Outdoor lighting can be restricted by municipal code and ordinances, for purposes of ensuring public safety as well as to prevent creating a nuisance to neighboring properties. In the City of Newport Beach, outdoor lighting is addressed under Chapter 20.30 of the Municipal Code.
Section 20.30.070 of the Newport Beach Municipal Code establishes outdoor lighting standards for properties located within city limits.
The purpose of these standards is to reduce glare, light trespass, over lighting, sky glow, and promote safety and energy conservation.
Under this section, outdoor lighting fixtures must be “designed, shielded, aimed, located and maintained” in such a way as to prevent glare onto adjacent properties or roadways.
In addition, flashing, revolving or intermittent lights are not permitted, except “if approved as an accessory feature on a temporary basis” after obtaining a Special Event Permit.
If the property in question is deemed to be in or near a sensitive habitat, a photometric study may be required as part of a zoning application in order to avoid a negative impact to the surrounding land.
If light levels are deemed to cause an unacceptable negative impact on the surrounding area, the lighting may be ordered to be dimmed or other measures may be required to reduce excessive light.
Outdoor lighting for illuminating objects and landscapes must not shine directly into the window of any residence or directly into a roadway.
Landscaping lighting must be confined to the object intended to be illuminated so as to minimize glare and light pollution in the area. If a light fixture is attached to a building, the light must be directed downwards.
For example, fences in residential zoned areas in the City of Newport Beach are forbidden from being constructed using barbed wire, electrical fences, razor wire, or other such dangerous and hazardous materials.