Town of DeWitt, NY
Onondaga County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of DeWitt 11-25-2002 by L.L. No. 8-2002. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire prevention and building construction — See Ch. 94.
Signs — See Ch. 151.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 161.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 164.
Zoning — See Ch. 192.
This Lighting Code is adopted for the purposes of preserving, protecting and enhancing the lawful nighttime use and enjoyment of nonresidential property in the Town of DeWitt through the designation of reasonable standards regarding appropriate lighting systems and equipment, their installation, and regular maintenance practices applied thereto. It is intended to eliminate problems of glare and light trespass and help reduce energy use of inappropriate outdoor lighting while increasing the attractiveness of DeWitt at night. Quality design and systems when combined with regular maintenance of lighting equipment help to beautify property and neighborhoods; make intended outdoor nighttime activity possible; aid public safety and individual security; and control unnecessary glare and light trespass. To minimize the cumulative effect of multiple properties casting artificial outdoor light detrimental to the desirable nighttime environment of neighboring properties, outdoor lighting shall serve to provide the minimum illumination over the smallest areas of a site or object necessary for the average-sighted person to accomplish the activity(s) or task(s) for the property's intended legal use.
If a person, firm or corporation illuminates or intends to illuminate the exterior of a property or a part thereof or a structure located in the Town of DeWitt outside the Village of East Syracuse for nonresidential use or for a multiple-family dwelling, then this outdoor lighting code shall guide the selection, installation, use, repair, alteration and maintenance of such lighting equipment and systems.
The Planning Board shall prepare and, following a public hearing, adopt such rules and regulations thereto in order to carry out the spirit and intent of this code, provided the Town Board approves the same by simple resolution. The Planning Board may make recommendations to the Town Board regarding amendments to this code.
[Amended 1-21-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
Proposals for outdoor lighting exceeding the limits established herein shall first be submitted in abbreviated form to the Department for review and determination of a need for permit pursuant to the rules established by this code and Chapters 15 and 94 of the Town Code. Notwithstanding the foregoing, an applicant with nonconforming outdoor lighting who makes an application before the Planning Board on an unrelated issue shall not be required to submit an outdoor lighting plan or address the issue of outdoor lighting in any manner, and controlled site approval shall not be conditioned, when lighting is not being added, changed, altered, reduced or affected by the application, unless the Department has commenced or commences an action pursuant to § 117-7B of this code, regarding glare or light trespass.
A. 
Criteria.
(1) 
All outdoor lighting shall conform to the requirements of this code.
(2) 
The luminous surface of a luminaire shall, in general, be horizontally mounted and aimed away from a property boundary so as not to create glare or trespass.
(3) 
A luminaire shall be of a design accepted by the Illumination Engineering Society of North America, or IESNA, as a fully enclosed, cutoff-style fixture with an integrally designed, fixed-connector (no swivel) arm for post or wall mounting. Drop lens fixtures are not acceptable.
(4) 
Light intensity and uniformity shall be consistent with this code, taking into account illumination of abutting properties.
(5) 
Lighting designs and installations shall avoid glare and light trespass to neighboring properties and shall not adversely affect the character of these areas. The amount of illumination projected onto an adjoining property shall not exceed 0.1 vertical footcandle measured at ground level along the property line.
(6) 
Power wiring shall be underground and internal to the equipment and structure.
(7) 
The Lighting Handbook of the IESNA shall be used as a guide for lighting levels except as herein provided.
(8) 
Users of outdoor lighting are encouraged to use automatic switching devices to extinguish or reduce excessive lighting at times when the need for such lighting diminishes.
(9) 
The maximum usage of LED light sources is encouraged and required as noted herein.
[Added 1-21-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
B. 
Installation and design guidelines.
[Added 7-12-2004]
(1) 
Guidelines.
(a) 
Section 117-15, Lighting Guidelines Chart, specifies the activity and minimum lighting levels that are appropriate for projects within the Town. Maximum and minimum light levels and color rendition values are shown in the Chart.
(b) 
The color rendition index for all lighting shall be 65 or greater, except at facilities with external ATMs where the color rendition index shall not be less than 70. Industrial uses shall have no minimum CRI unless it abuts a Residential District, in which instance the CRI shall exceed 50.
(c) 
Illumination at banks and facilities with an external automated teller machine (ATM) shall be higher only in the area of the ATM to conform to the then current New York State Banking Law. Such higher light levels shall not be achieved by an increase in light trespass or the creation of glare.
[Amended 1-21-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
(d) 
Illumination at motor vehicle fueling pump islands and underneath a related canopy at service stations and convenience stores shall have a minimum illuminance value not less than 1.0 FC and not more than 1.5 FC. The uniformity ratio of 4:1 applied to the minimum value shall yield an average illumination at the gas pump and under any related canopy of 6.0 FC. The maximum illuminance value shall not exceed 10.0 FC in the area of the fuel pump islands or under such canopy. Areas beyond the canopy and pump islands used for passage or parking shall be illuminated in accordance with the values for service station and convenience store parking listed in the Lighting Guidelines Chart.
(e) 
All light fixtures on a site shall have the same lamp type and CRI index.
(f) 
Areas designated as exterior display/sales areas shall be illuminated so that the average horizontal illuminance at grade is no more than 5.0 FC. Lighting of these areas shall not be used to attract attention to the business.
(g) 
Freestanding sign lighting shall be internal to the sign structure.
(h) 
There shall be no lighting under awnings.
(i) 
Exterior sports facilities shall submit a lighting report and plan prepared by a qualified designer which clearly documents the need and design parameters for the level of lighting desired.
(2) 
Lighting ratios.
(a) 
The uniformity ratio for all lighting applications shall not exceed 4:1.
(b) 
The ratio of highest and lowest footcandle levels shall not exceed 10:1.
(3) 
Fixture heights.
(a) 
Pole-mounted fixtures:
[1] 
Fixture mounting heights above the paved grade adjacent to the pole for all pole-mounted lighting shall be as shown in the Lighting Guidelines Chart, § 117-15. In no event shall the maximum mounting height above the paved grade adjacent to the pole for a luminaire exceed 35 feet.
[2] 
Notwithstanding the Lighting Guidelines Chart, parking lot fixture mounting height shall not exceed the eave height of the principal building in a project by more than five feet, except no fixture shall be mounted less than 15 feet above the paved grade adjacent to the pole.
[3] 
Where any light fixture pole is located within 10 feet of a property line on a site, the maximum mounting height for all pole-mounted luminaires on the site shall be 20 feet above the grade adjacent to the pole.
(b) 
Wall-mounted fixtures:
[1] 
The maximum mounting height for wall-mounted lighting shall not exceed 20 feet on all buildings, except industrial where the maximum mounting height shall not exceed 25 feet subject to the conditions noted below.
[2] 
All wall-mounted lighting shall be coordinated with a building's architecture and site lighting needs and shall in all cases be mounted below the lowest eave line of any building roof.
[3] 
Light fixtures shall not be mounted on building-mounted poles or supports that extend above said eave line.
[4] 
Wall-mounted fixtures intended to light doorways shall be mounted a maximum of three feet above the door head.
(4) 
Fixtures.
(a) 
General.
[1] 
All light fixtures shall meet IESNA criteria for full cutoff fixtures which are defined in § 117-14, Definitions.
[2] 
Non-cutoff decorative lighting fixtures with no more than 1,200 initial lumens may be used as alternates or supplements to lighting.
[Amended 1-21-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
[3] 
Only fixtures capable of retrofitting with light-directing devices are acceptable. See § 117-5A(3).
(b) 
Wall-mounted fixtures shall have a housing and lens configuration that prevents direct view of the lamp through the lens. The fixture housing shall cut off the light beam so that it projects not more than 75° up from vertical.
(5) 
The use of neon lighting is prohibited except as a light source for internally lit signs.
(6) 
Fixtures with an LED light source shall be utilized for all parking area lighting. This includes all pole-mounted lighting. Additionally, if parking lot lighting using building-mounted light fixtures is allowed as part of the site plan review process, such lighting fixtures shall utilize an LED light source. Fixtures mounted under canopies over drive and access areas shall utilize an LED light source resulting in a maximum five footcandles.
[Amended 1-21-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
(7) 
Mounting.
(a) 
Wherever possible, light fixtures shall face inward from the perimeter of a property and shall face toward the structure.
(b) 
Fixtures used for architectural lighting, e.g., facade, fountain, feature and landscape lighting, 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.
(c) 
Canopy light fixtures shall have a flat lens, and the fixture shall be flush mounted with the soffit surface. Where soffit lights may cause glare, the lowering of the edge of the canopy to further shield the canopy lights shall be required.
(d) 
Flood or spot lights shall be so installed or aimed that they do not project their output into the window of a neighboring property, an adjacent use, directly skyward or onto a roadway.
(e) 
Lighting at service stations or convenience stores shall not be mounted on the top or fascia of the canopy.
(8) 
Site light bases.
(a) 
Wherever possible, locate site light poles behind curbing and/or in landscape or grass areas. Site light bases in such areas shall have an exposed surface of three inches or less and shall be placed not less than three feet from the protected edge, edge of paving or within a curbed island.
(b) 
Site light bases located in paved areas may have up to 30 inches of concrete exposed.
(c) 
Site light bases shall be poured concrete using Kellamy 610R forms manufactured by ArtFORMS with silver metallic bands on the exposed upper and lower accent bands or equals approved by the Planning Board.
(9) 
Lighting controls.
(a) 
All lighting shall be controlled by automatic switching devices such as timers, motion detectors, heat sensors or photocells, to extinguish lighting between 10:00 p.m. (or 30 minutes after closing if later) and dawn.
(b) 
Where lighting is necessary beyond the times specified in § 175-5B(9)(a) above, for safety or security, the lighting intensity levels shall not exceed 50% of the levels normally permitted by this ordinance, but in no case shall these be less than specified by IESNA.
C. 
Submission requirements. Proposals for outdoor lighting shall include a separate plan dedicated to lighting. The lighting plan shall include all intended lighting for the project, including but not limited to canopy lights, wall-mounted fixtures, architectural lighting and walkway lighting. Existing on-site lighting as well as pertinent off-site lighting shall be shown on the drawings. Wall-mounted light locations shall also be shown on building elevation drawings submitted as part of the application. Lighting plans shall be submitted at a readable scale appropriate to the size of the project but in no case at a scale greater than one inch equals 40 feet.
[Added 7-12-2004]
(1) 
Lighting values, in footcandles, shall be plotted on the lighting drawing in a grid not greater than 25 feet by 25 feet. Footcandle levels in a vertical plane at the site perimeter shall also be provided. The footcandle values shall include all fixtures on the site using a 75% maintenance factor.
(2) 
Calculations for lighting on the site shall include maximum FC, minimum FC, average FC and uniformity ratio. Average FC calculation shall be based only on points within 10 feet of the edge of the area to be lit and within the property lines. The average light level is determined by adding the footcandle value of all the points in the grid and dividing by the total number of points. The maintenance factor used for lighting calculations shall be stated on the lighting drawings.
(3) 
Catalog cuts of the lighting fixtures shall include glare reduction devices, lamps, lens type, control devices and manufacturer's original copies of the fixture photometric data. Fixture cuts must include designation of the fixture as IESNA "full cutoff" fixture and include color rendering index (CRI) of all lamps. Should a substitute for any lighting fixture approved by the Planning Board be selected, catalog cuts with complete information for the substitute fixture shall be submitted to the Planning Board for its approval prior to the ordering and/or installation of same.
(4) 
Lighting plans shall include a description of the timers, dimmers and/or sensors to reduce overall energy consumption and eliminate unneeded lighting along with the proposed hours of operation.
(5) 
When requested by the Department, the lighting drawings shall be certified by a professional engineer or architect specializing in lighting design.
[Amended 1-21-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
D. 
No permit. No development permit is necessary, provided the intended lighting meets the guidelines and general requirements of this code.
E. 
Permit and controlled site review. A development permit and controlled site application must be submitted together with outdoor lighting information for equipment and systems which exceed the limits contained in this code.
The following applications of outdoor lighting are hereby exempt from the provisions of this code:
A. 
Hazard warning and emergency lighting by a governmental entity;
B. 
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) lighting requirements applicable to Syracuse Hancock International Airport;
C. 
Lighting required by the Town of DeWitt, Onondaga County, state or federal office;
D. 
Temporary holiday lighting subject to the requirements of §§ 117-8 and 117-9 of this code;
E. 
All outdoor single- and two-family residential lighting.
A. 
Outdoor lighting which has been subject to Planning Board review and approval and is in conformance with said approval prior to the enactment of this chapter shall be deemed to be conforming lighting and shall not be subject to this chapter, except that such lighting shall be subject to provisions of Subsection B(2), below.
B. 
Glare and light trespass.
[Amended 1-21-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
(1) 
When a formal complaint is received by the Department, the procedure outlined in "Codes Enforcement Complaint Policy: Department" shall be followed.
(2) 
In instances where lighting may pose a risk to travelers along public roads due to glare, the Department may direct corrective measures be taken by the owner or the person-in-charge, including removal, disabling, or other corrective actions, as soon as possible.
Other lighting applications and uses not explicitly addressed herein shall be controlled by this code, including but not limited to such applications as sign, architectural, landscaping, and sports facility lighting.
Flashing or moving lights whether associated with a sign are prohibited along with general area lighting, floodlighting or spotlights which produce excess glare or trespass. All lights and associated equipment not specifically permitted in this code are prohibited unless appropriate level of approval is first obtained.
The Zoning Board of Appeals shall hear appeals for exceptions and interpretations to this chapter as may be necessary.
[Amended 1-21-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
This code shall be enforced by the Department. In the event of glare or light trespass and upon the filing of a formal complaint, written notice shall be given to the owner or person-in-charge relative to the infraction and the recourse available.
A violation of this chapter shall be an offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $200 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 10 days, or both. Failure to comply may result in prosecution and freezing of a subsequent permit(s) for the subject property until conformance with this code is achieved.
This code shall supersede all other codes. In cases of conflict, the more restrictive code shall govern.
[Added 7-12-2004]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
COLOR RENDITION INDEX (CRI)
A measure of the degree of color shift objects undergo when illuminated by the light source as compared with those same objects when illuminated by a reference source of comparable color temperature. Generally, a higher CRI value indicates greater color clarity.
DEPARTMENT
The word “Department” means the Town of DeWitt Department of Planning and Zoning.
[Added 1-21-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
FIXTURE HEIGHT
The mounting height of a fixture shall be measured from the paved grade adjacent to the pole to the top of the light fixture including any base height.
FIXTURES, FULL CUTOFF
Full cutoff fixtures shall have zero light intensity at an angle of 90° above vertical and at all angles greater than 90° above vertical. Additionally, the lumens per 1,000 lamp lumens shall not exceed 100 (10%) at an angle of 80°.
FLOODLIGHTS
An exposed lamp fixture designed to light a scene or object to a luminance greater than its surroundings.
FOOTCANDLE (FC)
A measure of light falling on a given surface. One footcandle (one FC) is equal to the amount of light generated by one candle shining on a square foot surface one foot away. Unless otherwise noted, footcandle readings are taken at ground level. (In this code, all uses of the term footcandles are calculated using the maintenance factor noted below).
FOOTCANDLE, AVERAGE
The average density of light on an area to be illuminated in footcandles calculated using a set of grid points, 75% maintenance factor and their corresponding luminance values.
FOOTCANDLE, MAXIMUM
The maximum lighting level in footcandles allowed on an area to be illuminated. The maximum footcandle value is determined using a 75% maintenance factor.
FOOTCANDLE, MINIMUM
The lowest recommended light level consistent with the seeing task desired for the area to be illuminated. The minimum footcandle value is determined using a 75% maintenance factor.
GLARE
The sensation produced by luminance within the visual field that is sufficiently greater than the luminance to which the eye is adapted so as to cause annoyance, discomfort or loss in visual performance or visibility.
LUMEN
A measure of light energy generated by a light source.
LUMINANCE
Composed of the intensity of light striking an object or surface and the amount of light reflected back toward the eye. All surfaces have some reflecting qualities and therefore have luminance; light surfaces being more reflective than dark surfaces.
MAINTENANCE FACTOR
A measurement of the decrease in lumen output of a light fixture that occurs with the passage of time due to several factors, including lamp depreciation and lens cleanliness. The maintenance factor used in this code is 75%.
MINIMUM RECOMMENDED LIGHTING VALUE
The lowest acceptable lighting level, in footcandles, consistent with the seeing of a task for which lighting is necessary. Such minimum levels are specified in § 117-15, Lighting Guidelines Chart.
NADIR
The lowest point of a sphere.
UNIFORMITY RATIO
A constant used to determine the maximum average luminance value allowed for lighting an area. The maximum average luminance value is equal to the product of the minimum recommended lighting value and the uniformity ratio. It is intended to minimize the differences in overly light or dark areas to produce more uniform lighting on a site.
[1]
Editor's Note: The chart is included as an attachment to this chapter.