Town of Truckee

Title 18 - Development Code

August 4, 2003

Chapter 18.24 - Design Guidelines
3. Landscaping.
c. The use of on-site pedestrian amenities (e.g., benches, shelters, drinking fountains, lighting, and trash receptacles) is encouraged. These elements should be provided in conjunction with on-site open spaces and be integrated into the site plan as primary features.
5. On-site lighting.
a. Exterior lighting should be designed to be compatible with the architectural and landscape design of the project.
b. An appropriate hierarchy of lighting fixtures/structures and intensity should be considered when designing the lighting for the various elements of a project (i.e., building and site entrances, walkways, parking areas, or other areas of the site).
c. The use of exterior lighting to accent a building´s architecture is encouraged. All lighting fixtures should be properly shielded to eliminate light and glare from impacting adjacent properties, and passing vehicles or pedestrians. If neon tubing is used to illuminate portions of a building it should be concealed from view through the use of parapets, cornices or ledges. Small portions of exposed neon tubing may be used to add a special effect to a building´s architecture but this must be well thought out and integrated into the overall design of the project.
d. To achieve the desired lighting level for parking and pedestrian areas, the use of more short, low intensity fixtures is encouraged over the use of a few tall fixtures that illuminate large areas.
C. General building design guidelines.
1. Architectural style.
g. Compatibility with context. New buildings should be in proportion to surrounding buildings, except in those cases where current buildings are oversize. New buildings should also be properly proportioned to the pedestrian realm. Harmony in mass, lines, and materials is important but monotony should be avoided. Buildings should be designed so that adverse impacts on adjacent buildings and properties are minimized. Loss of natural lighting, shade trees, noise pollution, and exhaust fumes and heat from venting should be addressed during project review, and all possible efforts should be made to avoid these effects. (See Figure 2-15, Consistency With Context)
6. Additions to existing structures.
b. The design of a new addition should incorporate the main characteristics of the existing structure. This may include: the extension of architectural lines from the existing structure to the addition; repetition of bay, window, and entrance spacing; use of harmonizing colors and materials; and the inclusion of similar architectural details (e.g., window/door trim, lighting fixtures, stone/brick decoration).

Chapter 18.26 - Historic Preservation Design Guidelines
The Historic Preservation Overlay District Design Guidelines ( provided in Volume III of the Downtown Specific Plan and are intended to assist property owners and project designer in understanding the Town's gols for attaining high quality development that is sensitive to and compatible with the historic character of the Downtown area. The guidelines will be used as criteria against which to review projects in the -HP overlay district.

Chapter 18.30 - General Property Development and Use Standards
18.30.060 - Exterior Lighting
A. Exterior lighting. Exterior lighting shall be:

    1. Architecturally integrated with the character of the structure(s);

    2. Directed downward and away from adjoining properties and public rights-of-way;

    3. Energy-efficient, and fully shielded or recessed so that direct glare and reflections are confined, to the maximum extent feasible, within the boundaries of the subject parcel; and

    4. Completely turned off or significantly dimmed at the close of business hours when the exterior lighting is not essential for security and safety, and when located on parcels within nonresidential zoning districts.

B. Permanent lighting. Permanently installed lighting shall not blink, flash or be of unusually high intensity or brightness. Lighting fixtures shall be appropriate in height, intensity, and scale to the use they are serving.

C. Security lighting. Security lighting (e.g., safety motion detectors, etc.) shall be provided at all entrances/exits, except in the RR and RS zoning districts.

D. Shielding requirements. Each outdoor lighting fixture shall be designed and installed so that no light rays will be emitted by the fixture at angles above a horizontal plane passing through the lowest point of the fixture. Exemptions to this shielding requirement include the following:

    1. All neon outdoor lighting fixtures;

    2. All outdoor lighting fixtures on facilities or lands controlled, operated, owned, or protected by public entities or public agencies provided the review authority finds that the shielding requirement is not reasonable or practical due to the purpose of the lighting and reasonable methods to minimize impacts on surrounding properties and the night sky have been incorporated into the project;

    3. Emergency lighting operated by a public utility during the course of repairing or replacing damaged facilities;

    4. Emergency lighting and fixtures necessary to conduct rescue operations, provide emergency medical treatment, or address any other emergency situations;

    5. Fixtures producing light directly by the combustion of fossil fuels (e.g., gas lamps or kerosene lanterns);

    6. Internally illuminated signs; and

    7. Lighting fixtures located at the entrance or exits of structures and pedestrian level lighting having an intensity not exceeding 75 watts.

E. Design criteria.

    1. External light fixtures, poles, and their foundations should be simple in design and compatible with and complementary to the style of surrounding development. Historical-themed fixtures are not appropriate for a contemporary building design, and modern fixtures are not appropriate for a structure with a significant historical design theme. Simple and functional designs are considered to be appropriate in most environments. Lighting standards should be of a scale that is compatible with their surroundings. Pedestrian-scale lighting (eight to 12 feet high) should be installed in areas where foot traffic is prevalent. Lighting fixtures for parking lots and private roadways should not be installed at a height greater than 20 feet.

    2. Color-corrected lamps of appropriate intensity should be used in exterior lighting. High-efficiency lamps that alter the colors of objects at night are discouraged. Incandescent, fluorescent, color-corrected sodium vapor, and mercury lamps should be used because they provide light with an appropriate color spectrum.

    3. Lighting intensity should be the minimum required to serve the tasks for which the fixtures are intended.

    4. Exterior lighting should be considerate of both the neighbors and the community as a whole. Each new lighting scheme should actively strive to reduce negative light impacts. Light trespass is the ability to see the source of a light at the parcel´s property line. If a light from a project casts a shadow at the property line, the light is considered to be trespassing. Lighting should be kept within the project boundaries. Fixtures like the "shoe box" design are capable of providing accurate light patterns and can often be used for lighting parking lots without spilling onto the neighboring property.

Chapter 18.42 - Landscape Design Guidelines
18.42.070 - Installation of Landscaping
D. The spacing of trees and shrubs should be appropriate to the species used. The plant materials should be spaced so that they do not interfere with the adequate lighting of the premises or restrict access to emergency apparatus. Proper spacing should also ensure unobstructed access for vehicles and pedestrians and provide clear vision of intersections.

Chapter 18.46 - Open Space/Cluster Requirements
C. Development standards.
5. Street lighting shall be low-level and of pedestrian-scale.
6. High illumination yard lighting shall not be used, and all exterior light sources shall be shielded to prevent off-site glare, in compliance with Section 18.30.060 (Exterior Lighting).

Chapter 18.48 - Parking and Loading Standards
18.48.070 - Development Standards for Off-Street Parking
H. Lighting. Parking areas shall have lighting capable of providing adequate illumination for security and safety. Lighting standards shall be energy-efficient and in scale with the height and use of the on-site structure(s). Any illumination, including security lighting, shall be directed downward, away from adjacent properties and public rights-of-way in compliance with Section 18.30.060 (Exterior lighting).

18.48.100 - Off-Street Loading Space Requirements
B. Standards for off-street loading areas.
2. Lighting. Loading areas shall have lighting capable of providing adequate illumination for security and safety. Lighting standards shall be energy-efficient and in scale with the height and use of adjacent structure(s);

Chapter 18.50 - Parking Design Guidelines
18.50.060 - Pedestrian Connections
E. Walkways should be well-marked by means of low-level directional signs, lighting, distinctive paving, and landscaping. Where feasible, trellises, arbors, arcades, or similar features should be used to cover walkways and provide clear identification of facilities. Where textured paving is used, it should not be so rough or irregular as to make walking difficult, snow and ice removal difficult, or discourage the use of baby strollers or wheelchairs.

Chapter 18.54 - Signs
G. Residential community signs.
5. Lighting shall be indirect. The light shall wash onto the sign and not spill beyond. Internal illumination is not allowed.
I. Temporary signs.
2. Temporary portable (A-frame) signs.
h. No lighting is allowed for portable signs.
M. Internally Illuminated Signs
1. The background for internally lit signs shall be opaque. Lighting shall radiate only from the lettering and logo areas of the sign.

Chapter 18.56 - Sign Design Guidelines
18.56.030 - Sign Design Guidelines
D. Sign illumination.
    1. If the sign can be illuminated by an indirect source of light, the sign will be more compatible and integrated with the building's architecture. Light fixtures supported in front of the structure cast light on the sign and generally a portion of the face of the structure as well. Indirect lighting emphasizes the continuity of the structure's surface and signs become an integral part of the facade.
    2. The use of internally illuminated cabinet signs is strongly discouraged, and these signs are subject to greater limitations on allowable sign area than externally illuminated signs by Section 18.54.080.B (Sign Standards by Zoning District). When illuminated, these signs alone become bright, separating them from the structure's surface. The sign then becomes an element that is obviously attached to the facade of the structure rather than a part of it. This type of sign can thereby disrupt the continuity of the facade and is, therefore, strongly discouraged.
    3. Whenever indirect lighting fixtures are used (fluorescent or incandescent), the light source shall be shaded, shielded, subdued or directed so that the intensity of the light does not impact surrounding properties. Signs should be lighted only to the minimum level required for nighttime readability.
    4. Individually illuminated letters, either internally illuminated or back-lighted solid letters, are a preferred alternative to internally illuminated cabinet signs. Signs comprised of individual letters mounted directly on a structure can often use a distinctive element of the structure's facade as a backdrop, thereby providing a better integration of the sign with the structure.

(See Figure 3-32, Illumination Control) (See Figure 3-33, Sign Letter Illumination)

Chapter 18.58 - Standards for Specific Land Uses
18.58.050 - Adult Entertainment Establishments
B. Site requirements.
3. Lighting. The entire exterior ground, including the parking lot, shall be provided with lighting which is energy efficient, stationary, and directed away from adjoining properties and public rights-of-way, in compliance with Section 18.30.060 (Exterior Lighting).
4. Signs. On-site signs shall comply with Chapter 18.54 (Signs).

18.58.070 - Bed and Breakfast Inns
I. Signs. Signs shall be limited to one on-site sign not to exceed six square feet in area and shall be installed and maintained in compliance with Chapter 18.54 (Signs). The design, location, and lighting of the sign shall ensure compatibility with the architecture of the B&B and the surrounding neighborhood.

Chapter 18.58 - Standards for Specific Land Uses (cont.)
B. Outdoor dining and seating areas.
4. Design and use compatibility.
c. Lighting. Lighting to illuminate the outdoor dining and seating areas shall be provided in compliance with Section 18.30.060 (Exterior Lighting);

18.58.210 - Recycling Facilities
B. Applicability.
2. Development and operating standards
(7) Shall be illuminated to ensure comfortable and safe operation if operating hours are between dusk and dawn, in compliance with Section 18.30.060 (Exterior Lighting).

18.58.220 - Residential Accessory Uses and Structures
I. Tennis and other recreational courts.
2. Court lighting shall not exceed a maximum height of 20 feet, measured from the court surface. The lighting shall be directed downward, shall only illuminate the court, and shall not illuminate adjoining property, in compliance with Section 18.30.060 (Exterior
Lighting); and
3. Lighting for non-commercial outdoor courts may be authorized by the Director through a Minor Use Permit, in compliance with Chapter 18.76 (Use Permits and Minor Use Permits).

18.58.240 - Senior Citizen Projects
B. Senior citizen congregate care housing facilities.
3. Disabled access, safety, and security features:
c. Adequate internal and external lighting shall be provided for security purposes. The external lighting shall be stationary, directed away from adjoining properties and public rights-of-way, and of an intensity compatible with the surrounding neighborhood, in compliance with Section 18.30.060 (Exterior Lighting); and
d. The entire development project shall be designed to provide maximum security for residents, guests, and employees.
5. Parking. Off-street parking shall be provided in the following manner:
a. Standards relating to off-street parking, access, number of spaces required, dimensional requirements, disabled parking, landscaping, lighting, shading, striping, surfacing, etc. shall be in compliance with the standards outlined in Chapter 18.48 (Parking and Loading Standards); and

Chapter 18.92 - Subdivision Design and Improvements
18.92.130 - Street Lighting
A proposed subdivision shall incorporate street lighting in compliance with the Public Improvements and Engineering Standards.

Development Code Definitions (S to Z)
2. Animated or Moving Sign. A sign which uses movement, lighting, or special materials to depict action or create a special effect to imitate movement.

Sign Lighting, Direct. The method of sign illumination using individual bulbs or other lighting elements to form the alphabetic or numeric characters or graphic elements of the sign, or where the sign face or individual letters or numbers are of translucent material through which light from lighting fixtures inside the sign is transmitted.

Sign Lighting, Indirect. The illumination of a sign by a light fixture separate from the sign that shines light on the sign.