Council passes sports field lighting policy

Saturday, April 17, 2010 – for immediate release

Council passes sports field lighting policy

Lighting standards provide safe environment with minimum negative impact on nearby homes

April 7, 2010 – For immediate release
Last night Oakville Town Council approved the town’s new municipal lighting policy, which establishes a town-wide standard for lighting sports fields that minimizes the impact on existing established neighbourhoods while allowing for light levels that provide a safe playing environment on fields after dark.

“Residents told us they didn’t want to experience adverse effects from field lights that were installed where they were not originally planned,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “Our objective with this policy is to retain the same standard of livability in existing neighbourhoods and accommodate field lighting as needed in a way that does not disturb nearby residences.”

The policy defines requirements for site plan approval for all future sports field lights, and results in an amendment of the town’s Nuisance By-law (2010-070).

The new lighting policy differentiates between fields in existing neighbourhoods where lights have not been previously installed but are being proposed , and those in future developments (also known as green fields), which were designed to accommodate field lighting.

The policy contains standards for measuring light trespass levels and field of play light levels that follow Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Illumination Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) guidelines.

In “existing neighbourhoods” the light level reading for new lighting cannot exceed 1.1 LUX measured vertically (equal to a full moon on a clear night) within the property line. Within three meters of the adjacent property, the reading cannot exceed a 0.11 LUX reading.

In the future, any sports field in an “existing neighbourhood” that installs lights will have to shut them off by 9 p.m. on weekdays, and leave them unlit on weekends. Fields that already have lighting will be grandfathered. While they will have an 11 p.m. curfew they would otherwise be exempt from the by-law.

For sports field in any future development, lighting cannot exceed a reading of 1.1 LUX measured horizontally and must be turned off by 11 p.m. seven days a week.

On June 29, 2009 Council directed town staff to conduct a municipal lighting strategy study to review the town’s current policy and practices concerning outdoor lighting at public facilities.

The study examined the impacts of sports field lighting on adjacent residential properties for the purpose of developing standards for the installation and use of lights on sports fields within the town. Extensive public consultation took place with resident associations, minor sports groups and interested stakeholders. The town also made comparators with other GTA municipalities.

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Media contacts:
Domenic Lunardo
Commissioner of Community Services
Town of Oakville
905-815-6045
dlunardo@oakville.ca

Gisele Shaw
Manager of Corporate Communications
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3166
gshaw@oakville.ca


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Council passes sports field lighting policy