[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Koshkonong 8-20-2001 by Ord. No. 11-6-8 (Sec. 11-6-8 of the 1996 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, certain words and phrases shall mean the following:
- DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
- Any residential, commercial, industrial or mixed use subdivision plan of development plan which is submitted to the Town for approval.
- To spread or scatter widely, or thinly.
- DIRECT ILLUMINATION
- Illumination resulting from light emitted directly from a lamp or luminaire, not light diffused through translucent signs or reflected from other surfaces such as the ground or building surfaces.
- A unit of illumination equal to that given by a source of
one candela at a distance of one foot (equivalent to one lumen per
square foot or 10.764 lux).[Added 3-13-2019 by Ord. No. 1]
- FULLY SHIELDED LIGHT FIXTURE
- A lighting fixture constructed in such a manner that all light emitted by the fixture, either directly from the lamp or a diffusing element, or indirectly by reflection or refraction from any part of the luminaire, is projected below the horizontal as determined by a photometric test or certified by the manufacturer. Any structural part of the light fixture providing this shielding must be permanently affixed.
- The sensation produced by a bright source within the visual field that is sufficiently brighter than the level to which the eyes have adapted to cause annoyance, discomfort, or loss in visual performance and visibility. The magnitude of glare depends on such factors as the size, position, brightness of the source, and on the brightness level to which the eyes have become adapted.
- The attachment, or assembly fixed in place, whether or not connected to a power source, of any outdoor light fixture.
- LIGHT POLLUTION
- Any adverse effect of man-made light.
- LIGHT TRESPASS
- Light from an outdoor luminaire falling on an adjacent property as observed at four feet above ground at the property line.
- LUMEN PER ACRE CAP
- The upper limit, or most light allowed. Lower lighting levels are encouraged.
- The complete lighting assembly, less the support assembly.
- The SI unit of illuminance equal to one lumen per square
meter.[Added 3-13-2019 by Ord. No. 1]
- MOTION DETECTOR CONTROL
- A light controller that turns light on when motion is detected,
and when motion is absent, turns light off after no more than 60 minutes.[Added 3-13-2019 by Ord. No. 1]
- OUTDOOR LIGHT FIXTURE
- An outdoor illuminating device, outdoor lighting or reflective surface, lamp or similar device, permanently installed or portable, used for illumination or advertisement. Such devices shall include, but are not limited to lights used for:
- OUTDOOR RECREATION FACILITY
- An area designed for active recreation, whether publicly or privately owned, including, but not limited to, baseball diamonds, soccer and football fields, golf courses, tennis courts and swimming pools.
- Any individual, tenant, lessee, owner, or any commercial entity, including, but not limited to, firm, business, partnership, joint venture, corporation, or limited liability company.
- SIGN, EXTERNALLY ILLUMINATED
- A sign illuminated by light sources from outside the sign surface.
- SIGN, INTERNALLY ILLUMINATED
- A sign illuminated by light sources enclosed entirely within the sign cabinet and not directly visible from outside the sign.
- SIGN, NEON
- A sign including luminous gas-filled tubes formed into text, symbols or decorative elements and directly visible from the outside of the sign cabinet.
- SKY GLOW
- The brightening of the night sky that results from the scattering of artificial visible radiation by the constituents of the atmosphere.
- TEMPORARY LIGHTING
- Lighting which does not conform to the provisions of this chapter and which will not be used for more than one consecutive thirty-day period within a calendar year, with one consecutive thirty-day extension. Temporary lighting is intended for uses which by their nature are of a limited duration; for example holiday lighting decorations, civic events, or construction projects.
- Permitting light to pass through but diffusing it so that persons, objects, etc., on the opposite side are not clearly visible.
- USE, ABANDONMENT OF
- The relinquishment of a property, or the cessation of a use or activity by the owner or tenant for a continuous period of 12 months, excluding temporary or short term interruptions for the purpose of remodeling, maintaining or rearranging a facility. A use shall be deemed abandoned when such use is suspended as evidenced by the cessation of activities or conditions which constitute the principal use of the property.
It is the intent of this chapter to define practical and effective measures by which the obtrusive aspects of excessive and/or careless outdoor light usage can be minimized, while preserving safety, security and the nighttime use and enjoyment of property. These measures will reasonably curtail the degradation of the nighttime visual environment by encouraging lighting practices that direct appropriate amounts of light where and when it is needed, increasing the use of energy-efficient sources, and decreasing the wastage of light, sky glow, and glare resulting from over-lighting and poorly shielded or inappropriately directed lighting fixtures.
In adopting this chapter, credit is hereby given to the International Darksky Association for its assistance in providing valuable information and guidance.
All outdoor illuminating devices shall be installed and maintained in conformance with the provisions of this chapter, the Town of Koshkonong Building Code, the Electrical Code, and the Sign Code of the jurisdictions as applicable and under appropriate permit and inspection.
New uses, buildings and major additions or modifications. For all proposed new land uses, developments, buildings, and structures that require a building permit or other authorization from the Town, all outdoor lighting fixtures shall meet the requirements of this chapter. All building additions or modifications of 25% or more in terms of additional dwelling units, gross floor area, or parking spaces, either with a single addition or with cumulative additions subsequent to the effective date of this provision, shall be subject to the requirements of this chapter for the entire property, including previously installed and any new outdoor lighting.
Existing uses. Existing uses shall be exempted from the provisions of this chapter in the circumstances as described in § 334-8 below. Existing uses and lighting which substantially deviate from the purpose and Intent set forth above, and which are brought to the attention of the Town Board by an aggrieved party, may constitute a public nuisance under § 391-2A and subject to abatement or other relief.
Resumption of use after abandonment. If a property or use with nonconforming lighting is abandoned as defined below, then all outdoor lighting shall be reviewed and brought into compliance with this chapter before any use is resumed.
Roadways. Lighting for public roadways is exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
The following lighting standards are hereby imposed:
All nonexempt outdoor lighting fixtures shall be fully shielded.
All nonexempt outdoor lighting fixtures shall be placed so as to not cause light trespass, or light glare.
All nonexempt outdoor lighting fixtures shall be of a type and placed so as to not allow any light above the horizontal, as measured at the luminaire.
All light fixtures that are required to be shielded shall be installed and maintained in such a manner that the shielding is effective as described in the definition of "fully shielded light fixture" in § 334-1 for fully shielded fixtures.
Residential, and all other uses except commercial or business shall not exceed 5,500 lumens per acre. Commercial or business zoned uses shall not exceed 70,000 lumens per property.
External illumination for signs shall conform to all provisions of this chapter. All upward directed lighting is prohibited.
Recreational facilities. Lighting for outdoor athletic fields, courts or tracks shall conform to the provisions of this chapter, except that they are exempted. Field lighting for these facilities shall be turned off within one-half hour after the last game or event of the night.
Temporary exemptions. Any person may request of the Town Board of the Town a temporary exemption from the provisions of this chapter.
Nonconformance. Any lighting in existence as of the effective date of this chapter is subject to the following:
Bottom-mounted or unshielded outdoor advertising sign lighting shall not be used beginning five years after enactment of this chapter.
All other outdoor light fixtures lawfully installed prior to and operable on the effective date of this chapter are exempt from all requirements of this chapter. There shall be no change in use or lamp type, or any replacement (except for same-type and same-output lamp replacement), or structural alteration made, without conforming to all applicable requirements of this chapter. Further, if the property is abandoned, or if there is a change in use of the property, the provisions of this chapter will apply when the abandonment ceases or the new use commences.
State and federal facilities. Compliance with the intent of this chapter at all state and federal facilities is encouraged, but is not mandatory.
Emergency lighting. Emergency lighting, used by police, firefighting, or medical personnel, or at their direction, is exempt from all requirements of this chapter as long as the emergency exists.
Swimming pool and fountain lighting. Underwater lighting used for the illumination of swimming pools and fountains is exempt from the lamp type and shielding standards, though it must conform to all other provisions of this chapter.
Residential fixtures. Outdoor light fixtures attached to residential buildings and located below the eave and less than 2,000 lumens are exempt from the provisions of this chapter. Light fixtures 2,000 lumens and over are not exempt. Outdoor fixtures above the eave, or attached to buildings or poles separate from the residence are not exempt. Spot or flood lights shall be fully shielded and directed no more than 45° above straight down.
Flags, lighted. United States and State of Wisconsin flags are exempt from the provisions of this chapter. All other outdoor lighted flags, such as, but not limited to, decorative and commercial flags shall conform to the provisions of this chapter.
Holiday lighting is exempt from the provisions of this chapter from the day before Thanksgiving until January 30 of the following year.
Internally illuminated and neon lighted outdoor signs are exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
Laser and search lights are exempt from the provisions of this chapter when used for temporary purposes of not more than five consecutive days in a six-month period. This restriction shall apply to either the same person or same property.
Towers. Legally required safety lighting for towers shall be exempt from this chapter.
Airfields and airports. These facilities, both commercial and noncommercial, shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter where lighting is used for air safety reasons. All other lighting shall conform to this chapter.
Motion detector control. Lights controlled by a motion detector are exempt when such lights do not cause the property to exceed lumen limits.
[Added 3-13-2019 by Ord. No. 1]
Decorative or accent lighting made up of strings of multiple unshielded bulbs will be allowed when:
[Added 3-13-2019 by Ord. No. 1]
When an existing light would be in violation of this chapter, but is exempted, the exemption may be withdrawn if the Town Board finds the lighting to be:
Any person substantially aggrieved by any decision of the designated official made in administration of this chapter has the right and responsibilities of appeal to the Town Board.
Where any provision of federal, state, county, township, or city statutes, codes, or laws conflict with any provision of this chapter, the more restrictive shall govern unless otherwise regulated by law.
[Amended 3-13-2019 by Ord. No. 1]
Violations of this chapter shall be subject to the penalty provided in § 1-3, General penalty.
If any of the provisions of this chapter or the application thereof are held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this chapter which can be given effect, and to this end, the provisions of this chapter are declared to be severable.
This chapter shall become effective as of August 10, 2001.