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Lighting Lighting at Service Stations

Joe Iliff

Reformed City Planner
Messages
1,441
Points
28
My department has had several applicants, mostly service stations and car dealerships, complain that they can meet our lighting standards, that they are too restrictive.
What do other communities do?
I have found other communities lighting ordinances online, but nothing that specifcally sets a different standard for these kind of uses.
Your suggestions are appreciated.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,326
Points
53
Another quote from a zoning code I'm rewriting. Appropriate areas are in bold.

Exterior lighting

275 Purpose

Poorly designed exterior lighting can adversely affecting any abutting properties and the town’s character, and contribute to light pollution. Regulation of exterior lighting can control such negative effects, while still allowing property owners to meet functional security and safety needs.

276 Permitted lighting

276.05 Light sources. Permitted lighting sources are as follows:

• Low pressure sodium, mercury vapor - permitted, must be partially shielded.
• High pressure sodium, mercury vapor - permitted only on arterial and collector streets with rights-of-way 100’ (30m) or wider, must be fully shielded.
• Metal halide - permitted between sundown and 11:00 pm or close of business hours, must be fully shielded. Light must be filtered with a glass, acrylic or translucent enclosure of the light source.
• Fluorescent (strongly discouraged - permitted, must be fully shielded. Warm white and natural lamps must be used to reduce detrimental effects.
• Quartz and halogen - permitted, must be fully shielded.
• Incandescent (>160 watts) - permitted, must be fully shielded with frosted glass lens. If >160 watts, partially shielded if <=160 watts.
• Any light source under 50 watts - permitted, no shielding required.
• Glass tubes filled with neon, argon, or krypton - permitted, must be fully shielded.
• Laser source light - prohibited.
• Strobe light – prohibited.

Shielding is achieved when no light rays are emitted by the installed fixture above the horizontal plane. Partial shielding is achieved when no more than 10% of the light rays are emitted by the installed fixture at angles above the horizontal plane.

Light sources must produce accurate color rendition. Incandescent, mercury vapor and high pressure sodium light sources all have good color rendition.

276.10 Freestanding light standards/poles. The maximum height of freestanding light standards is:

• Parking areas - 16’ for non-cutoff fixtures, and 24’ for cutoff fixtures
• Pedestrian areas - 16’
• Sports fields – 40’

The design of light standards must be consistent with the style, character and period of architecture on the site. Bare metal poles and “sonotube” type concrete poles and bases are prohibited. Light standards must be placed within landscape islands wherever possible.

All outdoor lighting fixtures must be 10’ or more from a property or right-of-way line and must not be within a required landscape buffer unless it is located at the interior edge.

Lighting attached to poles to illuminate a building is prohibited.

276.15 Attached light fixtures. The use of sconces is preferred over freestanding light standards to illuminate areas near building walls. All sconces must direct light against the building wall. The design of sconces must be consistent with the style, character and period of the host structure.

Wall packs on buildings may be used at entrances to a building to light unsafe areas. They are not intended to draw attention to the building or provide general building or site lighting. Wall packs must be fully shielded to direct the light downward. Maximum bulb wattage is 100 watts.

276.20 Gas and service station canopies. A maximum of two 250 watt recessed lighting fixtures (including lenses) mounted flush with the bottom of the canopy on each side of a gasoline pump island is permitted. Lights that project below the canopy ceiling are prohibited.

276.25 Flood lights. Flood lights and klieg lights are permitted only to illuminate sports fields, outdoor recreation areas and construction sites at night. Floodlights must be fully shielded or provided with sharp cut-off capability, to minimize up-light, spill-light and glare.

276.30 Accent lighting. Bottom-mounted lights used to illuminate landscaping and water features, or provide visual accents is permitted.

276.35 Signs. Signs may be illuminated internally. Bottom mounted lights may be used to illuminate a monument sign that is 8’ tall or shorter. Exposed bulbs that outline a sign are prohibited. Blinking, chasing, or other changes in intensity, whether intentional or not; and electronic message centers, are prohibited.

277 General standards

277.05 Display levels. The maximum illumination measured at the property line is 0.5 foot-candles for non cut-off lights, and 1.5 foot-candles for cut-off lights. The maximum illumination spillover onto residential zoned properties is .5 foot-candle.

277.10 Display lot lighting. All display lot lighting must be turned off after 11:00 p.m., or within 30 minutes after the closing of business, whatever is earlier. Lighting used after 11:00 p.m. or the close of business must be the minimum necessary to serve as security lighting. Lighting must not be used as a form of advertising or to attract attention to the display lot.

277.15 Illumination of background and foreground spaces. Background spaces like parking lots must be illuminated as unobtrusively as possible to meet the functional needs of circulation, security and safety. Foreground spaces, such as building entrances and plaza seating areas, must use proximate lighting that defines the space without glare.

277.20 Light pollution. All lighting must be designed to minimize light pollution and spillage on adjacent properties.

277.25 Confusion with warning devices. Site lighting or illumination devices that may be confused with warning, emergency or traffic signals is prohibited.

277.30 Lighting as advertising. Site lighting must not be used for the purpose of advertising or attracting attention.

278 Alternative compliance

The Town Planner may consider and recommend approval of an alternative lighting plan. Alternative lighting plans must clearly identify and discuss the modifications and alternatives proposed and the ways in which the plan will better accomplish the purpose of this section than would a plan that complies with this section. In reviewing an alternative lighting plan, the Town planner will consider the extent to which the proposed design protects natural areas from light intrusion, enhances neighborhood continuity and connectivity, and demonstrates innovative and creative design.




I also have special design regulations for "Vehicle and boat sales and rental" and "gas stations" that are applicable in addition to the regular site planning and architectural design requirements.

291 Vehicle and boat sales and rental

291.40 Lighting. Lighting must conform to Development Code lighting requirements. Night lighting and security lighting must be sensitively designed to ensure no off-site glare is directed to neighboring parcels and that the overall intensity of the site lighting is not excessive. The use of excessive night security lighting is discouraged, and the use of other security measures should be considered.

294 Gas stations

294.40 Lighting. Awnings and canopy fascias must not be internally illuminated. Canopy lighting must comply with Development Code lighting standards regarding recessed placement, number, luminosity and source type.


Brag, brag, brag ... :)
 

NHPlanner

Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,860
Points
38
Our recently revised regs include the following section, as well as a canopy lighting diagram (if you want it, I can send it to you):

3.13 OUTDOOR LIGHTING DESIGN STANDARDS:
a. The following words and terms related to outdoor lighting are defined as follows:
1. Disability Glare- The eye’s Line-of-Sight contact with a direct light source, which causes a partial blindness
2. Footcandle- A unit of measure for illuminance. A unit of illuminance on a surface that is everywhere one foot from a uniform point source of light of one candle and equal to one lumen per square foot
3. Full cut off type fixture - A luminaire or light fixture that; by design of the housing, does not allow any light dispersion or direct glare to shine above 90 degree, horizontal plane from the base of the fixture. Full cut-off fixtures must be installed in a horizontal position as designed, or the purpose of the design is defeated, and disability glare will result.
4. Horizontal Illuminance- The measurement of brightness from a light source, usually measured in footcandles or lumens, which is taken through a light meter’s sensor at a horizontal position.
5. Light Trespass- Light from an artificial light source that is intruding into an area where it is not wanted or does not belong.
6. Uplighting- Any light source that distributes illumination above a 90 degree horizontal plane.
7. Uniformity Ratio (U. Ratio)- Describes the average level of illumination in relation to the lowest level of illumination for a given area. Example: U. Ratio =4:1 for the given area, the lowest level of illumination (1) should be no less than 25% or “4 times less” than the average (4 ) level of illumination.
b. Purpose: It is the goal of this section to provide further guidance to developers in implementing sections 603J (Lighting) and 703N (Lighting) of the Londonderry Zoning Ordinance. Further, it is also the goal of this section to establish minimum requirements for lighting for all non-residential projects (non-residential projects include multi-family proposals). Recognizing that inappropriate and poorly designed or installed outdoor lighting causes unsafe and unpleasant conditions, limits residents ability to enjoy the nighttime sky, and results in unnecessary use of electric power. Conversely, it is also recognized that some outdoor lighting is appropriate in areas such as civic, commercial and industrial centers. To ensure appropriate lighting while minimizing its undesirable side effects, the following regulations are established.
c. General Requirements
1. That all exterior lights and illuminated signs shall be designed, located, installed and directed in such a manner as to prevent objectionable light, and glare across, the property lines and disability glare at any location on or off the property. The “maintained horizontal illuminance recommendation” set by the illuminating Engineers Society of North America (IES) shall be observed. (See appendix LIGHT 1)
2. All parking area lighting will be full cut-off type fixtures.
3. Uplighting is prohibited. Externally lit signs, display, building and aesthetic lighting must be shielded to prevent direct glare and/or light trespass in excess of 0.2 footcandles. The lighting must also be, as much as physically possible, contained to the target area. Internally lit signs are acceptable provided that they meet the requirements of the Londonderry Zoning Ordinance.
4. All building lighting for security or aesthetics will be full cut-off or a shielded type, not allowing any upward distribution of light. Flood lighting is discouraged, and if used, must be shielded to prevent:
a. Disability glare for drivers or pedestrians,
b. Light trespass beyond the property line, and
c. Light above a 90 degree, horizontal plane. Unshielded wallpack type fixtures are not acceptable.
5. Adjacent to residential property, no direct light source will be visible at the property line at ground level or above.
6. All non-essential lighting will be required to be turned off after business hours, leaving only the necessary lighting for security. (“Non-essential” can apply to: display, aesthetic, parking and sign lighting).
7. When outdoor lighting installation or replacement is part of a development proposal for which site plan approval is required under these regulations, the Planning Board shall review and approve the lighting installation as part of its site plan approval.
8. Lighting of Gas Station/Convenience Store Aprons and Canopies: All of the above standards shall apply, as well as the standards in Appendix LIGHT 2.
9. When an outdoor lighting installation is being modified, extended, expanded or added to, the entire outdoor lighting installation shall be subject to the requirements of this section
10. Expansion, additions, or replacements to outdoor lighting installations shall be designed to avoid harsh contrast in color and or lighting levels
11. Electrical service to outdoor lighting fixtures shall be underground.
12. Proposed lighting installations that are not covered in this section may be approved if the Planning Board finds that they are designed to minimize glare, do not direct light beyond the boundaries in excess of 0.2 footcandles of the area being illuminated or onto adjacent properties or streets, and do not result in excessive lighting levels. The U-Ratio for any site may not be greater than 4:1.
13. For the purposes of these regulations, the mounting height of a lighting fixture shall be defined as the vertical distance from the grade elevation of the surface being illuminated to the bottom of the lighting fixture (i.e luminaire).
14. Temporary (3 months) Holiday lighting during the months of November, December and January shall be exempt for the provisions of this section, provided that such lighting does not create dangerous glare or adjacent streets or properties.
15. The Planning Board may modify the requirements of this section if it determines that in so doing, it will not jeopardize the intent of these regulations.
 

NHPlanner

Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator
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Moderator
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9,860
Points
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The other sections on lighting from our regulations (forgot to paste them in the previous message):

4.16 ILLUMINATION PLANS: The applicant shall submit to the Town sufficient information, in accordance with Section 3.13, in the form of an overall exterior lighting plan, to enable the Town to determine that the applicable provisions will be satisfied. The lighting plan shall include at least the following:
a. A site plan, drawn to the required scale, showing all buildings, landscaping, parking areas, all proposed exterior lighting fixtures;
b. Specification (details) for all proposed lighting fixtures including photometric data, designation as IESNA “cut-off” fixtures, Color Rendering Index (CRI) of all lamps (bulbs), and other descriptive information on the fixtures;
c. Proposed mounting height of all exterior lighting fixtures;
d. Analyses and illuminance level diagrams showing that the proposed installation conforms to the lighting level standards in this section. Off-site lighting should be considered in the analyses; and
e. Drawing of all relevant building elevations showing the fixtures, the portions of the walls to be illuminated, the illuminance levels of the walls, and the aiming points for any remote light fixtures.

APPENDIX LIGHT-1 (does not translate well to ASCII text...the regs are available on-line at www.londonderry.org/page.asp?Page_Id=272)

APPENDIX LIGHT-2 (See on-line regs to see diagram)

Lighting levels on gas station/convenience store aprons and under canopies shall be adequate to facilitate the activities taking place in such locations. Lighting of such areas shall not be used to attract attention to the businesses. Signs allowed under the appropriate section of the Londonderry Zoning Ordinance shall be used for that purpose.

1. Areas on the apron away from the gasoline pump islands used for parking or vehicle storage shall be illuminated in accordance with the requirements for parking areas set forth elsewhere in this section. If no gasoline pumps are provided, the entire apron shall be treated as a parking area;
2. Areas around the pump islands and under canopies shall be illuminated in accordance with Appendix A of these regulations;
3. Light fixtures mounted on canopies shall be recessed so that the lens cover is recessed or flush with the bottom surface (ceiling) of the canopy and /or shielded by the fixture or the edge of the canopy so that light is restrained to no more than 85 degrees from vertical, as shown in the sketch below.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
33
lighting standards

We specifically do not have a different lighting standard. All fixtures have to be full cut HPS, max footcandles our plan commission have approved have been 9, and provided there is 0.5 footcandles or less at all proeprty boundaries.

Maximum fixture heigh is limited to 15 feet, but exceptions have been granted for large retail centers, otherwise you get the pincushion effect going!

Dont let them give you the BS that they CANT meet your standard. Thats just a "corporate standard" and some frontline peon in their development department probably has his quarterly bonus riding on controlled costs and uniform application of corporate standards.

Good luck!
 

Joe Iliff

Reformed City Planner
Messages
1,441
Points
28
Lighting

Thanks, bturk, but how do you know they can't meet our standard without knowing what the standard is? Our maximum average footcandles on site is a lot lower than yours.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Why bother?

What is the issue? I'm familiar enough with McKinney, Plano, Richardson, etc... And if I'm not mistaken there are few square inches of town that don't have a heat lap above. Have we become so hyper sensitive that overhead lights bother us and headlights don't?
 

Joe Iliff

Reformed City Planner
Messages
1,441
Points
28
headlights

Oh, no. Headlights bother us too. They have to be screened from view from the street and adjoining properties. We haven't yet gotten to require a certain color of headlights, though.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,326
Points
53
Two words. Light pollution.

In my town, residents are struggling to preserve a "small town character" in the face of growth. While attributes that make up "small town character" are difficult to quantify, it would be safe to say that the "landing UFO" effects of gas station canopies probably detract from the citizens' desired built environment.

Gas stations, and mational national businesses, are actively seeking ways to circumvent increasingly strict sign regulations throughout the United States. Bright lighting is seen as a loophole around sign regulations, and an additional way to draw attention to a business.

As far as "sensitivity," there's been what I call "visual pollution creep" into the built environment over the past 30 or 40 years. Utility poles were signs of progress, and billboards and high rise signs slipped past the public. Cellular towers and on-site lighting seem to be the straws that are breaking the camel's back.

I've also observed that the concept of an ideal urban aesthetic seems to vary throughout the country. Texas cities have sign clutter that makes Las Vegas seem mild by comparison, but I've never heard a planner from Texas complain about signs or billboards. In the Denver metro area, most municipalities ban billboards, and on-premises signage is usually very low-key. Denverites value the scenic environment, and see billboards as an unwanted intrusion. Same thing in Phoenix. From my conversations with Texans, though, they see enormous signs and billboards as evidence of a vibrant economy and unfettered free enterprise; the signs and lights and clutter speak a different message to them. Feedlots produce the "smell of money" to those on the western plains, and a 150' tall Whataburger sign is seen as the "sight of money" among San Antonio residents. I'd imagine that the attitude towards on-site lighting is seen in a similar regard.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Parking Lot Lighting

My comments were merely designed to demonstrate frustration with the Planning fields preoccupation with minutia. I'm surely not the only planner who would rather spend time on more sustantive issues. Perhaps this review is being mandated by the local powers that be. We all know what that's like. It's starting to sound like this response needs to be in the "Pet Peeve" forum. Maybe I need to find another line of work?

As far as private businesses thinking the standards are to strict, I think the public sector has failed to build communities through regulatory means. If building people friendly communities is truly what we are about, we need to stop allowing false investments in our community. Most buildings (if you even want to call them buildings) built today have design lifes far less than the average life span on a person. What are we planning for, if the decisions we make today will be erased in 30 years? an investment in community should last longer than those building it. If this means a stronger standard is needed, so be it.

I'm tired of private business that say "let the free market handle it". The fact is free markets don't exist. Every business decision that is made has some degree of public subsidy incentive. What if Walmart had to build their own highway interchange to allow customers access?

McKinney has a nice downtown that they have managed to retain over the last 10 years. Let's invest there.
 
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