Township of Independence, NJ
Warren County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Independence 12-17-1981[1] (Ch. 134 of the 1984 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Farming — See Ch. 203.
Land development — See Ch. 255.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also superseded former Ch. 134, Soil Removal, adopted 4-12-1966, as amended.

§ 333-1 Short title.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Independence Township Soil Removal Ordinance."

§ 333-2 Definitions.

[Amended 11-12-1985 by Ord. No. 85-13]
The words defined in this section shall mean and include the following when used in this chapter:
CERTIFIED PLAN
A plan developed with both text and map or drawings as necessary to comply with the requirements of this chapter.
EXISTING FACILITY
Any facility which was in operation prior to adoption of this chapter and which was granted a valid soil removal permit for the calendar year 1981.
MAJOR FACILITY
Any facility from which a total of 10,000 cubic yards or more of soil is expected to be extracted during the lifetime of the permit.
MINOR FACILITY
Any facility which is not a major facility.
PERMIT
A soil removal permit issued under the terms hereof.
PERSON
Includes an individual, a partnership, a corporation or any other legal entity.
SOIL
Includes dirt, rock, gravel, sand, humus, clay, loam, rock, topsoil, mulch, gravel, silt and mixtures of any of these.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Independence.

§ 333-3 Permit required; exceptions.

No person shall excavate for the removal of soil or otherwise remove soil for sale or for use other than on the premises from which the soil shall be taken except without first having obtained a permit therefor approved by the Committee. Excluded, however, is soil removal affiliated with the following activities:
A. 
Excavation for construction or alteration of a building for which a building permit has been issued or excavation to meet grades and elevations for any project which has received site plan approval by the appropriate municipal agency; other home and building maintenance and/or repair where soil removals will not exceed 40 cubic yards.
[Amended 11-12-1985 by Ord. No. 85-13; 3-13-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-11]
B. 
Excavation or grading incidental to the above; other home and building maintenance and/or repair where soil removals will not exceed 40 cubic yards.
[Amended 3-13-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-11]
C. 
Transplanting balled landscape stock.
D. 
Removal of sod.
E. 
Landscaping materials which have been previously stockpiled from off-site sources.
F. 
Other home and building maintenance and/or repair where soil removals will not exceed 40 cubic yards.

§ 333-4 Applications.

Before the issuance of a permit, the applicant shall make application therefor on a form available from the Township Clerk and the data in said application or accompanying documents shall show the following:
A. 
The name and address of the owner(s) of the tract involved.
B. 
The name and address of the applicant.
C. 
Certification by the owner acknowledging the application.
D. 
The name and address of the agent responsible for the soil removal operation.
E. 
The estimated quantity of material to be removed yearly and total estimated quantity to be removed during the life of the permit.
[Amended 11-12-1985 by Ord. No. 85-13]
F. 
A statement describing equipment used directly or indirectly in the soil removal operation and whether or not the said soil removal operation is conducted above or below the groundwater level.
G. 
Township roads to and from the proposed site which will be regularly used in transporting soil removed.
H. 
Period for which permit is sought. The maximum period shall be two years for minor facilities.
[Amended 11-12-1985 by Ord. No. 85-13]
I. 
A map based on the Tax Map or similar accurate basis of the premises for which a permit is sought showing the Tax Map lot and block number, adjoining properties within 200 feet, the names and addresses of adjoining property owners and the extent of the area to be disturbed.
J. 
A statement by the applicant (where applicable per § 333-5) that:
(1) 
The most recent certified plan on file with the Township is valid; and
(2) 
The intended operations will be compatible with the certified plan.
K. 
Other information, where applicable, pursuant to § 333-7.

§ 333-5 Certified plan.

[Amended 11-12-1985 by Ord. No. 85-13]
A. 
A certified plan updated every two years for a major facility shall be filed with the Township. For minor facilities involving less than 2,000 cubic yards, a certified plan shall not be required. A certified plan shall include the following:
(1) 
A map of the affected parcel based upon an accurate survey and drawn to a scale not smaller than one inch equals 100 feet. Said map shall be drawn on sheets not larger than 24 inches by 36 inches in size. Separate maps shall be prepared as necessary to show proposed excavation areas and final restoration.
(2) 
Existing contours at a minimum of five-foot intervals on the affected parcel and a minimum of 100 feet therefrom. Elevations shall be based on United States Geological Survey datum.
(3) 
The location of all buildings and structures on the affected parcel and on all abutting parcels.
(4) 
All existing surface water drainage and provisions therefor.
(5) 
All wooded areas.
(6) 
The average depth of topsoil as determined by taking borings in representative quantities.
(7) 
Streams, springs, ponds and other water bodies on or within 200 feet of the site.
(8) 
Soils mapping from data available through Warren County Soil Conservation Service.
(9) 
Description of property corner markers as they may exist.
(10) 
Proposed details for surface water drainage and/or any streams, bodies of water and watercourses.
(11) 
Buffer zones to be provided.
(12) 
Final topography at five-foot contour intervals.
(13) 
An erosion and sediment control plan certified by the Warren County Soil Conservation District pursuant to Chapter 251 of the Public Laws of 1975, entitled the “Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act,” shall be included with the plan.
(14) 
Final restoration plans, including but not limited to topsoil, redistribution, seeding, mulching, buffer plantings, etc. Certified plans for existing facilities shall include provision for restoring areas previously disturbed.
B. 
The Township Engineer shall review each updated plan as it is received and shall report to the Township Committee whether or not the updated plan involves any change in the intent or scope of the plan as originally submitted and approved. If such a change is found, the Township Committee may require a new hearing as described in § 333-7 herein.

§ 333-6 Fees and deposits.

A. 
All applications shall be accompanied by fees and deposits payable to the Township according to the following schedule to cover expenses related to administrative and engineering services:
(1) 
Application review and soil removal fee: $75.
(2) 
Deposit (major facilities): $500.
(3) 
Deposit (other than major facility): $100.
B. 
Deposits shall be renewed in January to the extent that the amount on deposit shall not be less than the initial deposit.
[Added 11-12-1985 by Ord. No. 85-13]
C. 
In addition to the fees and deposits above, major facilities which have received approval from the Committee to operate, shall file with the Township a bond acceptable in form and surety to the Township Attorney to ensure faithful completion of final restoration measures. The amount of the bond shall be determined by the Township Engineer after reviewing the certified plan.

§ 333-7 Review of applications.

A. 
All applications shall be filed with the Township Clerk, Barring administrative deficiencies, the Clerk will forward the application to the Township Engineer for review and will notify all property owners within 200 feet of the facility and publish notice of the meeting in the newspaper. A complete application will be scheduled on the agenda at the next regular monthly meeting following a two-week review period. An engineering review report presenting findings and recommendations shall be presented at said meeting. The report may include recommendations for additional information and investigations to supplement the minimum requirements of §§ 333-4 and 333-5. The Township Committee in considering and reviewing the application and arriving at its decision shall be guided and take into consideration the public health, safety and general welfare and particular consideration shall be given to the following factors:
(1) 
Earth erosion by water or wind.
(2) 
Drainage.
(3) 
Earth fertility.
(4) 
Lateral support slopes and grade of abutting streets and lands.
(5) 
Land values and uses.
(6) 
Said other factors as may bear upon or relate to the coordinated, adjusted and harmonious physical development of the Township.
B. 
If after examining the application and attachments, the governing body shall be of the opinion that the proposed earth removal will not create conditions inimical to the public health and safety and welfare, and will not result in the creation of any sharp declivities, pits or depressions, earth erosion or fertility problems, depressed land values or create any drainage, sewerage problems or other conditions of danger, permission to remove the earth shall be granted. Such permission shall be effective for a period of time determined by the Township Committee but shall not exceed two years.

§ 333-8 Waiver of certified plan.

[Amended 11-12-1985 by Ord. No. 85-13]
Where an applicant can demonstrate that his proposed operation will not adversely affect land values and uses, drainage patterns and earth fertility nor cause erosion, loss of earth stability, sharp declivities or pavement deterioration of Township roads, nor otherwise jeopardize the health and welfare of the public, he may request waiver from individual certified plan requirements. A request for the waiver must accompany the application and must set forth, in detail, substantiation for each waiver request. The Township Committee shall consider each waiver request by the applicant at the scheduled public meeting.

§ 333-9 Operation regulations.

A. 
The applicant shall not create declivities, pits or depressions or by reason of the soil removal cause soil erosion, drainage or sewerage problems or other conditions of danger.
B. 
The applicant shall conduct the operations in such a manner that the area shall be properly leveled off, cleared of debris and graded. Operations shall be consistent with the certified plan where applicable and shall permit the implementation of all final restoration provisions.
C. 
The top layer of arable soil (topsoil) for a depth of six inches (or preexisting depths if less) shall not be removed, but such top layer shall be stockpiled on the premises for eventual respreading.
D. 
The operator shall construct and maintain erosion control facilities and do whatever is necessary to prevent any erosion that may occur from being carried onto Township roads or property of others during the removal operation. Before the granting of any permits or licenses, the Township shall specify the particular routes and roads which are to be utilized by the applicant's trucks when hauling the excavated material from and returning to the site.
E. 
No soil removal operation shall be conducted between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. No soil removal shall be conducted on Sunday or the following holidays: Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day or Thanksgiving. At no time shall the operation constitute a nuisance to adjoining properties.
F. 
Upon termination of the soil removal permit, the surface of the premises shall be left in a condition which provides for adequate drainage so as to prevent undue erosion. All grading and drainage shall be such that natural stormwater leaves the premises at the original natural drainage points and that the area drained to any one point is not increased.
G. 
All slopes shall be a maximum of 2.5 feet horizontal for one foot vertical both during and after active removal operations.
H. 
Temporary slopes which may be reopened within 12 months shall not be steeper than the natural angle of repose for the exposed soil as determined by a testing laboratory. Permanent slopes after removal operations and slopes which will not be reopened for longer than 12 months shall not be steeper than three feet horizontal for one foot vertical.
[Added 11-12-1985 by Ord. No. 85-13]

§ 333-10 Enforcement.

The Engineer shall enforce the provisions of this chapter. He shall from time to time upon his own initiative, and whenever directed by the Committee, inspect the premises for which permits have been granted to ensure compliance with the terms of the permit and of this chapter. The Engineer shall report all violations to the Committee and shall submit, when requested, a written report specifying whether or not and in what manner the provisions of this chapter and of the Zoning Ordinance[1] and of other applicable ordinances or resolutions are being followed.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 255, Land Development, Art. XII.

§ 333-11 Violations and penalties.

The Township Committee may revoke or suspend the soil removal permit of any person violating terms or provisions of this chapter. If convicted of such violation, said person shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both. Each day that a violation of any of the terms or provisions of this chapter shall continue shall constitute a separate offense.

§ 333-12 Construal of provisions.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to contravene the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 255, Land Development, Art. XII.