[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of South Hadley 1-11-2017 STM by Art. 14. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Zoning — See Ch. 255.
The purpose of this chapter is to protect public health, safety, and the environment by:
Providing for adequate and appropriate outdoor lighting;
Providing for lighting that will complement the character of the Town;
Minimizing light trespass;
Reducing the cost and waste of unnecessary energy consumption; and
Requiring proper management and disposal of lighting fixtures, lamps, and associated elements.
The requirements of this chapter shall apply to all outdoor lighting in the Town, except that the permitting (§§ 171-4 and 171-5) and review (§ 171-6) requirements of this chapter shall not apply to the following:
Lighting on individual lots used principally for residential occupancy as one-, two-, or three-family dwellings; or
Lighting for parking areas of fewer than 10 parking spaces if the lighting fixtures are less than 14 feet in height and the project lighting is approved by the Planning Board with input from the South Hadley Electric Light Department as a provision of a special permit; or
Streetlighting, traffic control lighting and other lighting for public safety along streets or ways if approved by the Town's Traffic Sign Committee and the streets or ways are on plans approved by the Planning Board; or
The Selectboard may waive the requirements of this chapter upon application of the property owner. Any such application for waiver of said requirements shall contain a detailed description of the proposed lighting and how the lighting will achieve the purposes of this chapter if the waiver is granted.
The Selectboard may grant a waiver for projects for which the Planning Board has granted a special permit or site plan review only if:
Prior to installation of any outdoor lighting subject to this chapter, the applicant must obtain a permit from the Selectboard, unless excepted pursuant to § 171-2 or waived pursuant to § 171-3. To obtain such a permit, the applicant must submit an application on forms set forth by the Selectboard along with any required application fee and plan(s) containing at least the information required by § 171-5. The number of plans and the scale of plans to be submitted shall be as set forth by the Selectboard.
In the event that the Selectboard determines that a third-party review by a qualified lighting engineer or lighting specialist is necessary or advisable to better inform its determination, the Selectboard may require the applicant to pay into the special municipal account a sum necessary to pay for that review.
Plans submitted with the application for approval under § 171-4 shall include, at a minimum:
The location and type of any outdoor lighting luminaires;
The proposed height of all proposed luminaires;
The proposed height of all poles;
The elevation of the base of all proposed poles and proposed luminaires;
Identification of any existing vegetation proposed to be removed which may alter the view of and glare from the proposed luminaires;
The luminaire manufacturer's specification data, including, but not limited to, lumen output and photometric data showing cutoff angles;
The type of lamps proposed, such as metal halide, compact fluorescent, high-pressure sodium, etc.;
A photometric plan showing the intensity of illumination at ground level, expressed in footcandles;
Identification of surface area intended to be illuminated;
Details of the hours of operation for the lighting;
A description of how the lighting will be regulated for turning on and turning off; and
A plan for disposal of expended lighting fixtures and lamps.
Prior to acting on any application for a permit or a waiver thereof, the Selectboard shall have the application reviewed by the Planning Board and such other boards and departments deemed appropriate by the Town Administrator and shall hold a public hearing on said application. However, the Selectboard may waive the public hearing requirement if it determines that prior public hearings held by other Town boards have provided a satisfactory forum for public review of the lighting plans and the minutes of the other public hearings have been provided to the Selectboard for review.
Approval by the Selectboard of any application for a permit under § 171-4 or a waiver under § 171-3 shall be based on the following:
Conformity with purposes. The application must conform to the purposes of this chapter.
Glare into community or surrounding neighborhood. The proposed lighting must not create glare which is adverse to the community or surrounding neighborhood.
Light trespass. The proposed lighting must not create any light trespass onto any abutting street or abutting lot or parcel.
Downcast of illumination. All illumination must be downcast and not emit any direct light above a horizontal plane passing through the lowest part of the light-emitting luminaire.
Any lighting subject to this chapter shall conform to the following requirements and restrictions:
Control of glare and light trespass. The luminaires must be fully shielded so as to control glare and light trespass.
Directed to surface intended to be illuminated. The luminaires must be designed, placed, and maintained so as to only illuminate the area identified in the project plans as intended to be illuminated. The area to be illuminated must be restricted to the property on which the luminaires are located or other properties also owned by the parties having said illumination installed.
Prohibited fixtures. Mercury vapor fixtures must not be used in new installations. Where existing mercury vapor fixtures are being replaced with new such fixtures, the owner must provide a plan for the safe disposal of the existing and replacement fixtures.
Hours of operation. Outdoor lighting shall not be illuminated between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. with the following exceptions:
If the facility for which the lighting is being utilized is legally and properly open and being used, such as (but not limited to) a business open to customers or an athletic facility being used for an event, normal illumination shall be allowed during the activity, but for not more than 1/2 hour after the activity or use ceases.
Low-level lighting sufficient for the security of persons or property on the lot or parcel may be in operation between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., provided the level of illumination on the ground or on any vertical surface is not greater than 0.5 footcandle.
Any other variation as determined by the Selectboard if it finds that proposed illumination will not adversely impact any nearby residences on account of longer periods of operation and the applicant provides an appropriate technology for ensuring that the fixtures are not operated 24 hours per day.
Height of luminaires. Luminaires must not exceed 35 feet in height unless the Selectboard expressly finds that a greater height will further the purposes of this chapter when applied to the particular property, facility, and surrounding neighborhood.
Minimum lumens. Any outdoor lighting fixture or lamp must have a sustained rating of 50 lumens per watt.
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the Building Commissioner. Penalties for violation of any portion of this chapter shall be as provided in § 1-6 of the General Bylaws.