Outdoor Lighting Ordinance from Kennebunkport, Maine

Following is the text of the outdoor night-lighting ordinance, which has been law in the coastal town of Kennebunkport, Maine, since 1992 March 28. This ordinance was largely written by Peter Talmage, a NELPAG member and engineer with much experience in outdoor lighting applications; as such, it was carefully and thoughtfully worded, and can be used as a model (along with other ordinances such as the standard Tucson ordinance) for those who are attempting to write (or revise) their local ordinances and by-laws. [Information provided courtesy of Peter Talmage, Kennebunkport, ME.]


STATEMENT OF NEED AND PURPOSE:  Good outdoor lighting at night benefits
 everyone.  It increases safety, enhances the Town's night time character,
 and helps provide security.  New lighting technologies have produced lights
 that are extremely powerful, and these types of lights may be improperly
 installed so that they create problems of excessive glare, light trespass,
 and higher energy use.  Excessive glare can be annoying and may cause safety
 problems.  Light trespass reduces everyone's privacy, and higher energy use
 results in increased costs for everyone.  There is a need for a lighting
 ordinance which recognizes the benefits of outdoor lighting and provides clear
 guidelines for its installation so as to help maintain and compliment the
 Town's character.  Appropriately regulated, and properly installed, outdoor
 lighting will contribute to the safety and welfare of the residents of the town.

This ordinance is intended to reduce the problems created by improperly
 designed and installed outdoor lighting.  It is intended to eliminate problems
 of glare, minimize light trespass, and help reduce the energy and financial
 costs of outdoor lighting by establishing regulations which limit the area
 that certain kinds of outdoor-lighting fixtures can illuminate and by limiting
 the total allowable illumination of lots located in the Town of Kennebunkport.

                                 ARTICLE 1

1.1.  DEFINITIONS:  For the purposes of this Ordinance, terms used shall be
    defined as follows:

Direct Light:  Light emitted directly from the lamp, off of the reflector or
   reflector diffuser, or through the refractor or diffuser lens, of a
Fixture:  The assembly that houses the lamp or lamps and can include all or
   some of the following parts:  a housing, a mounting bracket or pole socket,
   a lamp holder, a ballast, a reflector or mirror, and/or a refractor or lens.
Flood or Spot light:  Any light fixture or lamp that incorporates a reflector
   or a refractor to concentrate the light output into a directed beam in a
   particular direction.
Glare:  Light emitting from a luminaire with an intensity great enough to
   reduce a viewer's ability to see, and in extreme cases causing momentary
Height of Luminaire:  The height of a luminaire shall be the vertical distance
   from the ground directly below the centerline of the luminaire to the lowest
   direct-light-emitting part of the luminaire.
Indirect Light:  Direct light that has been reflected or has scattered off of
   other surfaces.
Lamp:  The component of a luminaire that produces the actual light.
Light Trespass:  The shining of light produced by a luminaire beyond the
   boundaries of the property on which it is located.
Lumen:  A unit of luminous flux.  One footcandle is one lumen per square foot.
   For the purposes of this Ordinance, the lumen-output values shall be the
   INITIAL lumen output ratings of a lamp.
Luminaire:  This is a complete lighting system, and includes a lamp or lamps
   and a fixture.
Outdoor Lighting:  The night-time illumination of an outside area or object
   by any man-made device located outdoors that produces light by any means.
Temporary outdoor lighting:  The specific illumination of an outside area of
   object by any man-made device located outdoors that produces light by any
   means for a period of less than 7 days, with at least 180 days passing
   before being used again.

                                 ARTICLE 2

2.1.  REGULATIONS:  All public and private outdoor lighting installed in the
 Town of Kennebunkport shall be in conformance with the requirements established
 by this Ordinance.

     A.  Any luminaire with a lamp or lamps rated at a total of MORE than 1800
 lumens, and all flood or spot luminaires with a lamp or lamps rated at a total
 of MORE than 900 lumens, shall not emit any direct light above a horizontal
 plane through the lowest direct-light-emitting part of the luminaire.
     B.  Any luminaire with a lamp or lamps rate at a total of MORE than 1800
 lumens, and all flood or spot luminaires with a lamp or lamps rated at a total
 of MORE than 900 lumens, shall be mounted at a height equal to or less than
 the value 3 + (D/3), where D is the distance in feet to the nearest property
 boundary.  The maximum height of the luminaire may not exceed 25 feet.

     A.  Any luminaire with a lamp or lamps rated at a total of 1800 lumens or
 LESS, and all flood or spot luminaires with a lamp or lamps rated at 900
 lumens or LESS, may be used without restriction to light distribution or
 mounting height, except that if any spot of flood luminaire rated 900 lumens
 or LESS is aimed, directed, or focused such as to cause direct light from the
 luminaire to be directed toward residential buildings on adjacent or nearby
 land, or to create glare perceptible to persons operating motor vehicles on
 public ways, the luminaire shall be redirected or its light output controlled
 as necessary to eliminate such conditions.
     B.  Luminaires used for public-roadway illumination may be installed at
 a maximum height of 25 feet and may be positioned at that height up to the
 edge of any bordering property.
     C.  All temporary emergency lighting need by the the Police or Fire
 Departments or other emergency services, as well as all vehicular luminaires,
 shall be exempt from the requirements of this article.
     D.  All hazard warning luminaires required by Federal regulatory agencies
 are exempt from the requirements of this article, except that all luminaires
 used must be red and must be shown to be as close as possible to the Federally
 required minimum lumen output requirement for the specific task.
     E.  Luminaires used primarily for sign illumination may be mounted at any
 height to a maximum of 25 feet, regardless of lumen rating.

     A.  Any temporary outdoor lighting that conforms to the requirements of
 this Ordinance shall be allowed.  Nonconforming temporary outdoor lighting
 may be permitted by the Board of Selectmen after considering:  (1) the public
 and/or private benefits that will result from the temporary lighting; (2) any
 annoyance or safety problems that may result from the use of the temporary
 lighting; and (3) the duration of the temporary nonconforming lighting.  The
 applicant shall submit a detailed description of the proposed temporary
 nonconforming lighting to the Board of Selectmen, who shall consider the
 request at a duly called meeting of the Board of Selectmen.  Prior notice of
 the meeting of the Board of Selectmen shall be given to the applicant and to
 the Kennebunkport Lighting Committee.  The Board of Selectmen shall render
 its decision on the temporary lighting request within two weeks of the date of
 the meeting.  A failure by the Board of Selectmen to act on a request within
 the time allowed shall constitute a denial of the request.

                                 ARTICLE 3

     A.  This ordinance shall take effect immediately upon approval by the
 voters of the Town of Kennebunkport at an annual or special Town Meeting and
 shall supersede and replace all previous ordinances pertaining to outdoor
     B.  All luminaires lawfully in place prior to the date of the Ordinance
 shall be grandfathered.  However, any luminaire that replaces a grandfathered
 luminaire, or any grandfathered luminaire that is moved, must meet the
 standards of this Ordinance.

                                 ARTICLE 4

     A.  Installation of any new public-area and roadway lighting fixtures
 other than for traffic control shall be specifically approved at an Annual
 Town Meeting.
     B.  Before any proposal for new multiple public roadway lighting
 luminaires shall be included in a Warrant for an annual Town Meeting, the
 Lighting Committee and the Board of Selectmen or its representative shall
 hold a public hearing to describe the proposal and to provide an opportunity
 for public comment.  Notice of the hearing shall be printed in a newspaper
 of general circulation not less than one (1) week prior to the date of the
 hearing and shall be posted for a period of at least one (1) week before the

                                 ARTICLE 5

     A.  The Town of Kennebunkport building permit shall include a statement
 asking whether the planned project will include any outdoor lighting.
     B.  Within 30 days of the enactment of this ordinance, the Code
 Enforcement Officer shall send a copy of the Outdoor Lighting Ordinance, with
 cover letter to all local electricians and local electric utility (including
 at least those in the towns of Kennebunkport, Kennebunk, Wells, Arundel, and
 Biddeford, as listed in the NYNEX Yellow Pages).

                                 ARTICLE 6

     A.  Violations and Legal Actions:  If, after investigation, the Code
 Enforcement Officer finds that any provision of the Ordinance is being
 violated, he shall give notice by hand delivery or by certified mail,
 return-receipt requested, of such violation to the owner and/or to the
 occupant of such premises, demanding that violation be abated within thirty
 (30) days of the date of hand delivery or of the date of mailing of the
 notice.  If the violation is not abated within the thirty-day period, the
 Code Enforcement Officer may institute actions and proceedings, either legal
 or equitable, to enjoin, restrain, or abate any violations of this Ordinance
 and to collect the penalties for such violations.
     B.  Penalties:  A violation of this Ordinance, or any provision thereof,
 shall be punishable by a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100), and
 each day of violation after the expiration of the thirty-day period provided
 in paragraph 1 shall constitute a separate offense for the purpose of
 calculating the civil penalty.