Borough of Green Tree, PA
Allegheny County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Green Tree 7-11-1988 by Ord. No. 1105[1] (Ch. 1450 of the 1982 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Construction codes — See Ch. 144.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 289.
Excavations in streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 295, Arts. III and V.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 300.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed Ord. No. 713, adopted 5-5-1965.

§ 181-1 Purposes.

The purposes of this chapter are to:
A. 
Provide minimum standards to safeguard persons, protect property and promote the general welfare by preventing excess erosion, hazardous rock and soil slippage, sediment production and other soil and water management problems by regulating and controlling the design, construction, quality of materials, use, location and maintenance of grading, excavations and fills;
B. 
Establish performance standards which ensure land use practices respectful of the natural topography and capabilities of the land;
C. 
Encourage maximum retention of natural topography and vegetative features on hillsides;
D. 
Prevent earthflow and rockfall landslides;
E. 
Prevent soil erosion and increases in stormwater runoff which result in stream siltation, flooding and damage to the property of others; and
F. 
Encourage imaginative and innovative site development to building design that adapts to and takes advantage of the best use of the natural terrain.

§ 181-2 Definitions.

[Amended 5-2-2005 by Ord. No. 1523]
As used in this chapter:
ADMINISTRATOR
The person qualified and officially appointed by Council to administer the provisions of this chapter, or his or her authorized representative.
APPLICANT
Any landowner or agent of a landowner who proposes to make or causes to be made any excavation or fill, or any combination thereof, pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
ARCHITECT
A registered architect licensed as such in the commonwealth.
BEDROCK
Natural rock layer, hard or soft, in place at ground surface or beneath unconsolidated surficial deposits.
BUILDING
Includes the word "structure," and the word "structure" includes the word "building."
BUILDING CODE
Chapters 105, 128, 132, 144, 170 and 181 of this Code.
DEP
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
ENGINEER
A registered professional engineer in the commonwealth who is knowledgeable in civil engineering.
ENGINEERING GEOLOGIST
A person who holds a degree in geology from an accredited college or university and who has training and experience in the field of engineering geology.
EROSION
The detachment and movement of soil or rock fragments by water, wind, ice or gravity, including such processes as gravitational creep.
EXCAVATION
Any act by which earth, sand, gravel, rock or any other similar material is cut into, dug, quarried, uncovered, removed, displaced, relocated or bulldozed, and includes the conditions resulting therefrom.
EXCESSIVE SLOPE
Either those slopes identified on the soil group map as steep slopes of 25% or more or any virgin area where, in a one-hundred-foot horizontal distance, the average slope exceeds 25%.
FILL AND EMBANKMENT
Any act by which earth, sand, gravel, rock or any other material is deposited, placed, pushed, dumped, pulled, transported or moved to a new location, including the condition resulting therefrom.
GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING REPORT
A report prepared by a soils engineer or engineering geologist.
GRADE
The elevation of the existing or proposed ground surface at the location of any proposed excavation or fill.
GRADING PERMIT
Any permit required pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
GRADING, ENGINEERED
A grading operation in excess of 5,000 cubic yards performed in conformance with a grading plan prepared by a professional engineer.
GRADING, EXCAVATION OR FILL OR ANY COMBINATION THEREOF
Includes the conditions resulting from any excavation or fill.
GRADING, REGULAR
A grading operation of less than 5,000 cubic yards. Where the site conditions warrant, the Administrator may require the submission of a report on the site as prepared by a professional engineer, soils engineer or engineering geologist.
HAZARD
Any danger or potential danger to life, limb or health, or any adverse effect or potential adverse effect on the safety, use or stability of property, waterways, public ways, structures, utilities and storm sewers, including stream pollution.
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
A landscape architect licensed as such in the commonwealth.
LANDSLIDE PRONE SOILS
Those soil formations whose characteristics are classified as being landslide-prone or otherwise sensitive in the Soil Survey of Allegheny County.
NPDES
The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, representing the federal government's system for issuance of permits under the Clean Water Act, delegated to the DEP in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
PERMIT HOLDER
Any landowner, agent of such landowner or tenant with the permission of such landholder who has been granted a grading permit pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
RETAINING WALL
A structure composed of concrete, steel or other approved building material constructed for the purpose of supporting a cut or filled embankment which would otherwise not comply with the requirements of standards set forth in this chapter and which is more than two feet in height as measured on the exposed vertical surface of the wall.
SITE
A lot, tract or parcel of land, but may be a series of lots, tracts or parcels of land which are adjoining and with respect to which grading work is to be continuous and performed at the same time.
SLOPE
The angle of the existing or proposed ground surface plane to the horizontal, expressed as the ratio of the horizontal to the vertical or in percentage of slope (rise or fall per 100 feet).
SOIL SURVEY
The Soil Survey of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, as prepared by the USDA Soil Conservation Service et al., and accompanying text, issued August 1981.
SOILS ENGINEER
A registered professional engineer in the commonwealth having training and experience in soils engineering.
SOLID WASTE
Any and all parts or combinations of ashes, garbage, refuse, radioactive material, combustible demolition materials and industrial wastes such as food processing wastes, wood, plastic, metal scrap and other such materials whose disposal is regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
STEEP SLOPE
An average slope in excess of 25% in a one-hundred-foot horizontal distance.
SUBDIVISION REGULATIONS
Chapter 300 of this Code.
ZONING CODE
Chapter 420 of this Code.

§ 181-3 Applicability; compliance required.

A. 
This chapter applies to new grading, excavations and fills and changes, additions or alterations made in existing excavations, fills and embankments, which shall conform to this chapter.
B. 
All grading, excavations and fills, whether or not a grading permit is required, shall conform to this chapter.

§ 181-4 Permit required.

A. 
No person shall commence or perform any grading, excavation or fill without first having obtained a grading permit therefor from the Administrator.
B. 
A separate grading permit shall be required for each site. One permit shall cover all grading, excavations and fills made on the same site.
C. 
One permit shall be required for the grading of a large continuous parcel of land for a major planned development, such as a planned subdivision development or a planned commercial development, when the standards for the grading of the entire parcel are satisfactory to and approved by the Administrator.

§ 181-5 Exceptions to permit requirement.

A grading permit shall not be required for any of the following:
A. 
An excavation which does not exceed three feet in vertical depth at its deepest point, measured from the natural ground surface, and which covers a surface area of less than 1,000 square feet, provided that the surfaces of such excavation do not have slope at any point steeper than four horizontal to one vertical. However, this subsection shall not be deemed to nullify the application of this chapter or any requirement for obtaining a grading permit with respect to any fill made with material from such an excavation, unless otherwise excepted by Subsections B and C hereof.
B. 
A fill which does not exceed 10 cubic yards of material on any one site.
C. 
A fill which is not intended to support structures and does not exceed three feet in vertical depth at its deepest point, measured from the natural ground surface, and which does not cover an area of more than 1,000 square feet, provided that the surface of such fill does not have a slope at any point steeper than four horizontal to one vertical and does not obstruct a drainagecourse.
D. 
An excavation below finished grade for basements and footings of a building, swimming pool or underground structure authorized by a building permit and an excavation of a driveway between a building site and the street. However, this subsection shall not be deemed to nullify the application of this chapter or any requirement for obtaining a grading permit with respect to any fill made with the material from such an excavation, unless otherwise excused by Subsections B and C hereof.
E. 
Soil excavated under the authorization of a properly issued building permit which is temporarily stockpiled on the same site as the excavation. However, if excavated material is stockpiled on a site for a period of longer than 120 days, a permit shall be necessary when disposing of the fill material.
F. 
A building site improved under authorization of a properly issued building permit where the maximum natural gradient between property lines or the maximum excavation or fill, exclusive of the situations referred to in Subsection D hereof, does not exceed the grades or quantities set forth in the following table:
One-Family House Site
(square feet)
Maximum Gradient without Permit
(feet)
Maximum Excavation or Fill without Permit Exclusive of Basements and Foundations
(cubic yards)
Less than 10,000
15 in 100
100
10,000 to 24,000
15 in 100
200
Over 24,000 to 44,000
15 in 100
250
Over 44,000
20 in 100
250
G. 
Exploratory excavations under the direction of a soils engineer or engineering geologist;
H. 
Excavations for wells, tunnels, public utilities or cemetery graves; and
I. 
For work performed by the Borough or by contractors employed by the Borough in a public street or alley, park, playground, recreation area or on other Borough property.

§ 181-6 Administrator; designation and duties.

[Amended 5-2-2005 by Ord. No. 1523]
A. 
Council shall designate an Administrator for review, approval and granting of grading permits and to make inspections of the grading work.
B. 
The Administrator shall require that a geotechnical engineering report be submitted by the applicant if the site is, has been or is likely to become hazardous to persons or property. The overlay maps, such as the Coal Resource Maps prepared by USGS, latest edition, for the Greater Pittsburgh Region, shall be used to locate hazardous areas. The report shall contain a detailed description of the geological conditions of the site and shall include conclusions and recommendations that will demonstrate the relationship of the geological conditions to the proposed development, including hazardous conditions, water resources, mineral resources and environmental impact.
C. 
In special cases when grading occurs in areas of landslide-prone soil or rockfall-prone areas as recognized by the soil survey or other standard surveys, the Administrator may require special precautions prior to issuing a permit from the applicant. The results of all soil tests and core borings made relative to the site shall be submitted to the Administrator.
D. 
The Administrator may deny a grading permit if the use of land to be graded, either excavation or filling, is not specifically known except for the intent of improving the site. The Administrator shall review the application, plans, specifications and reports and determine whether the project will improve the site, is in the best interest of the Borough and is not detrimental to the environment. The applicant may appeal the Administrator's decision to Council by preparing and submitting to Council a site plan showing the development of the land in accordance with the subdivision regulations (Chapter 300 of the Code).
E. 
When the requirements of this chapter for obtaining a permit have been met, the Administrator shall approve the application and proposed plan and grant a grading permit to the applicant.
F. 
The Administrator may waive the requirement of any or all plans and specifications listed in this chapter if he finds that the information on the application is sufficient to show that the work will conform to the provisions of this chapter.

§ 181-7 Permit applications.

A. 
Every applicant for a grading permit shall file a written application, plans, specifications and a soil conservation report therefor with the Administrator in a form prescribed by the Administrator. The application shall indicate that the proposed grading is to be regular grading or engineered grading and shall:
(1) 
Describe the land on which the proposed work is to be done by lot, block, tract and street address, or a similar description which will readily identify and definitively locate the proposed work;
(2) 
State the estimated dates for the starting and completion of grading work;
(3) 
State the purpose for which the grading application is filed; and
(4) 
State whether or not a building, structure or other improvement, the construction of which will require a building permit pursuant to the provisions of the Building Code,[1] is intended to be erected on the land on which the grading is to be done.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 144, Art. III, Uniform Construction Code.
B. 
The plans and specifications shall accurately portray and describe the site and proposed soil erosion controls. Plans shall be submitted in triplicate, one set of which shall be of a reproducible nature, and shall include:
(1) 
The name of the applicant;
(2) 
The name of the owner of the land;
(3) 
The permission and approval of the owner of the property if the applicant is an agent or tenant;
(4) 
Accurate location by lot, block, tract, street address, a location map or other similar information;
(5) 
A contour map showing the present contours of the land and the proposed contours of the land after completion of the proposed grading, at two-foot intervals, where the average slope is 10% or less and at five-foot intervals where the average slope exceeds 10%;
(6) 
Cross sections of the proposed cut or fill on fifty-foot intervals which show the method of benching, both cut and/or fill, provided that there are not less than two cross sections for each site;
(7) 
A plot plan showing the location of the grading boundaries, lot lines, neighboring streets or ways, buildings, surface and subsurface utilities and waterways, drainage patterns and sufficient dimensions and other data to show all work;
(8) 
A description of the type and classification of the soil from the soil survey, other standard surveys or other methods;
(9) 
Details and location of any proposed drainage, stormwater management structures and pipes, walls and cribbing;
(10) 
Seeding locations and schedules, debris basins and diversion channels;
(11) 
The nature of fill material and such other information as the Administrator may require to carry out the purposes of this chapter; and
(12) 
The name and seal of the professional engineer who prepared such plans, except that the Administrator may waive the preparation or approval and signature by the professional engineer, an architect or a landscape architect, only when it is self-evident that the proposed work is simple, clearly shown on the plans submitted, creates no potential nuisance to the adjacent property or hazardous conditions and does not include the construction of a fill on landslide-prone soils or soils upon which a structure may be erected.
C. 
A soil conservation report shall be required and shall include an existing site description of the topography, drainage, cover and soils, major problems such as soil limitations, erosion and sediment potential and surface runoff changes, and recommendations to minimize soil limitations, erosion and sediment and surface water disposal problems.
D. 
Trees and natural ground cover shall be retained wherever possible to minimize the impact of the development on the site and environment.
E. 
Provisions of the subdivision regulations are incorporated herein by reference.

§ 181-8 Approved site plan, subdivision plan and/or building permit required.

An approved site plan, an approved subdivision plan and/or a building permit are prerequisite to the granting of any grading permit.

§ 181-9 Special agreements for large projects.

In the event that the applicant will move or grade an area of more than 30,000 square feet or grade more than 10,000 cubic yards, a formal agreement may be required by Council. Such agreement shall be prepared by the applicant at his or her own cost and expense and shall be approved as to form by the Borough Solicitor. The agreement may be made part of and incorporated in a developer's agreement as required by the subdivision regulations.

§ 181-10 Expiration of permits.

Every grading permit shall expire and become null and void if the work authorized by such permit has not been commenced within six months or is not completed within one year from the date of issuance of such permit. However, the Administrator may, if the permit holder presents satisfactory evidence that unusual difficulties have prevented work from being started or completed within the specified time limits, grant a reasonable extension of time, provided that the application for the extension of time is made before the date of expiration of the permit.

§ 181-11 Denial of permits; appeals.

A. 
If the Administrator determines that the work proposed by the applicant is likely to endanger any property or person or any street or alley or create hazardous conditions, the grading permit shall be denied. In determining whether the proposed work is likely to endanger property, streets or alleys or create hazardous conditions, the Administrator shall consider, among other relevant factors, the following: possible saturation by rains, earth movements, surface water runoff and subsurface conditions such as the stratification and faulting of rock, aquifers, mine conditions, springs and the nature and type of the soil or rock.
B. 
Any person who is aggrieved by the application of the provisions of this chapter may, within 15 days from the date of the denial of the permit or such other adverse determination by the Administrator, file a written appeal therefrom to Council. Council shall grant a hearing upon such an appeal within 30 days after the receipt of the written appeal.
C. 
If any appeal is taken from the issuance of a building permit where a grading permit has also been issued, and if such appeal, pursuant to the provisions of the Zoning Code, operates as a stay of all proceedings under any such building permit, then such appeal shall also operate to stay all proceedings under any such grading permit.

§ 181-12 Inspections.

A. 
The Administrator shall make the inspections required by this section and shall either approve that portion of the work which has been completed or notify the permit holder as to how the same fails to comply with provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Grading and drainage plans approved by the Administrator shall be maintained at the site during the progress of the grading and drainage and until the work has been approved.
C. 
The permit holder shall submit to the Administrator an as-built drawing of the project before the issuance of a grading certificate of completion.
D. 
The permit holder shall notify the Administrator in order to obtain inspections in accordance with the following schedule, and such notification shall be made by the permit holder at least 24 hours before the inspection is to be made:
(1) 
Initial inspection, when the work is about to be commenced and stake out is completed;
(2) 
Rough grading, when all rough grading has been completed;
(3) 
Drainage facilities, as follows:
(a) 
All drainage facilities that connect to or will become public drainage facilities shall be continuously inspected during construction.
(b) 
Other drainage facilities shall be inspected before such facilities are backfilled.
(4) 
Additional inspection, when, in the opinion of the Administrator, other inspections are necessary; and
(5) 
Final inspection, when all work, including the installation of all drainage, landscaping and other structures, has been completed.
E. 
If, at any stage of the work, the Administrator determines by inspection that the nature of the excavation or fills is such that further work as authorized by an existing permit is likely to endanger any property, streets or alleys, or create hazardous conditions, the Administrator may require, as a condition to allowing the work to be done, that such reasonable safety precautions be taken as the Administrator considers acceptable to avoid such likelihood of danger.

§ 181-13 Plan changes.

Any physical changes from the original plan uncovered in the site during the construction, such as surface water drainage, soil and bedrock dislocations, alteration of groundwater discharge or any other natural or man-made modification, which would tend to undermine the basis upon which the permit was issued, must be immediately reported to the Administrator by the permit holder. If the circumstances dictate, the Administrator shall revoke the permit or otherwise modify the conditions upon which the permit was initially issued.

§ 181-14 Fees and bonds.

A. 
At the time of application, the applicant shall pay an application review fee to cover the Borough's cost of reviewing application documents. Any additional charges incurred by the Borough to review the application of an excavation permit shall be borne by the applicant. Any application fees not expended by the Borough shall be returned to the applicant within a reasonable period of time.
B. 
Fees for review of applications and inspections of regular grading permits shall be in accordance with the following schedule:
50 cubic yards or less
$20
51 to 100 cubic yards
$30
101 to 1,000 cubic yards
$90
1,001 to 5,000 cubic yards
$200
C. 
Fees for review of applications and inspections of engineered grading permits shall be in accordance with the following schedule:
(1) 
A plan checking fee shall be charged as follows:
5,000 to 10,000 cubic yards
$200
10,001 to 100,000 cubic yards
$250
Over 100,000 cubic yards
$400
(2) 
An inspection fee equal to 2% of the total estimated cost of the grading work, control facilities and landscaping shall be collected by the Administrator prior to the issuance of a grading permit. A minimum fee of $50 shall be charged. Inspection costs incurred by the Borough in excess of the initial fee collected shall be paid for by the applicant prior to final inspection of the work.
(3) 
Should a special agreement, as described in § 181-9, be required by Council, payment of a review fee of $150 shall also be required.
D. 
The plan checking fee for an amendment to a grading permit authorizing work in addition to that which is authorized under a valid permit shall be the difference between such fee paid for the original permit and the fee required for the entire project. However, a minimum fee of $20 shall be charged.
E. 
Should the work require the use or occupancy of Borough streets for access by heavy construction equipment or for hauling of spoil or borrow material, a separate bond shall be required to guarantee the repair of pavements, curbs and sidewalks damaged during the grading operation.
F. 
As a condition of approval of an engineered grading application under this chapter, the applicant shall post a cash or performance bond or other security acceptable to the Borough in the amount of 50% of the estimated cost to perform the work. The cost estimate shall include the complete scope of work needed to be performed by the applicant to comply with this chapter, shall be prepared and certified by the applicant's engineer or architect and shall be accepted as reasonable by the Administrator. The Administrator shall be the final arbiter as to the reasonableness of any cost estimates.
G. 
Upon completion of the work on an engineered grading permit, a maintenance bond in the amount of 15% of the estimated cost as determined in Subsection F hereof shall be posted (payable to Green Tree Borough) for a period of 18 months.
H. 
No bond shall be required if another bond or approved security is posted for construction and/or site improvements, which bond or security already covers the cost of grading and other control facilities.

§ 181-15 Certificate of completion.

If, upon final inspection of the site for which a permit has been issued, it is found that the work authorized by the grading permit has been satisfactorily completed in accordance with the requirements of this chapter, a grading certificate of completion covering such work and stating that the work is approved shall be issued to the permit holder by the Administrator.

§ 181-16 Maintenance.

A. 
The owner of any property on which an excavation or fill has been made shall maintain such excavation or fill in good condition and repair and also all retaining walls, cribbing, drainage structures, fences, ground cover and other protective devices as may be a part of the permit requirements.
B. 
The continued use of such area shall be contingent upon the proper maintenance and upkeep of all the previously mentioned items satisfactory to the Borough and subject to such further conditions as the Borough may prescribe from time to time to keep the site in proper condition.
C. 
The grading certificate of completion may be revoked by Council at any time upon the recommendation of the Administrator where the conditions of the permit are not being observed, the work covered by the permit has been materially extended or altered without a permit to do so, or conditions exist which prejudice the health, safety and welfare of any person or property. Before such revocation, the Administrator shall first give written notice to the permit holder and to the owner of the property involved, specifying the defect or unsatisfactory condition in question and advising such persons that, unless such defect or unsatisfactory condition is remedied, the certificate shall be revoked. If the defect or unsatisfactory condition is remedied within 30 days of notice to the permit holder to correct the same, the certificate shall not be revoked.
D. 
If the permit holder fails to correct such defect or unsatisfactory condition within such thirty-day period, the Borough may undertake the necessary work, and the costs thereof shall be borne by the permit holder and collected in any manner authorized by law, including the imposition of a lien against the property.

§ 181-17 Hazardous conditions; nuisance.

A. 
Whenever the Administrator determines that any existing excavation, embankment or fill has become a hazard, as defined in this chapter, the owner of the property upon which the grading is located, or other person or agent in control of such property, upon receipt of notice in writing from the Administrator, shall, within the time specified in such notice, repair, reconstruct or remove such excavation, embankment or fill so as to eliminate the hazard.
B. 
If the permit holder fails to correct such hazardous or unsatisfactory condition within the specified time period, the Borough may undertake the necessary work, and the costs thereof shall be borne by the permit holder and collected in any manner authorized by law, including the imposition of a lien against the property.
C. 
Any excavation not completed within 180 days from the date of initial grading shall constitute a nuisance and a hazard.
D. 
The property owner shall restore, repair, reconstruct or remove such excavation, embankment or fill as directed by the Administrator within 30 days of receipt of such written notice.

§ 181-18 Working conditions.

The following general working conditions will apply to all grading sites.
A. 
Dust control. During grading operations, acceptable measures for dust control shall be taken.
B. 
Protection of public facilities. All public utilities and roadways shall be protected in the design of and during the grading operation. Construction equipment shall not be operated on public streets without the placement of protective mats. Hard-surfaced driveway or roadway surfaces shall be provided to prevent tracking of dirt and mud onto the public streets.
C. 
Cleanup. All soil washed or carried onto public streets during grading operations shall be cleaned up as it accumulates. The owner of the property being graded shall be responsible to protect and clean up lower properties of silt and debris which have washed down into the lower properties as a result of the grading work on the higher property.
D. 
Work days. None of the work or activity covered by a grading permit shall be conducted on a Sunday or legal holiday without the approval of Council.
E. 
Work hours. All of the work and activity covered by a grading permit shall be conducted between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., unless these time limits are extended, excused or otherwise modified by Council.

§ 181-19 Environmental protection.

[Amended 5-2-2005 by Ord. No. 1523]
A. 
Live stream crossings. Grading equipment shall not be allowed to cross live streams. No permanent or temporary stream crossing or enclosure will be permitted without the applicant first obtaining all necessary permits from the DEP prior to the start of construction.
B. 
Excessive slopes. Grading on excessive slopes shall be avoided so as to minimize erosion and storm runoff, to protect watersheds, to discourage erosion of soils by maintaining adequate foliage cover and to promote the perpetuation of open space on hillsides. The areas considered to have excessive slope may be revised or modified by Council where studies or information provided by a qualified agency or person documents the need or possibility for such revision.

§ 181-20 Excavations.

A. 
All topsoil shall be removed from the area to be graded and stockpiled and preserved for possible reuse on the site. Where possible, topsoil shall be stockpiled upslope of the grading operation.
B. 
Maximum slope steepness of a cut shall be no greater than two horizontal to one vertical for minimizing erosion and landslide hazards. However, a governmental review agency, professional engineer, soils engineer or engineering geologist may determine the types of soil on the sites to be graded from the soil survey, geological surveys or core borings. Maximum slopes can then be determined as follows:
(1) 
Landslide-prone soils or unstable rock formations where existing slopes are greater than 25% shall have proposed cut slopes no steeper than three horizontal to one vertical.
(2) 
Landslide-prone soils where existing slopes are less than 25% shall have proposed cut slopes no steeper than two horizontal to one vertical.
(3) 
Soils which are not, or have a low probability of being, landslide-prone shall have a slope no steeper than 1 1/2 horizontal to one vertical.
C. 
Cut slopes of up to one horizontal to one vertical may be allowed under a grading permit, provided that two or more of the following conditions are satisfied:
(1) 
The material in which the excavation is made is sufficiently stable to sustain a slope steeper than the slope specified previously for recognized soil conditions on the site. An acceptable geological report, signed and sealed by a soils engineer, certifying that the steeper slope will have sufficient stability and that it will not endanger any property or result in property damage and that creation of a hazard will be minimal, shall be submitted to and may be approved by the Administrator.
(2) 
A retaining wall or other approved support, designed by a professional engineer and approved by the Administrator, is provided to support the face of the excavation or to provide a fall zone at rock-faced slopes.
(3) 
The proposed slopes are demonstrated on a site plan, which is presented to the Planning Commission and Council, to be absolutely necessary to permit the reasonable development of the site, subject to other requirements of this section.
D. 
The Administrator may require that the excavation be designed so that a line having a slope of 1 1/2 horizontal to one vertical, measured from the bottom of the cut slope, will be entirely inside the property lines of the property on which the excavation is made, if conditions exist which, under applicable engineering practice, would cause the excavation to be deemed to be unstable or unsafe.
E. 
The Administrator may require an excavation to be made with a cut slope flatter than those specified previously if he finds the material in which the excavation is to be made is subject to erosion or is prone to landslides or if other conditions exist which, under applicable engineering practices, make such flatter cut slope necessary for stability and safety.
F. 
Excavations adjacent to any footing, foundations or structure shall not extend below the minimum angle of repose or natural slope of the soil under the nearest point of the same unless such footing, foundation or structure is first properly underpinned or otherwise protected against settlement. Before commencing any excavation which will affect physically in any way an adjoining property or structures thereon, the permit holder shall notify, in writing, the owners of the adjoining property or structures not less than 30 days before such excavation is to be made, informing them that excavation is planned. A copy of such notice shall be submitted to the Administrator. Adjoining properties and structures shall be protected as provided in the building code and/or as required by the Administrator.
G. 
The top or bottom edge of final slopes shall normally set back five feet from adjacent property lines or street right-of-way lines in order to permit the normal rounding of the edge without encroaching on the abutting property.

§ 181-21 Blasting.

[Amended 5-2-2005 by Ord. No. 1532]
A. 
No person shall store, handle or use any explosive in the Borough without first obtaining a special permit therefor from the Administrator. The Administrator shall have the authority to impose reasonable regulations and restrictions upon the storage, handling and use of explosives. Any violation of any regulation or requirement imposed by the Administrator or imposed under any provision of this chapter shall be grounds for the revocation of any permit theretofore issued.
B. 
All blasting which is conducted in the Borough shall be in conformity with state requirements and shall be in compliance with the Pennsylvania Code, Title 25, Part I Subpart D, Article IV, entitled Occupational Health and Safety, Chapter 210, Use of Explosives, as amended.
C. 
The Administrator shall be notified at least 24 hours prior to any blasting.

§ 181-22 Fill and embankments.

A. 
All topsoil shall be removed from the area to be graded and stockpiled and preserved for possible reuse on the site. Where practical, topsoil shall be stockpiled upslope of the grading operation.
B. 
The site shall be prepared by cutting toe benches and other keyways so as to provide a firm base on which to place the fill. No fill or embankment shall be made on landslide-prone soils without adequate engineered preparation and drainage of the area to be filled.
C. 
No fill shall be made which creates any exposed surface steeper in slope than two horizontal to one vertical, except under one or more of the following conditions:
(1) 
The fill, in the judgment of the Administrator, is located so that settlement, sliding or erosion of the fill material will not result in property damage or be a hazard to adjoining property, streets, alleys, buildings, storm drains or drainageways.
(2) 
A soils capability and geological report, signed and sealed by a professional engineer experienced in erosion control and soils analysis, certifying that he has inspected the site, that the proposed deviation from the slope specified previously will not endanger any property or result in property damage and that creation of a hazard will be minimal, shall be submitted to and may be approved by the Administrator.
D. 
The Administrator may require that an embankment or fill be constructed with an exposed surface flatter than two horizontal to one vertical if he finds that under the particular conditions such flatter surface is necessary for stability and safety.
E. 
Fills, embankments and finish grading shall be designed in accordance with the following:
(1) 
Where fills are located so that earth movement may result in personal injury or damage to adjacent property, streets, alleys or buildings, the bearing value and stability of the material under proposed fills and embankments shall be determined by subsurface investigation performed by a soils engineer or engineering geologist.
(2) 
The type of fill material available in each stage of the grading operation shall be determined in order to plan proper filling procedures.
(a) 
Rock may be incorporated in fills and embankments but only in layers 24 inches thick, maximum, as per the latest edition of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Specifications Publication 408, with voids filled and a blanket of compacted fill separating one layer of rock from the next. Rock fill shall not be placed near the bottom of proposed foundations, building caissons and subsurface utility installations. Suitable earth shall be reserved or provided to cover rock fill under proposed seeded or planted areas.
(b) 
No unsuitable material, such as coal, boney, red-dog, expansive shale and cinders, shall be placed in fill areas.
(c) 
Wood or other solid waste material shall not be placed in fill areas.
(3) 
No fill of any kind shall be placed over topsoil, trees, stumps or other material which would create a nuisance, potential fire hazard or sanitation problem which would attract rodents, termites or other pests.
(4) 
On major fills or embankments, a toe bench shall be constructed below mantle on bedrock under the toe of fill.
(5) 
Benching of the existing surface shall be required and indicated on the cross sections.
(6) 
A porous drain shall be installed on the bottom and back wall of the toe bench, together with a drain pipe and suitable discharge pipe to the existing nonerosive surface beyond and below the toe of the proposed fill.
(7) 
Overfilling of slopes is desirable to permit final shaping of the surface to proposed grade without the addition of loose fill over the surface of the slope, provided that no fill shall be higher than 10 feet vertically before the slope is shaped to proper grade.
(8) 
At the end of each workday, the horizontal surface of the fill shall be shaped, compacted and rolled to provide for drainage.
(9) 
All fills shall be compacted to provide stability of materials and to prevent undesirable settlement. The fill (excepting rock) shall be spread in a series of layers, each not exceeding 12 inches in thickness, and shall be compacted by a sheep's-foot roller or other approved method after each layer is spread. Fill shall be placed at the optimum moisture content for the specified degree of compaction. The Administrator may require tests or other information if, in his opinion, the conditions or materials are such that additional information is needed. Where fills are to have streets, structures or public utilities placed in or on them, a modified proctor density of 95% shall be achieved (ASTM test designation D 1557).
(10) 
The top or bottom edge of final slopes shall be set back five feet from adjacent property lines or street right-of-way lines in order to permit the normal rounding of the edge without encroaching on the abutting property or street and to allow for location of proper drainage facilities and protective devices.

§ 181-23 Minimization of erosion and sediment.

[Amended 5-2-2005 by Ord. No. 1523]
A. 
All grading activities shall follow the requirements of Title 25, Part I, Subpart C, Article II, Chapter 102, Erosion and Sediment Control, of the Pennsylvania Code, as amended. All permits required for the proposed grading under Chapter 102 must be obtained prior to the start of construction.
B. 
If no permit is required under Chapter 102 for the proposed grading, an erosion and sediment pollution control plan shall be submitted to the Administrator for review and approval prior to the issuance of a grading permit.

§ 181-24 Slope treatment and ground cover.

A. 
In order to prevent erosion, the permit holder shall be required to provide adequate ground covering of such kind and character as may be approved by the Administrator.
B. 
For slopes steeper than three horizontal to one vertical, the ground covering shall be an approved variety of erosion-resistant vegetation.
C. 
The completion of finish grading should be done during a season of the year when turf or ground cover can best be established.

§ 181-25 Retaining walls and fences.

A. 
If a retaining wall is constructed to satisfy a requirement of this chapter, a building permit shall not be required. The grading permit shall include the retaining wall, and the requirements for approvals and inspections provided in this chapter shall be complied with.
B. 
Retaining walls shall be designed and constructed in accordance with sound engineering practice. The plans submitted for approval shall bear the seal and signature of a professional engineer.
C. 
The backfilling of retaining walls and the construction of subterranean drainage facilities shall be done in accordance with sound engineering practice.
D. 
In general, where a wall is replacing an exposed slope, the vertical face of the wall shall be at least three feet back from the adjoining property. This requirement may be waived by the Administrator if it can be satisfactorily demonstrated that such an exception is necessary to ensure normal use of the property. This requirement may also be waived when the proposed retaining wall is a joint venture between adjacent property owners, and documents evidencing the same are filed with the application for the permit.
E. 
A fence not less than four feet in height, of a design approved by the Administrator and meeting requirements of the Zoning Code, shall be placed at the top of all new cuts and fills made when the cuts or fill slopes are steeper than two horizontal to one vertical.

§ 181-26 Drainage facilities.

[Amended 5-2-2005 by Ord. No. 1523]
A. 
Adequate provisions shall be made to prevent surface water from damaging the cut face of excavations and/or the sloping surface of fills and/or adjacent properties. Interception and diversion facilities for stormwater and surface water runoff, both above and below the cut and fill slope areas during and after construction, shall be included in the design. All drainage facilities shall be designed in accordance with the Borough's stormwater management ordinance[1] and DEP NPDES requirements.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 289, Stormwater Management.
B. 
The drainage pattern prior to construction shall be indicated on the plans. Adequate measures shall be taken to prevent any erosion and water runoff damage to adjacent properties during the construction and after completion of construction.
C. 
Storm sewers, catch basins, drainage ditches and swales necessary to protect adjacent properties, whether they are permanent or temporary in nature, shall be constructed before any excavation or filling is started. The storm sewers, catch basins, drainage ditches and swales shall be maintained, cleaned, cleared and open during construction. If this subsection is not complied with, the Administrator shall stop all clearing and grading on the site until the necessary drainage facilities are completed, or the permit will be revoked and the required bond forfeited.
D. 
New storm sewers and utilities traversing a proposed fill area shall be buried a minimum of three feet from the top of the pipe to the proposed grade. Fill shall be constructed in that area prior to installation of such sewers and utilities. The minimum size storm sewer, exclusive of toe or bench drains, shall be 15 inches in diameter unless a variation in size is approved by the Administrator. All storm sewers located within public property or rights-of-way shall be reinforced concrete pipe.
E. 
Slopes steeper than two horizontal to one vertical and of more than 20 feet in vertical height shall be separated by a level berm of at least 10 feet in width at intervals of no more than 20 feet vertically if the slope is potentially hazardous due to easily erosive material.
F. 
On slopes of two horizontal to one vertical or less steep, the ten-foot level berms shall not be required unless deemed necessary by the Administrator.
G. 
Drainage ditches with a grade of 5% or greater shall be paved with concrete, bituminous mixture, brick, half pipe, rubble or other hard nonerodable material.
H. 
Drainage ditches with a grade of less than 5% shall be grassed and sloped in such a manner that they can be conveniently cut and maintained.
I. 
Drainage structures, storm sewers, detention ponds, sedimentation ponds and appurtenances shall be of proper design and so constructed as to carry surface water and any subsurface water encountered to the nearest practical storm drain or natural watercourse approved by the Administrator as a safe place to deposit and receive such waters. Approval by the Administrator in no way relieves the owner of his legal responsibilities to adjacent property owners. The owner shall also comply with all state laws and regulations dealing with enclosing or discharging into existing streams, channels or storm sewers.
J. 
As a guide for the prevention of erosion and sediment pollution, grading plans shall follow the methods and recommendations outlined in the DEP Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control Program Manual, latest edition.
K. 
No rock fill shall be placed around or over storm sewers or drainage facilities other than that designed as part of the site drainage facilities.

§ 181-27 Liability.

A. 
Neither the issuance of a permit under the provisions of this chapter nor compliance with such provisions or with any condition imposed by the Administrator under this chapter shall relieve any permit holder from any responsibility for damage to persons or property resulting therefrom or as otherwise imposed by law, nor impose any liability upon the Borough, its employees and its consultants for damage to persons or property.
B. 
The permit holder shall be fully responsible for any noncompliance with approved plans. He shall carry the responsibility both for his own employees and for all subcontractors from the first day of grading until released by the Borough. The use of qualified personnel experienced and knowledgeable in the practice of excavation and landscape restoration shall be required.

§ 181-28 Violations.

No person shall construct, enlarge, alter, repair or maintain any grading, excavation or fill, or cause the same to be done, contrary to or in violation of any provision of this chapter.

§ 181-29 Discontinuance of prohibited acts; revocation of permits.

When notice of any violation of or noncompliance with any of the provisions of this chapter has been given by the Administrator, such violation shall be discontinued immediately or within a reasonable time limit specified in such notice. If such violation is not discontinued or extends beyond the specified time limit, the Administrator shall revoke the grading permit, and the violator shall be subject to any other applicable penalty provided in this chapter.

§ 181-30 Equitable remedies.

In case any work is performed by any person in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, the proper officers of the Borough, in addition to other remedies, may institute in the name of the Borough an appropriate action or proceeding, whether by legal process or otherwise, to prevent such unlawful work and to restrain or abate such violation.

§ 181-31 Remedies provided by state law.

If any work or conduct of any landowner or agent of the landowner is in violation of applicable Pennsylvania statutes or regulations, the Administrator may seek the remedies and penalties provided therefor under such statutes or regulations in addition to the penalties and remedies provided in this chapter.

§ 181-32 Violations and penalties.

See Chapter 1, General Provisions, § 1-2, for the general penalty provisions of this Code.