SOUTH COVENTRY TOWNSHIP, CHESTER COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
ZONING ORDINANCE, SECTION 1713. LIGHTING
1. To require and set minimum standards for outdoor lighting to provide lighting in outdoor public places where public health, safety and welfare are potential concerns.
2. To protect drivers and pedestrians from the glare of non-vehicular light sources that shine into their eyes and thereby impair safe traverse.
3. To protect neighbors and the night sky from nuisance glare and stray light from poorly aimed, placed, applied, maintained or shielded light sources.
4. To provide for outdoor lighting in a manner consistent with Township objects to protect and retain rural character.
Outdoor lighting shall be required for all uses where necessary to provide for public safety and personal security during hours of darkness where there is public assembly and traverse, including but not limited to the following uses: multi-family residential, commercial, industrial, public-recreational and institutional.
The glare-control requirements contained herein shall apply to lighting in all above-mentioned uses as well as, but not limited to, signs, architectural lighting, landscape lighting and residential lighting.
1. Illumination Levels
a. Lighting, where required by this Ordinance, shall have intensities and uniformity ratios in accordance with the current recommended practices of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) as contained in the IESNA Lighting Handbook, as amended from time to time, including but not limited to the following examples:
|Use/Task||Maintained Footcandles||Uniformity Ratio - Avg:Min.|
|Streets, local residential||
|Streets, local commercial||
|Parking, residential, multi-family|
Low Vehicular/pedestrian activity
|Medium vehicular/pedestrian activity||
|Parking, Industrial /commercial /institutional /municipal|
|High activity, e.g., regional shopping, fast food, major event venues||
Medium activity, e.g., community shopping, office parks, hospitals, commuter lots, cultural / civic / recreational events
|Low activity, e.g., neighborhood shopping, industrial employment, schools, churches||
|Building Entrances, commercial, industrial, institutional||
Notes: 1) Illumination levels are maintained horizontal footcandles on the task, e.g., pavement or area surface; 2) Uniformity ratios dictate that average illuminance values shall not exceed minimum values by more than the product of the minimum value and the specified ratio, e.g., for commercial parking high activity, the average footcandles shall not be in excess of 3.6 (0.9 x 4).
2. Lighting Fixture Design
a. Fixtures shall be of a type and design appropriate to the specific lighting application.
b. For lighting horizontal tasks such as roadways, sidewalks, entrances and parking areas, fixtures shall meeting IESNA full cutoff criteria (no light output emitted above 90 degrees at any lateral angle around the fixture.
c. The use of floodlighting, spotlighting, wall-mounted fixtures, decorative globes and spheres and other fixtures not meeting IESNA full cutoff criteria, shall be permitted only with the approval of the Township, based upon applicability in retaining the rural character of the Township and achievement of acceptable glare control.
d. When requested by the Township, all fixtures shall be equipped with or be capable of being modified to incorporate light directing and/or shielding devices such as shields, visors, skirts or hoods to redirect offending light distribution and/or reduce direct or reflected glare.
e. For residential applications, omni-directional fixtures, e.g., post top, wall bracket, wall pack, globe and sphere, shall be rendered full cutoff or their cumulative light output per fixture limited to that of a 60 watt incandescent bulb, i.e., no greater than 1,000 lumens.
f. NEMA-head fixtures, a.k.a. barn lights, or dusk-to-dawn lights, shall not be permitted where they are visible from other uses, unless fitted with a reflector to render them full cutoff.
g. Theme lighting, as a supplement to regular site lighting, is encouraged in the Township villages and in new residential or commercial developments, provided that such theme lighting shall have good shielding and lamp-hiding quality to be of low brightness, or lamped with the lowest possible wattage bulb so as not to produce distracting and potentially hazardous glare at night.
3. Control of Glare
a. All outdoor lighting, whether or not required by this ordinance; on private, residential, commercial, industrial, municipal, recreational or institutional property; shall be aimed located, designed, fitted and maintained so as not to present a hazard to drivers or pedestrians by impairing their ability to safely traverse and so as not to create a nuisance by projecting or reflecting objectionable light onto a neighboring use or property.
b. All outdoor lighting fixtures shall be shielded in such a manner that the edge of the shied shall be level with or below the light source, so that direct light emitted above the horizontal is eliminated. Outdoor residential lighting and theme lighting where permitted by Subsection 1713.C.2.g may be exempted from this requirement at the discretion of the Township.
c. Floodlights and spotlights shall be so installed or aimed that they do not project their output into the windows of neighboring residences, adjacent uses, skyward or onto a public roadway.
d. Unless otherwise permitted by the Township, e.g., for safety or security or all-night operations, lighting for commercial, industrial, public recreational and institutional applications shall be controlled by automatic switching devices such as timers, or combination motion detectors and photocells, to permit extinguishing outdoor lighting fixtures between 11 p.m. and dawn, to mitigate glare and sky-lighting consequences.
e. Lighting proposed for use after 11 p.m., or after normal hours of operation of commercial, industrial, institutional or municipal applications, shall be reduced by 75% from then until dawn, unless supporting a specific purpose and approved by the Township.
f. All illumination for advertising signs, buildings and/or surrounding landscapes for decorative, advertising or esthetic 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.
g. Light output for flagpole lighting may not cumulatively exceed 10,000 lumens, measured at the source(s) of light.
h. Vegetative screens shall not be employed to serve as the primary means for controlling glare. Rather, such control shall be achieved primarily through the use of sharp cut-off fixtures, the appropriate application of mounting height, wattage, aiming angle and fixture placement.
i. The intensity of illumination projected onto a residential use from another property shall not exceed 0.1 vertical footcandle measured line of sight at any location on the residential use.
j. Externally illuminated signs and billboards, where permitted, shall be lighted by fixtures mounted at the top of the sign and aimed downward. Such lighting shall be automatically extinguished between the hours of 11 p.m. and dawn except as specifically approved by the Township to illuminate necessary directional information.
k. Except as specifically approved by appropriate officers or agents of the Municipality, fixtures meeting IESNA full-cutoff criteria shall not be mounted in excess of twenty (20) feet above finished grade and fixtures not meeting IESNA cutoff criteria shall not be mounted in excess of sixteen (16) feet above grade.
l. Directional fixtures for such applications as façade, 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 p.m. and dawn.
m. Service-station canopy lighting shall be accomplished using flat-lens full-cutoff downlighting fixtures, shielded in such a manner that the edge of the fixture shield shall be level with or below the light source envelope.
n. The use of white strobe lighting for tall structures such as smokestacks, chimneys and radio/communications/television towers is prohibited during hours of darkness.
For new installations, electrical feeds for fixtures mounted on poles shall be run underground, not overhead.
Poles supporting lighting fixtures for the illumination of parking areas and located directly behind parking spaces, shall be placed a minimum of five (5) feet outside paved area, or on concrete pedestals at least thirty (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. Artificial elevation of the grade at the base of the light fixture shall not be permitted.
5. Maintenance - Lighting fixtures and ancillary equipment shall be maintained so as always to meet the requirements of this Ordinance.
D. Plan Submission
Lighting plans shall be submitted to the Township for review and approval with any preliminary or final subdivision/land-development plan submission and with any conditional use, special exception, variance application where applicable, and shall include:
A site plan, complete with all structures, parking spaces, building entrances, traffic areas (both vehicular and pedestrian), vegetation that might interfere with lighting, and adjacent use that might be adversely impacted by the lighting, containing a layout of all proposed fixtures by location, mounting height and type.
Isofootcandle plots for individual fixture installations, or 10x10 illuminance-grid plots for multi-fixture installations, which demonstrate compliance with the intensity and uniformity requirements as set forth in this Ordinance.
Description of the proposed equipment, including fixture catalog cuts, photometrics, glare reduction devices, lamps, on/off control devices, mounting heights, pole foundation details and mounting methods.
Applicant shall demonstrate that appropriate steps have been taken to mitigate on-site and off-site glare and to retain the rural character of the Township.
The following note shall be placed on all Lighting Plans:
Post-approval alterations to lighting plans or intended substitutions foe approved lighting equipment shall be submitted to the Township for review and approval prior to making such substitution or alteration.
E. Post Installation Inspection
The following note shall be placed on all lighting plans:
The Township reserves the right to conduct post-installation nighttime inspections to verify compliance with the requirements of this Ordinance, and if appropriate, to require remedial action at no expense to the Township.
F. Compliance Monitoring
1. Safety Hazards
a. If a lighting installation creates a safety or personal-security hazard(s), the person(s) responsible for the lighting shall be notified in writing and required to take remedial action. The Zoning Officer shall follow the enforcement provisions of this Ordinance.
2. Glare and Inadequate Illumination Levels
a. When a lighting installation produces unacceptable levels of glare, excessive skyward light, or insufficient illumination levels, or otherwise varies from the provisions of this Ordinance, the Township may notify the person(s) responsible for the lighting and require appropriate remedial action. The Zoning Officer shall follow the enforcement provisions of this Ordinance.
G. Nonconforming Lighting
Any lighting fixture or lighting installation existing on the effective date of this Ordinance that does not conform with the requirements of this Ordinance, shall be considered as a lawful nonconformance Unless other action is approved by the Township as an acceptable alternative, a nonconforming lighting fixture or lighting installation shall be mode to conform with the applicable requirements of this Ordinance when:
It creates a safety hazard
It is replaced, abandoned or relocated
There is a change in use
H. Residential Development Fixture Placement
When required, street lighting fixtures in residential developments shall be placed at the following locations:
At the intersection of public roads with entrance roads to the proposed development.
Intersections involving proposed public or non-public major thoroughfare road within the proposed development.
I. General Standards for Recreational Lighting
When facilities for outdoor recreational activities such as, but not limited to, baseball, tennis, football and miniature golf are specifically permitted by the Board of Supervisors for operation during hours of darkness, and where deemed necessary by the Board of Supervisors, the following requirements shall apply:
Lighting shall be accomplished only through the use of full cutoff fixtures or as otherwise approved by the Board of Supervisors.
Except as otherwise permitted by the Board of Supervisors, sporting events shall be timed so that all area lighting in the sports facility, except as required for safe spectator exit, is extinguished by 11:00 p.m.
Trap shooting facilities and golf driving ranges and golf courses, except miniature golf and chip and putt facilities, shall not be artificially lit and shall not be permitted to operate in the Township during the hours of darkness.
Maximum mounting heights for outdoor recreational lighting shall be generally in accordance with the following:
SPORT MOUNTING HEIGHT
Football and other field sports.....50'
Organized Baseball and Softball*
200 Radius..... 60'
300 Radius..... 70'
Miniature Golf.... 20'
(* Minimum mounting heights in accordance with league regulations shall prevail)
J. Approval of Alterations
When any provision of this section allows for modification of the standards stated upon approval of the Township, such approval shall be by was of special exception in accordance with provisions of Article XX of this Ordinance. If the use or development subject to request for modification of standards also is the subject of an application for conditional use approval, then such modification may be approved as part of such conditional use approval in lieu of special exception.
SOUTH COVENTRY TOWNSHIP, CHESTER COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
ZONING ORDINANCE, SECTION 1713. LIGHTING
Approved by the Board of Supervisors 4/24/01