Town of Wilton, NH

Zoning Ordinance (2021)

16A.0 External Lighting (Adopted March 2003.)

16A.1 Purpose and Intent.

The purpose of this ordinance is to preserve the rural atmosphere and dark skies of the Town of Wilton. Natural dark skies are the nighttime aspect of rural character. Increasing light pollution and glare from inappropriate lighting degrades such rural character. This ordinance is intended to enhance public safety and welfare by providing for adequate and appropriate outdoor lighting, providing for lighting that will complement the character of the Town of Wilton, reduce glare, minimize light trespass, reduce the cost and waste of unnecessary energy consumption and prevent the degradation of the night sky.

16A.2 Applicability.

  1. In addition to the General Standards found in Section 16A.3 below, detailed lighting requirements shall be set forth in the Town of Wilton Site Plan Review Regulations and shall apply to all outdoor lighting in nonresidential developments in the Town of Wilton requiring site plan approval from the Planning Board, as well as all new and replacement outdoor lighting in nonresidential properties. Home Occupations requiring Planning Board site plan review are required to comply with this Section.
  2. Though they are not subject to permitting through this ordinance, residential developers and homeowners are encouraged to use full cutoff energy efficient lighting fixtures and prevent light trespass onto neighboring properties.
  3. The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) standards shall apply to those non-residential uses not specifically addressed in this ordinance or by the Site Plan Review Regulations.

16A.3 General Standards.

Non-residential lighting and lights from vehicular traffic associated with a non-residential use shall be shielded or buffered to prevent off-site glare, sky-glow and light trespass. Full cut-off or partial cut-off fixtures, when approved, are to be used, except that low-level lighting (Globe style, non-cut-off types) for walkways and landscape lighting may be approved when an acceptable design meeting the Purpose and Intent (Section 16A.1) of this ordinance is submitted.

Wherever outside lighting is proposed in a site plan review, it shall be accompanied by a formal lighting plan, prepared to scale. The lighting plan shall require Planning Board approval. Home Occupations are exempt from a formal plan but are subject to Site Plan Review Regulations. When any site plan proposes installed street, common or public area outdoor lighting, the final plan shall contain a statement certifying that the applicable provisions of this ordinance and associated regulations shall be adhered to. Lights not required for safety or security shall be turned off within a reasonable time of when a business or activity closes or ceases, as set forth in Site Plan Review Regulations.

This paragraph shall not apply to temporary decorative lighting, which may include colored lamps, such as holiday lighting. Commercial lighting shall meet minimum IESNA illumination levels while not exceeding IESNA uniformity ratios and average illumination recommendations.