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Southeast Utah
Real Estate Happenings

September 2019

Passed and Approved by a majority of the City of Moab City Council
on August 13, 2019.

This ordinance shall take effect immediately.
An Ordinance enacting Sections 17.09.060-17.09.069 AND SECTION 17.09.465 of the Moab Municipal
and repealing inconsistent lighting provisions.

The following describes the intent and purpose of this ordinance:
a. The City desires to encourage outdoor lighting practices that will minimize light pollution, glare, light trespass, and sky glow to curtail the degradation of the night-time visual environment.
b. Lighting practices that promote energy conservation are to be encouraged.
c. Revisions to existing ordinances are necessary to improve night-time safety and security.
d. Lighting practices are an important component for developing an attractive nighttime appearance in the City.
e. It is in the best interests of the City that it establish lighting standards, requirements, and processes that are substantially consistent throughout the Moab Municipal Code and substantially with those established by Grand County.
f. The City finds that this ordinance is necessary, appropriate, and consistent with public health, safety, and welfare.
NOW, THEREFORE, the Moab City Council amends the Code by inserting the new language and making the following amendments/deletions as shown in Attachment 1.

New Language for Sections 17.09.060 through 069 and Section 17.09.465
17.09.060 Outdoor Lighting- Scope and Applicability
A. All lighting should be purpose driven.
B. All outdoor lighting installed after October 1, 2019 in all zoning districts within the City shall conform to the requirements established by Sections 060 through 069 of this Chapter 17.09, as well as Section 465 of this Chapter.
This ordinance does not apply to indoor lighting.
C. All existing outdoor lighting that does not meet the requirements of this Chapter and is not otherwise exempted shall be considered a nonconforming use or part of a nonconforming structure subject to an amortization schedule outlined in Chapter 17.09.069.
D. In the event of any conflict between the provisions of this ordinance and any other provision of the Moab Municipal Code this ordinance shall control.

17.09.062 Outdoor Lighting Definitions
(see complete ordinance at for definitions and descriptions)
“Accent or Architectural Lighting”, “Backlight”, “B.U.G. Rating”, “Correlated Color Temperature”, “Direct Illumination”, “Floodlight”, “Fully Shielded Fixture”, “Glare”, “Internally Illuminated”, “Light Pollution”, “Light Source”, “Light Trespass”, “Lumen”, “ Manufacturer’s Catalog Cuts”, “Net Acre”, “Outdoor Light Fixture”, “Partially Shielded Light Fixture”, “ Recreational Lighting”, “Skyglow”, “Spotlight”, “Total”, “Total outdoor light output”, “Tower”, “Unshielded Fixture”, “Uplight”.

17.09.063 Outdoor Lighting- Fully Shielded Fixture Requirements
17.09.064 Outdoor Lighting- Total Light Output
17.09.065 Outdoor Lighting- Lighting Hours
17.09.066 Outdoor Lighting- Lighting Color
17.09.067 Outdoor Lighting- Specialized Outdoor Lighting Conditions and Standards
17.09.068 Outdoor Lighting- Application and Review Procedures

17.09.069 Outdoor Lighting- Amortization of Nonconforming Outdoor Lighting

A The City shall require the termination of use of all nonconforming outdoor lighting fixtures, structures, lamps, bulbs or other devices that emit or generate light which are not otherwise exempted by this Chapter, pursuant to the amortization schedule contained in this section.

B. All outdoor lighting legally existing and installed prior to the effective date of this Chapter and which is not exempted shall be considered nonconforming and shall be brought into compliance by the property owner as follows:
1. Immediate compliance is required as a condition for approval when applying for a building permit, sign permit, new (nonrenewal) business license, site plan review or similar City permit or approval if site improvements, construction, reconstruction, expansion, alteration or modification of existing sites, structures, or uses individually or cumulatively equal or exceed one thousand five hundred (1,500) square feet, or 50% of the existing site or structure, whichever is less. Projects of less than one thousand five hundred (1,500) square feet in size, or 50% of an existing site or structure will not be subject to immediate compliance. However, the square footage of the improved structure or site will count towards a cumulative total of projects on the same property. When the cumulative total equals or exceeds one thousand five hundred (1,500) square feet, or 50% of the existing site or structure, compliance shall be required for approvals as cited above.
2. All damaged or inoperative nonconforming lighting shall be replaced or repaired only with lighting equipment and fixtures compliant with this Chapter.
3. All outdoor lighting not previously scheduled for amortization or otherwise exempted shall be brought into conformance with this Chapter within five (5) years from the effective date of this Chapter.

C. The City shall perform two (2) audits of all outdoor lighting in the City, one two (2) years and the other four (4) years after the effective date hereof. These audits will identify all lighting that does not conform to the standards of this Chapter. The results of these audits will be made available to the public.
17.09.465 Signs --Permitted Illumination
Signs may be unlighted, lighted externally, lighted internally, or backlit. All sign lighting must be designed, directed, and shielded in such a manner that the light source is not visible beyond the property boundaries where the sign is located. Lighting for signs must be directed such that only the sign face is illuminated. All lighted signs must have stationary and constant lighting. All sign lighting is included in the calculation of total light output for a property.

A. Standards for Externally Illuminated Signs:
1. Lighting for externally illuminated signs must be aimed and shielded so that light is directed only onto the sign face and does not trespass onto adjacent streets, roads or propetiies or into the night sky.
2. Lighting for externally illuminated signs must be mounted at the top of the sign (or within 2 feet of the top of a wall mounted sign), except for freestanding monument style signs which may be illuminated by ground mounted lighting.
3. Lighting shall consist of no more than four (4) individual fixtures (or lamps) per sign face and produce a maximum of 40,000 lumens per fixture.
4. All sign lighting shall be included in the calculation of total light output.

B. Standards for Internally Illuminated Signs:
1. Only sign text areas and logos may be illuminated on an internally illuminated sign.
2. Internally illuminated signs shall use semi-opaque materials for sign text and logos such that the light emanating from the sign is diffused. Transparent or clear materials are not allowed for sign text and logos. Non-text portions of the sign (e.g., background and graphics other than the logo) shall be made of completely opaque material.

C. Standards for Backlit Signs:
l. The light source shall not be visible.
2. Backlit signs shall only allow indirect illumination to emanate from the sign. For example, signs that create a “halo” effect around sign copy are allowed.

D. Standards for Illuminated Window Signs
1. Businesses may display a maximum of two (2) illuminated window signs positioned to be primarily visible outside the business structure.
2. Illuminated window signs shall not exceed four (4) square feet in area.
3. Illuminated window signs shall not be illuminated when the business is closed.
All lighted signs shall additionally comply with Section 17.09.465.

The entire ordinance is available on under “2019 Ordinances”

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125 E. Center St.
Moab, UT 84532
Information on the policy is available from the Community and Economic Development webpage at HighDensityOverlays or from department staff at 125 E. Center Street.
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