibility required in the intended recreational activity. In such cases, partially shielded fixtures
and directional lighting methods shall be utilized to limit light pollution, glare and light trespass to a reasonable level, as determined by the Building Official, without diminishing the performance standards of the intended recreational activity. Illu
mination from recreational facility light fixtures shall be shielded to minimize glare extending toward roadways where impairment of motorist vision might cause a hazard.
- In addition to the provisions in this article, all outdoor light fixtures shall be installed in conformity with all other applicable provisions of this municipal code.
Sec. 6-61. Exemptions.
- All outdoor light fixtures existing and legally installed prior to the effective date of this article are exempt from the provisions of this article, provided, however, that no replacement, structural alteration, or restoration of outdoor light fixtur
es shall be made unless it thereafter conforms to the provisions of this article. However, exemptions shall be granted to this conformance standard if:
- utilization of conforming outdoor light fixtures would have the effect of decreasing the lighting levels to
below the minimum illumination levels required by the city, and, the additional cost necessary to meet the
minimum illumination levels would pose an unreasonable financial burden; and/or
- utilization of conforming outdoor light fixtures would negatively impact the aesthetic
quality/architectural design of the property or immediate area by mixing substantially different styles and
types of fixtures/poles.
- All outdoor light fixtures producing light directly by the combustion of fossil fuels, such as, kerosene lanterns or gas lamps, are exempt from the requirements of this article.
- Temporary lights used for holiday decorations are exempt from the requirements of this article.
- All outdoor light fixtures which are luminous tube lighting are exempt from the requirements of this article.
- Construction or emergency lighting is exempt, provided such lighting is temporary and is discontinued immediately upon completion of the construction work or abatement of the emergency necessitating said lighting.
- Signs of the type constructed of translucent materials and wholly illuminated from within are exempt from the shielding requirement.
Sec. 6-62. Approved materials and methods of installation.
Sec. 6-63. Administrative exemption
- The provisions of this article are not intended to prevent the use of any design, material or method of installation not specifically proscribed by this article provided any such alternate has been approved by the city. The Building Official or, for
street lighting within the right-of-way and bike path and public parking lot lighting the Public Works Director, may approve any such alternate provided that the proposed design, material or method:
- provides approximate equivalence to the specific requirements of this article; or
- is otherwise satisfactory and complies with the intent of this article.
Sec. 6-64. Temporary exemption
- Any person may submit a written request to the Building Official or, for street lighting within the right-of-way and bike path and public parking lot lighting, the Public Works Director, for an administrative exemption from the requirements of this ar
The request shall state fully the circumstances and conditions relied upon as grounds for an administrative exemption and shall be accompanied by adequate plans and a legal description of the property involved. In addition, the request shall contain at a
minimum the following information:
- Name, address, and telephone number of the applicant;
- Location of the outdoor light fixture(s) for which the exemption is required;
- The nature of the circumstances which necessitate the administrative exemption;
- Use of the outdoor light fixture(s) involved;
- Type of outdoor light fixture to be used, including total lumen output and character of the shielding,
if any; and
- Such other data and information as may be required by the Building Official or Public Works Director
- The Building Official or Public Works Director, as appropriate, may grant an administrative exemption from the provisions of this article when it appears from the facts contained in the application, and from any other relevant information available to
the Building Official/Public Works Director that all of the following conclusions can be reached:
- There are special circumstances or conditions applying to the land, buildings, or outdoor light fixtures for which the administrative exemption is sought, which circumstances or conditions are peculiar to such land, buildings or outdoor light fixtures
and do not apply generally to the land, buildings or outdoor light fixtures in the neighborhood;
- The aforesaid circumstances or conditions are such that the strict application of the provisions of this article would deprive the applicant of the reasonable use of the land, buildings or outdoor light fixtures and that the administrative exemption g
ranted by the Building Official or Public Works Director, as appropriate, is the minimum exemption that will accomplish this purpose; and
- The granting of the administrative exemption will generally be in harmony with the purpose and intent of this article and will not be injurious to the neighborhood or otherwise detrimental to the public welfare.
- If the request for an administrative exemption is approved by the Building Official or Public Works Director, as appropriate, such determination shall be made in writing and a record kept which shall be open to the public.
- The decision of the Building Official or Public Works Director, as appropriate, may be appealed pursuant to section 29-274 et seq. and within the times set forth therein for the filing of such appeals.
Sec. 6-65. Appeals.
- The Building Official may grant a temporary exemption, as defined herein, for such activities, including, but not limited to circuses, fairs, carnivals, sporting events, and promotional activities, if he/she finds the following:
- The purpose for which the lighting is proposed is not intended to extend beyond thirty (30) days:
- The proposed lighting is designed in such a manner as to minimize light pollution as much as feasible; and
- The proposed lighting will comply with the general intent of this article.
- The application for a temporary exemption shall include the following information:
- Name and address of applicant and property owner;
- Location of proposed fixtures;
- Type, wattage and lumen output of lamp(s);
- Type and shielding of proposed fixture(s);
- Intended use of lighting:
- Duration of time for requested exemption;
- The nature of the exemption;
- Such other information as the Building Official may request.
- The Building Official shall rule on the application within five (5) business days from the date of submission of the request and notify the applicant in writing of his/her decision.
- The Building Official may grant one (1) renewal of the application for up to an additional thirty (30) days if he/she finds that, because of an unanticipated change in circumstances, a renewal would be in the public interest. The Building Official is
not authorized to grant more than one (1) thirty (30) day temporary exemption and one (1)
renewal for up to a thirty (30) day period for the same property within one (12) month period.
All appeals of decisions applicable to this article shall be made pursuant to section 29-274 et seq. and within the times set forth therein for the filing of such appeals.
Sec. 6-66. Enforcement.
The Building Official is hereby empowered and directed to administer and enforce the provisions of this article relating to outdoor light control for commercial, industrial, and multi-family development as well as public buildings. The Public Works Direc
tor is hereby empowered and directed to administer and enforce the provisions of this article relating to outdoor light control for streetlighting, bike paths, and public parking lots.
Sec. 6-67. Violations and penalties.
Sec. 6-68. Cumulative remedies.
- Violation of any provision of this article shall be and is hereby declared to be unlawful and a public nuisance. Any violation of any provision of this article shall be subject to summary, administrative or judicial abatement of the nuisance by the ci
ty, and be subject to fines, penalties, fees and costs imposed by the city or the court pursuant to the summary or administrative abatement procedures contained in this Code or any other provision of law.
- Any person, firm, corporation or other entity, whether owner, lessee, sublessor, sublessee, or occupant of any premises that violates the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor for each day such violation continues, and upon convi
ction thereof, shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) per day, or by imprisonment of not longer than six (6) months, or both;
- Every day that any such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. (Ord. No. 1769, § 1(part).)
All remedies set forth in this article for the abatement or punishment of any violation thereof are cumulative and may be pursued separately or in combination. Provisions of this Article are to be supplementary and complementary to all of the city ordinan
ces, the city Code, state law, and any law cognizable at common law or in equity, and nothing herein shall be read, interpreted or construed in any manner so as to limit any existing right or power of the city to abate any and all violations of this Artic
INTRODUCED on___________________________________, 1998, and PASSED
AND ADOPTED on this______________day of________________________, 1998, by the following vote:
||BOYD, FORBES, FREEMAN, WAGSTAFF, PARTANSKY.
JULIE PARTANSKY, Mayor
BETTE E. RACKI, City Clerk
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