17.22.040 – Site lighting

  1. Applicability
    The provisions of this Section are applicable to all exterior lighting in the City of St. Charles installed after the effective date of this Section, except for lighting installed and maintained within a public right-of-way, lighting used in conjunction with public safety operations, and hazard or warning lights required by a governmental agency. No exterior lighting shall be installed or modified so as to violate the provisions of this Section.
  2. Light Source Visibility
    1. For all property other than one and two family dwellings and townhomes, all exterior lighting shall be designed, shielded and directed so that direct light from the lamp (point light source) is not directly visible from residential properties or public rights-of-way within a distance of 500 feet or less. This can be accomplished using luminaries which a) by their design, direct the light downward; b) have opaque shielding installed that prevents direct illumination from reaching adjacent properties or public rights of way; or c) utilize a translucent material to diffuse the light. This provision shall not apply to lighting for outdoor uses of a governmental entity such as a Park District or School District, provided all other requirements of this section are met.
    2. For one and two family dwellings and townhomes, all exterior lighting sources shall be either: a) limited to 900 lumens in the case of flood or spot luminaires and 1800 lumens for all other luminaires, or b) designed, shielded and directed as required for uses other than one and two family dwellings and townhomes.
  3. Light Intensity at Property Lines
    All exterior lighting shall be designed and maintained at or below the following average footcandles, as measured horizontally at the property line, at a distance of 3.5 feet above grade:

    Location

    Light Intensity

    1. Property line abutting right-of-way:

    Horizontal foot candles:  0.5

    1. Property line abutting RE, RS, RT and RM Districts:

    Horizontal foot candles:  0.5

    1. Property line abutting all other zoning districts:

    Horizontal foot candles:  2.0

    1. Motor vehicle sales display lots only, property line abutting right-of-way:

    Horizontal foot candles: 15.0

    (Ord. 2008-Z-24 § 15.)

  4. Glare
    No exterior lighting shall be maintained on a lot so as to shine into, or upon, any other lot or any right of way with an intensity great enough to reduce a viewer’s ability to see, or to cause momentary blindness.
  5. Interference with Traffic Safety
    The following are specifically prohibited:
    1. Exterior lighting used in a manner that could interfere with the safe movement of motor vehicles on public streets and alleys.
    2. Any light that could be confused with, or construed as, a traffic control device, unless authorized by State, Federal, City or County government.
  6. Uniformity
    The uniformity ratio of exterior lighting on a lot, as defined by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), for all property other than one and two family dwellings and townhomes, shall be 4:1.
  7. Prohibited Sources
    High pressure sodium and fluorescent lamps are prohibited because their color is significantly different from the daylight spectrum.
  8. Uplighting and Architectural Lighting
    Uplighting and architectural lighting is permitted to light a building façade, walkway, driveway, landscaping, sign or primary entrance, provided that all direct illumination from uplighting shall be directed onto the building wall, walkway, driveway, landscaping, sign or entrance it is intended to illuminate, and the light intensity at the property line does not exceed the light trespass standards specified in the preceding paragraph C. Illumination to highlight architectural features may include lines of low-intensity unshielded incandescent bulbs of a single color, or neon tube type lighting, but only where such lighting is consistent with and will enhance the architectural character of the building and does not constitute part of a sign, trademark, or other advertising display.
  9. Building Mounted Luminaires
    1. Luminaires mounted on buildings that are designed to illuminate parking lots, driveways, loading areas, and similar areas and that are not encompassed within the description of “uplighting and architectural lighting” in the preceding paragraph, shall be a non-adjustable full cut-off design and shall be directed downward at an angle of no greater than 45 degrees from the vertical plane, and shall not project above the height of the building.
    2. Luminaires exceeding 2000 lumens mounted on one and two family dwellings and townhomes shall be a non-adjustable full cut-off design and shall be directed downward at an angle of no greater than 45 degrees, and shall not project above the height of the building.
  10. Canopy Lighting
    Luminaires mounted on gas station, drive-through and other outdoor canopies over vehicular use areas shall be a full cut-off design and shall be directed downward at an angle of no greater than 45 degrees from the vertical plane, or shall be completely recessed into the canopy with flat lenses, or shall be shielded by other means, to block direct view of the light sources as viewed from the property line at a height of three and one half feet (3 ½’) above grade.
  11. Light Pole Height
    The maximum height of light poles, as measured from finished grade at the base to the bottom of the luminaire, shall not exceed the maximum building height in the zoning district in which they are located. Lighting for an Outdoor Recreation use owned and operated by a governmental entity such as a Park District or School District shall be exempt from this height limitation, provided all other requirements of this section are met.
  12. Signs
    Sign illumination is governed by Chapter 17.28 (Signs).
  13. Blinking Lights
    Blinking, flashing, moving, revolving, flickering, changing intensity and changing color lights shall be prohibited, except for temporary holiday displays, lighting for public safety or traffic control, or lighting required by the FAA or other governmental agency for air traffic control and warning purposes.
  14. Exemptions for Historic Lighting Fixtures
    Nonconforming historic lighting fixtures which are consistent with the character of a historic structure located within a Historic District or on a designated Landmark may be exempted from the regulations of this Section 17.22.040, provided that the Historic Preservation Commission has made a finding that the fixtures are an important architectural or historic element, the removal of which would be detrimental to the historic or architectural character of the building or site.
  15. Exemptions for Private Street Lighting Lighting for private streets that is reviewed and approved as part of a Subdivision or PUD plan shall be exempt from the requirements of this Section.
(2006-Z-12: § 1)