Township of Lower Providence, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Providence 4-7-2005 by Ord. No. 523. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Zoning — See Ch. 143.

§ 105-1 Purpose.

To require and set minimum standards for outdoor lighting to:
A. 
Provide lighting in outdoor public places where public health, safety and welfare are potential issues.
B. 
Protect drivers and pedestrians from the glare of nonvehicular light sources that shine into their eyes and thereby impair safe traverse.
C. 
Protect neighbors and the night sky from nuisance glare and stray light from poorly shielded, aimed, placed, applied or maintained light sources.
D. 
Promote efficient design and operation with regard to energy conservation.
E. 
Protect and retain the established character of the Lower Providence Township.

§ 105-2 Applicability.

A. 
Outdoor lighting shall be required for safety and personal security for uses that operate during hours of darkness where there is public assembly and traverse, including but not limited to the following uses: multifamily residential, commercial, industrial, public-recreational and institutional.
B. 
Appropriate officers or agents of the Township of Lower Providence may require lighting be incorporated for other uses or locations, as they deem necessary.
C. 
The glare-control requirements herein contained apply to lighting in all above-mentioned uses as well as, but not limited to, sign, architectural, landscape, recreational and residential lighting.
D. 
This chapter does not apply to temporary decorative lighting (e.g., Christmas lighting and Halloween lighting) unless it is clearly determined by the Township Zoning Officer or Code Enforcement Officer that the holiday lighting is creating a nuisance (see § 104-1 of the Code of the Township of Lower Providence) for vehicular traffic or neighboring property owners. Please see § 105-11 for holiday display floodlight requirements.

§ 105-3 Language interpretations.

For the purposes of this chapter, certain terms and words used herein shall be interpreted as follows:
A. 
The word "shall" denotes a mandatory requirement; the word "should" denotes an advised or recommended provision that is desirable but not mandatory.
B. 
The word "includes" or "including" shall not limit the term to the specific example but is intended to extend its meaning to all other instances of like kind and character.
C. 
Words used in the present tense include the future; words used in the masculine gender include the feminine and neuter; the singular number includes the plural and the plural the singular.

§ 105-4 Zoning definitions.

The meaning and applicability of words and terms in this chapter which are related to zoning, zoning districts, lots, lot usage, yards, and the like, shall be in accordance with Chapter 143 of the Code of Lower Providence Township, as amended.

§ 105-5 Selected lighting definitions.

The following lighting definitions are selected from the ANSI/IES lighting definitions and The IES Lighting Handbook for ready reference within the text of this chapter:
CANDELA
The SI unit of luminous intensity. One candela is one lumen per steradian (lm/sr).
CANDLEPOWER
Luminous intensity expressed in candelas.
CUTOFF ANGLE (OF A LUMINAIRE)
The angle, measured up from nadir, between the vertical axis and the first line of sight at which the bare source is not visible.
FOOTCANDLE
A unit of illuminance. One footcandle is one lumen per square foot (lm/ft2).
GLARE
The sensation produced by luminances within the visual field that is sufficiently greater than the luminance to which the eyes are adapted to cause annoyance, discomfort, or loss in visual performance or visibility. Any type of glare shall be considered a nuisance.
A. 
Glare that is so intense that, for an appreciable length of time after it has been removed, no object can be seen.
B. 
Glare resulting from high luminances or insufficiently shielded light sources in the field of view.
C. 
The effect of stray light in the eye whereby visibility and visual performance are reduced.
D. 
Glare that produces discomfort. It does not necessarily interfere with visual performance or visibility.
E. 
Glare resulting from reflections of high luminances in polished or glossy surfaces in the field of view.
ILLUMINANCE
The areal density of the luminous flux incident at a point on a surface.
ILLUMINATION
An alternative term for "illuminance." Commonly used in a qualitative or general sense to designate the act of illuminating or the state of being illuminated.
LAMP
A generic term for a man-made source of light.
LIGHT
Radiant energy that is capable of exciting the retina and producing a visual sensation. The visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum extends from about 380 to 770 nanometers.
LIGHT LOSS FACTOR (LLF)
The ratio of illuminance for a given area to the value that would occur if lamps operated at their initial rated lumen output and if no system variation or deprecation had occurred.
LIGHT TRESPASS
A subjective perception of undesirable illumination, including the following examples:
A. 
The classic "light shining in a window."
B. 
Unwanted light on an adjacent property.
C. 
Excessive brightness in the normal field of vision (nuisance glare).
LUMEN
SI unit of luminous flux. Photometrically, it is the luminous flux emitted within a unit solid angle (one steradian) by a point source having a uniform luminous intensity of one candela.
LUMINAIRE
A complete lighting unit consisting of one or more lamps (light sources) together with the parts designed to control the light distribution, and other mechanical and electrical components.
A. 
A luminaire light distribution is designated as cutoff when the candlepower per 1,000 lamp lumens does not numerically exceed 25 (2.5%) at an angle of 90 above nadir (horizontal), and 100 (10%) at a vertical angle of 80 above nadir.
LUMINANCE
The emitted or reflected light from a surface; relates directly to perceived "brightness." The unit of luminance is the candela per square meter (cd/m2).
LUMINOUS FLUX
Radiant flux (radiant power); the time rate of flow of radiant energy evaluated in terms of a standardized visual response.
LUMINOUS INTENSITY
The luminous flux per unit solid angle in the direction in question. May be expressed in candelas or lumens per steradian (lm/sr).
LUX
The SI unit of illuminance. One lux is one lumen per square meter (lm/m2).
NIGHTTIME
The hours between the end of evening civil twilight and the beginning of morning civil twilight. Civil twilight ends in the evening when the center of the sun's disk is six degrees below the horizon, and begins in the morning when the center of the sun's disk is six degrees below the horizon.
NUISANCE
See § 104-1 of the Code of the Township of Lower Providence.
SPILL LIGHT
Light shining beyond a facility that may annoy occupants of the adjacent property.
TOWNSHIP
Lower Providence Township.

§ 105-6 Design calculations in accordance with the IES Lighting Handbook.

In addition to the specific requirements established in this chapter, the design calculations for outdoor lighting installations shall be in accordance with the IES Lighting Handbook. This includes, but is not limited to, technical definitions, terminology, calculation methods and procedures, photometric classifications, and photometric testing procedures. Illuminance selection should be based on the usage of the area to be illuminated, the level of activity, and nighttime security requirements.

§ 105-7 Applicability of requirements.

The requirements of this section apply to all outdoor lighting installations in all nonresidential zoning districts and for all nonresidential uses as follows:
A. 
Outdoor lighting installations which are employed for nighttime area illumination of parking lots, car sales lots, yards, roadways, streets, driveways, walkways, bikeways, cartways, entryways, and similar areas or lots of sports and recreational facilities including, but not limited to, ballfields, ballparks, stadiums, tennis courts, soccer fields, golf courses, driving ranges, and passive and outdoor public recreation, nighttime illumination of the facades of buildings and structures, nighttime illumination of trees, shrubs, vegetation, and the like.
B. 
Use of cutoff luminaires required. All luminaires employed in outdoor area and roadway lighting installations shall be the cutoff luminaire type.
(1) 
The candlepower distribution classification of the luminaire as a cutoff type shall be in accordance with the ANSI/IES lighting definitions and the IES Lighting Handbook. The manufacturer of the luminaire shall provide certification of the cutoff classification based on photometric testing performed in accordance with the IES Lighting Handbook and the applicable testing procedures referenced therein.
(2) 
The requirement for the use of cutoff luminaire types shall include, but is not limited to, the following outdoor area and roadway lighting configurations:
(a) 
Pole-mounted luminaires.
(b) 
Luminaires mounted on the exterior of buildings and structures.
(c) 
Luminaires mounted on or within exterior canopies of buildings and structures.
(d) 
Pedestal- or bollard-mounted luminaires.
C. 
Cutoff luminaires. Cutoff luminaires shall be mounted plumb and level in accordance with the intended application of their design. For the purposes of this requirement, the photometric nadir of the luminaire (zero degree vertical angle of the candlepower distribution) shall be oriented plumb and the vertical angle of 90 degrees above nadir (horizontal) shall be oriented level. Cutoff luminaires shall not be installed in a canted or tilted position which permits candlepower distribution above the horizontal. The following are exceptions to this section:
(1) 
Luminaires which do not meet the strict definition for cutoff luminaires, yet employ advanced or alternative technology which causes the photometric performance to approach that of cutoff luminaires, may be approved by the Township of Lower Providence, or its duly appointed representative, on a case-by-case basis. Such luminaires include, but are not limited to, period-style luminaires with refractive globes and internal cutoff reflectors.
(2) 
Luminaires with a total initial lumen output of 10,000 lumens or less shall be permitted for decorative, accent, or supplementary lighting applications, provided that glare shields are incorporated which cut off the candlepower distribution at and above the horizontal (level).
D. 
Maximum maintained illuminance levels permitted at property lines produced by outdoor area lighting installations.
(1) 
The maximum maintained illuminance levels permitted at the property line(s) during the nighttime, produced by the sum of all outdoor area lighting installations on said property, shall be as measured at grade in horizontal footcandles or horizontal lux according to Table 105-1.
(2) 
The following are exceptions to this section:
(a) 
By a written agreement, which is recorded on each property deed between the respective property owners with a statement that absolves Lower Providence Township of all liability and responsibilities concerning this agreement, an outdoor lighting installation on one property may illuminate areas or roadways on adjacent properties beyond the property line.
(b) 
This requirement does not apply to outdoor roadway lighting installations intended for the nighttime illumination of public roadways, streets, highways, alleys, cartways, and the like.
(c) 
At designated vehicular, cyclist, and pedestrian entries/exits between properties and public roadways, streets, highways, alleys, cartways, and the like, provided that the excepted area of illumination (maintained illuminance levels at grade higher than permitted in Table 105-1) is limited to the said property and the adjoining pavement and right-of-way of public roadways, streets, highways, alleys, cartways, and the like. The excepted area of illumination shall not extend beyond 50 feet from the center line of the designated entry/exit in any direction along the property line(s) of the said property.
TABLE 105-1
Maximum Maintained Illuminance Levels Permitted at Property Lines Produced by Outdoor Area Lighting Installations
For outdoor area lighting installations to which the requirements of this section apply:
Maximum maintained illuminance level permitted at property line measured at grade in horizontal footcandles
Maximum maintained illuminance level permitted at property line measured at grade in horizontal lux
Outdoor area lighting installation is located on said property and property line adjoins a public roadway or public right-of-way
0.5
5.4
Outdoor area lighting installation is located on said property and property line adjoins a nonresidential property
0.2
2.2
Outdoor area lighting installation is located on said property and property line adjoins a residential property
0.1
1.1

§ 105-8 Illumination under outdoor canopies.

All outdoor lighting installations which illuminate the area under outdoor canopies shall comply with § 105-7 and Table 105-1. In accordance with the Sign Ordinance,[1] the walls of the canopies shall not be illuminated. Outdoor canopies include, but are not limited to, the following applications:
A. 
Fuel island canopies associated with service stations and convenience stores.
B. 
Exterior canopies above storefronts in shopping centers and malls.
C. 
Exterior canopies above driveways and building entrances.
D. 
Pavilions and gazebos.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 143, Art. XIX.

§ 105-9 Design submittal and approval requirements.

The design for all outdoor area and roadway lighting installations shall be submitted to Lower Providence Township for review and approval as a building/zoning permit in accordance with Chapter 67 of the Code of the Township of Lower Providence.

§ 105-10 Use of glare shields required for non-cutoff luminaire types.

Where non-cutoff luminaires such as floodlights are used to meet the lighting design objectives for outdoor sports and recreational lighting, the luminaires shall be equipped with glare shields, visors, barndoors, and other similar shielding accessories as required to meet the following criteria:
A. 
The candlepower distribution from all lighting installations shall be cut off at and above the horizontal (level).
B. 
To the extent practicable, the candlepower distribution from all lighting installations shall be further cut off at angles below the horizontal (level) to restrict direct illumination to within the functional area being illuminated for sports and recreation purposes.
C. 
The candlepower distribution from all lighting installations shall be cut off at all angles beyond those required to restrict direct illumination to within the perimeter of the landscape feature, the perimeter of any type of building facade being illuminated.
D. 
The candlepower distribution from all lighting installations shall be cut off at all angles beyond those required to restrict direct illumination to within the perimeter of the area, surface, object, or feature being illuminated.

§ 105-11 Applicability of requirements.

The requirements of this section apply to all outdoor lighting installations which are employed on a temporary basis not exceeding 30 days in duration. Temporary lighting installations include, but are not limited to, seasonal or holiday displays, carnivals, community fairs, traveling circuses, sales/promotional displays, and the like. Please see § 105-2.

§ 105-12 Maximum maintained illuminance levels permitted at property lines produced by outdoor sports and recreational lighting installations.

The maximum maintained illuminance levels permitted at the property line(s) during the nighttime, produced by the sum of all outdoor sports and recreation lighting installations on said property, shall be as measured at grade in horizontal footcandles or horizontal lux according to Table 105-1 of this chapter.

§ 105-13 Floodlights.

Floodlights and spotlights, when specifically approved by the Lower Providence Township for use, shall be so installed or aimed that they do not project their output into the windows of neighboring residences, adjacent uses, or onto a public roadway or pedestrianway.

§ 105-14 Timing for outdoor lighting.

Unless otherwise permitted by the appropriate officers or agents of Lower Providence Township, e.g., for safety or security or businesses that operate all night, 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 outdoor lighting fixtures between 11:00 p.m. and dawn, to reduce energy waste and mitigate nuisance glare and sky-lighting consequences. Lighting proposed for use after 11:00 p.m., or after normal hours of operation of a business, whichever is earlier, for commercial, industrial, institutional or municipal applications, shall be reduced by at least 50% from then until dawn, unless supporting a specific purpose and approved by the appropriate officers or agents of the Lower Providence Township. All exterior and interior illumination for advertising signs, buildings and/or surrounding landscapes for decorative, advertising or aesthetic purposes is prohibited between 11:00 p.m. and sunrise, except that such lighting situated on the premises of a commercial establishment may remain illuminated while the establishment is actually open for business and until one hour after closing. Directional fixtures, e.g., floodlights or spotlights, for such applications as facade, fountain, feature, recreational and landscape illumination shall be aimed so as not to project their output beyond the objects intended to be illuminated, and shall be extinguished between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and dawn.

§ 105-15 Flagpoles.

Flagpole lighting sources shall not exceed 10,000 lumens per flagpole.

§ 105-16 Screening.

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. In no case shall the illumination cast by a source or sources onto an adjacent residential property exceed 0.1 vertical footcandle measured line-of-site, from any point on the adjacent residential property.

§ 105-17 Height of poles.

IES full-cutoff luminaries shall not be mounted in excess of 20 feet above finished grade. Fixtures not meeting IES "cutoff" criteria for luminaries, when specifically approved by appropriate officers or agents of Lower Providence Township, shall not be mounted in excess of 15 feet above grade. The use of white strobe lighting for tall structures such as smokestacks, chimneys and radio/communications and telephone/television towers is prohibited during hours of darkness, except as specifically required by the FAA. Any height increase of the poles shall be approved by the Township Board of Supervisors only.

§ 105-18 Design submittal and approval requirements.

The design for all outdoor lighting installations shall be reviewed by the Township of Lower Providence, or its duly appointed representative, for conformance with this chapter. When applicable, the required design submittal items shall be included with the land development or site plan submittal pursuant to the issuance of a building/zoning permit. In all cases, the Township of Lower Providence, or its duly appointed representative, prior to issuance of a building/zoning permit and prior to construction of the outdoor lighting installation shall approve the outdoor lighting design. The required design submittal items are as follows:
A. 
Site plan, drawn to scale of one inch equal to 50 feet (maximum), indicating the following:
(1) 
The zoning district and use of the property.
(2) 
The property lines of the property.
(3) 
The zoning district(s) and uses of the adjoining properties.
(4) 
Public roadways and rights-of-way on or adjoining the property.
(5) 
The principal buildings and structures on the property.
(6) 
The areas or elements to be illuminated on the property.
(7) 
The proposed layout of the outdoor lighting installation on the property, including but not limited to all pole-mounted luminaires, bollard- or pedestal-mounted luminaires, canopy-mounted luminaires, and luminaires mounted on the exterior of buildings and structures. Identify each luminaire by a type designation.
(8) 
The results of the lighting design superimposed on the site plan. This may be in the form of isofootcandle diagrams or isolux diagrams, drawn to scale with the value of contours labeled or indicated with point-by-point values. In either case, the information presented shall be of sufficient quantity and detail to determine compliance with the requirements of this chapter.
(9) 
The lighting design information required in Subsection B below.
B. 
Required lighting design information:
(1) 
The total light loss factor(s) used in the calculations to determine maintained illuminance values.
(2) 
The maximum maintained illuminance value at grade within the functional area being illuminated (in horizontal footcandles or horizontal lux).
(3) 
The average maintained illuminance value at grade of the functional area being illuminated (in horizontal footcandles or horizontal lux).
(4) 
The maximum maintained illuminance values at grade along all property lines (in horizontal footcandles or horizontal lux).
C. 
Required luminaire information:
(1) 
A luminaire (light fixture) schedule of all luminaires used for the outdoor lighting installation. Each luminaire type shall be indicated by a type designation which correlates with those indicated on the site plan. The luminaire schedule may be indicated on the site plan or submitted separately. The luminaire schedule shall include the following information for each luminaire type: description of luminaire, mounting configuration and height, IES candlepower distribution classification (cutoff, semi-cutoff, or non-cutoff), IES lateral light distribution if applicable (Type I, Type II, Type III, Type IV, or Type V), lamp type, lamp wattage, and lamp initial lumens.
(2) 
Manufacturer's product data sheets (catalog cuts) for each luminaire type.
(3) 
Manufacturer's photometric report (certified to IES standards) for each luminaire type. The photometric report shall clearly indicate the cutoff classification of the luminaire.

§ 105-19 Veracity of design submittal information.

The lighting design information and luminaire information submitted for approval shall correlate with the actual lighting equipment installed in the field. Installation of lighting equipment in the field which is not the same as that approved in the design submittal is prohibited.

§ 105-20 Installation and maintenance.

Electrical feeds for fixtures mounted on poles shall be run underground. Overhead poles supporting lighting fixtures for the illumination of parking areas and located directly behind parking spaces shall be placed a minimum of five feet outside paved area, curbing or tire stops, or on concrete pedestals at least 30 inches high above the pavement, or suitably protected by other approved means. Lighting fixtures shall not be mounted in excess of 20 feet above grade. Lighting fixtures and ancillary equipment shall be maintained so as always to meet the requirements of this chapter.

§ 105-21 Post-installation inspection.

Lower Providence Township reserves the right to conduct a post-installation nighttime inspection to verify compliance with the requirements of this chapter and, if appropriate, to require remedial action at no expense to the Township. A note to that effect shall be placed on the lighting plan for the building permit.

§ 105-22 Nonconforming lighting.

Any lighting fixture or lighting installation existing on the effective date of this chapter that does not conform with the requirements of this chapter, shall be considered as a lawful nonconformance, subject to the following:
A. 
Unless minor corrective action is deemed by the Lower Providence Township to be an acceptable alternative, a nonconforming lighting fixture or lighting installation shall be made to conform with the applicable requirements of this chapter when:
(1) 
It is deemed by the Lower Providence Township to create a safety hazard.
(2) 
It is replaced, abandoned or relocated.
(3) 
There is a change in use of the property on which the area being illuminated in located.
B. 
Nonconforming lighting fixtures and lighting installations shall be made to conform with the requirements of this chapter when replaced or repaired.

§ 105-23 Compliance monitoring.

If appropriate officers or agents of Lower Providence Township judge a lighting installation creates a safety or personal-security hazard or the light installation produces unacceptable levels of nuisance glare, direct skyward light, excessive or insufficient illumination levels, or otherwise varies, 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 30 days of written notification, the Lower Providence Township may commence legal action as provided in § 105-24.

§ 105-24 Violations and penalties.

Any person who violates or permits a violation of this chapter shall, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by Lower Providence Township before a Magisterial District Judge, pay a fine of not more than $1,000, plus all court costs including reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the Lower Providence Township in the enforcement of this chapter. No judgment shall commence or be imposed, levied or payable until the date of the determination of the violation by the Magisterial District Judge. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, Lower Providence Township may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable Rules of Civil Procedure. Each day a violation exists shall constitute a separate offense. The appropriate officers or agents of Lower Providence Township are hereby authorized to seek legal and/or equitable relief, including injunction, to enforce compliance with this chapter.

§ 105-25 Abatement of nuisances.

In addition to any other remedies provided in this chapter, any violation of this chapter hereof shall constitute a nuisance and shall be abated by Lower Providence Township by either seeking mitigation of nuisance or appropriate equitable or legal relief from a court of competent jurisdiction, including enforcement under Lower Providence Township's Code, Chapter 104, Nuisances.