West Brandywine Township
Subdivision & Land Development Ordinance
Outdoor Lighting Section
Ordinance No. 00-02
SECTION 815 OUTDOOR LIGHTING
To require and set minimum standards for outdoor lighting to:
Provide lighting in outdoor public places where public health, safety and welfare are potential concerns.
Protect drivers and pedestrians from the glare of non-vehicular light sources that shine into their eyes and thereby impair safe traverse.
Protect neighbors and the night sky from nuisance glare and stray light from poorly aimed, placed, applied, maintained or shielded light sources.
Protect and retain the rural character of the Township
Uses that are intended to operate during hours of darkness where there is public assembly and traverse, including but not limited to the following: multi-family residential, residential developments containing lot sizes of 20,000 square feet or less, commercial, industrial, public recreational/sports, institutional uses and signs shall be subject to the requirements of Subsection D, Criteria Intense Applications; as well as Subsections F I.
Single-family residential uses and single-family residential developments whose minimum lot size is greater than 20,000 square feet, and agricultural uses, shall be subject to the requirements of Subsection E, Criteria Residential & Agricultural Applications; as well as Subsection F.1, Compliance Monitoring, Safety Hazards.
Footcandle A unit of light intensity stated in lumens per square foot and measurable with an illuminance meter, a.k.a. footcandle or light meter.
Glare The sensation produced by lighting that causes an annoyance, discomfort or loss in visual performance and visibility to the eye.
Illuminance The quantity of light measured in footcandles or lux.
Light Trespass Light emitted by a lighting installation, which extends beyond the boundaries of the property on which the installation is sited.
Luminance The physical and measurable quantity corresponding to the brightness of a surface (e.g., a lamp, luminaire, reflecting material) in a specific area. And measurable with a luminance meter.
Lux A unit of light intensity stated in lumens per square meter. There are approximately 10.7 lux per footcandle.
Criteria Intense Applications
Lighting, where required by this Ordinance, shall have intensities and uniformity ratios in accordance with the current recommended practices of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) as contained in the IESNA Lighting Handbook.
Future amendments to said recommended practices shall become a part of this Ordinance without further action of the Township.
Examples of intensities for typical outdoor applications, as extracted from the 8th Edition of the Lighting Handbook, are presented below.
|Use/Task||Maintained Footcandles||Uniformity Ratio - Avg:Min.|
|Streets, local residential||
|Streets, local commercial||
|Parking, residential, multi-family|
Low Vehicular/pedestrian activity
|Medium vehicular/pedestrian activity||
|Parking, Industrial /commercial /institutional /municipal|
|High activity, e.g., regional Shopping centers/fast food facilities, major athletic /civic /cultural events||
Medium activity, e.g., community shopping centers, office parks, hospitals, commuter lots, cultural /civic/ recreational events
|Low activity, e.g., neighborhood shopping, industrial employee parking, schools, church parking||
|Walkways and Bikeways||
Notes: 1. Illumination levels are maintained horizontal footcandles on the task, e.g., pavement or area surface.
2. Uniformity ratios dictate that average illuminance values shall not exceed minimum values by more than the product of the minimum value and the specified ratio. E.g., for commercial parking high activity, the average footcandles shall not be in excess of 3.6 (0.9 x 4).
Lighting Fixture Design
Fixtures shall be of a type and design appropriate to the lighting application and aesthetically acceptable to the Township.
For lighting horizontal tasks such as roadways, sidewalks, entrances and parking areas, fixtures shall met IESNA full-cutoff criteria (no light output emitted above 90 degrees at any lateral angle around the fixture). Individual fixtures whose aggregate lamp output does not exceed 1800 lumens are exempt from this requirement.
The use of floodlighting, spotlighting, wall-mounted fixtures, decorative globes and spheres and other fixtures not meeting IESNA full-cutoff criteria shall be permitted only with the approval of the Township, based upon applicability in retaining the rural character of the Township and achieving acceptable glare control.
When requested by the Township, fixtures shall be equipped with or be modified to incorporate light directing and/or shielding devices such as shields, visors, skirts or hoods to redirect offending light distribution and/or reduce direct or reflected glare.
NEMA-head fixtures, a.k.a. barn lights or dusk-to-dawn lights, shall not be permitted where they are visible from other uses unless fitted with a reflector to render them full cutoff.
Control of Nuisance and Disabling Glare
All lighting shall be aimed, located, designed, fitted and maintained so as not to present a hazard to drivers or pedestrians by impairing their ability to safely traverse and so as not to create a nuisance by projecting or reflecting objectionable light onto a neighboring use or property.
Floodlights and spotlights, where specifically approved by appropriate officers or agents of the Township, shall be so installed or aimed that they do not project their output into the windows of neighboring residences, adjacent uses, skyward or onto a public roadway.
Unless otherwise permitted by the appropriate officers or agents of the Township, e.g., for safety or security or all-night operations, lighting for commercial, industrial, public recreational and institutional applications shall be controlled by automatic switching devices such as time clocks or combination motion detectors and photocells, to permit extinguishing offending sources between 11 p.m. and dawn, to mitigate nuisance glare and sky-lighting consequences.
Lighting proposed for use after 11 p.m., or after the normal hours of operation for commercial, industrial, institutional or municipal applications, shall be reduced by 75% from then until dawn, unless supporting a specific purpose and approved by the appropriate officers or agents of the Township.
Vegetation screens shall not be employed to serve as the primary means for controlling glare. Rather, glare control shall be achieved primarily through the use of such means as cutoff fixtures, shields and baffles, and appropriate application of fixture mounting height, wattage, aiming angle and fixture placement.
The intensity of illumination projected onto a residential use from another property shall not exceed 0.1 vertical footcandle, measured line-of -site at the property line.
Externally illuminated billboards shall be lighted by fixtures mounted at the top of the sign and aimed downward. Such fixtures shall be automatically extinguished between the hours of 11 p.m. and dawn except as specifically approved by appropriate officers or agents of the Township.
Except as specifically approved by appropriate officers or agents of the Township, fixtures meeting IESNA full-cutoff criteria shall not be mounted in excess of twenty (20) feet above finished grade and fixtures not meeting IESNA cutoff criteria shall not be mounted in excess of sixteen (16) feet above grade.
Directional fixtures for such applications as façade, fountain, feature and landscape illumination shall be aimed so as not to project their output beyond the objects intended to be illuminated, shall be extinguished between the hours of 11 p.m. and dawn and shall not be in conflict with the Townships aim to maintain its rural character.
Canopy lighting, for such applications as gas/service stations, shall be accomplished using flat-lens full-cutoff fixtures aimed straight down and shielded in such a manner that the lowest opaque edge of the fixture shall be level with or below the light source.
For subdivision and land-development applications where site lighting is required by this Ordinance or proposed, lighting plans shall be submitted to the Township for review and approval and shall include:
A site plan, complete with all structures, parking spaces, building entrances, traffic areas (both vehicular and pedestrian), vegetation that might interfere with lighting, and adjacent uses that might be adversely impacted by the lighting, containing a layout of all proposed fixtures by location and type
Isofootcandle plots for individual fixture installations, or 10x10 illuminance-grid plots for multi-fixture installations, which demonstrate compliance with the intensity and uniformity requirements as set forth in this Ordinance.
Description of the proposed equipment, including fixture catalog cuts, photometrics, glare reduction devices, lamps, on/off control devices, mounting heights, pole foundation details and mounting methods.
Appropriate officers or agents of the Township may elect, at their discretion, to require that lighting plans for other than subdivision and land development applications also be submitted to the Township for review and approval.
When requested by appropriate officers or agents of the Township, applicant shall also submit a visual-impact plan that demonstrates appropriate steps have been taken to mitigate on-site and off-site glare and to retain the rural character of the Township.
Post-approval alterations to lighting plans or intended substitutions for approved lighting equipment shall be submitted to the Township for review and approval.
For new installations, electrical feeds for fixtures mounted on poles shall be run underground, not overhead.
Poles supporting lighting fixtures for the illumination of parking areas and located directly behind parking spaces or where they could be hit by snow plows, shall be placed a minimum of five (5) feet outside paved area, or on concrete pedestals at least thirty (30) inches high above the pavement, or suitably protected by other approved means.
The Township reserves the right to conduct a post-installation nighttime inspection to verify compliance with the requirements of this Ordinance, and if appropriate, to require remedial action at no expense to the Township.
Lighting fixtures and ancillary equipment shall be maintained so as always to meet the requirements of this Ordinance.
Criteria Residential & Agricultural Uses
For single-family residential uses on lots of greater than 20,000 square feet, residential subdivisions in which all lots are greater than 20,000 square feet, and agricultural uses, the following criteria shall apply:
No lighting shall be permitted that shines directly onto an adjacent residence unless it is extinguished by 11 p.m. or controlled by a motion sensor;
No lighting shall be permitted that creates a hazard by shining onto a public right-of-way.
Floodlights and other directional fixtures aimed toward an adjacent residential use shall be extinguished by no later than 11 p.m.
If appropriate officers or agents of the Township judge a lighting installation creates a safety or personal-security hazard, the person(s) responsible for the lighting shall be notified in writing and required to take remedial action.
If appropriate corrective action has not been effected within thirty (30) days of written notification, the Township may commence legal action as provided in Section I. and J. below.
Nuisance Glare and Inadequate Illumination Levels
When appropriate officers or agents of the Township judge an installation produces unacceptable levels of nuisance glare, skyward light, excessive or insufficient illumination levels or otherwise varies from this Ordinance, Township may cause written notification of the person(s) responsible for the lighting and require appropriate remedial action.
If appropriate corrective action has not been effected within thirty (30) days of notification, the Township may commence legal action as provided in Section I. and J. below.
Any lighting fixture or lighting installation existing on the effective date of this Ordinance that does not conform with the requirements of this Ordinance, shall be considered as a lawful nonconformance subject to the following:
Unless minor corrective action, such as reaiming or shielding, is deemed by the Township to be an acceptable alternative, a nonconforming lighting fixture or lighting installation shall be made to conform with the applicable requirements of this Ordinance when:
It is deemed by the Township to create a safety hazard
It is replaced, abandoned or relocated
There is a change in use
Violations and Penalties
Any person who violates or permits a violation of this Ordinance shall, upon being found liable therefore in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the Township before a District Justice, pay a fine of not more than $500, plus all court costs including reasonable attorneys fees, incurred by the Township in the enforcement of this Ordinance. No judgement shall commence or be imposed, levied or payable until the date of the determination of the violation by the District Justice. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgement, the Township may enforce the judgement pursuant to the applicable Rules of Civil Procedure. Each day a violation exists shall constitute a separate offense.
The appropriate officers or agents of the Township are hereby authorized to seek legal and/or equitable relief, including injunction, to enforce compliance with this Ordinance.
Abatement of Nuisances
In addition to any other remedies provided in this Ordinance, any violation of Section D.3. hereof, Control of Nuisance and Disabling Glare, shall constitute a nuisance and shall be abated by the Township by either seeking mitigation of nuisance or appropriate equitable or legal relief from a court of competent jurisdiction, including enforcement under the West Brandywine Nuisance Ordinance.
Enacted 20 April, 2000
West Brandywine Township
Subdivision & Land Development Ordinance
Outdoor Lighting Section
Ordinance No. 00-02