Town of Southold, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Southold 2-16-1965. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 240.
Zoning — See Ch. 280.

§ 228-1 Legislative declaration.

The regulation and control of the general regrading of land, extraction and removal of earth products and other excavations is necessary to protect and to prevent serious and irreparable damage to the public health, safety and general welfare as well as to make effective the general purposes of comprehensive planning and zoning.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 240, Subdivision of Land, and Ch. 280, Zoning.

§ 228-2 Intent of regulations.

These regulations and controls are intended to prevent the following conditions from occurring:
A. 
The interruption and diversion of natural watersheds and drainage lines, resulting in inadequate and improper surface water drainage.
B. 
The erosion of soil by water and wind.
C. 
The decrease in or destruction of fertility of the land.
D. 
The removal of lateral support of abutting streets, lands and premises.
E. 
The creation of dust storms and mosquito breeding places.
F. 
The creation of dangerous banks, depressions or pits.
G. 
The interruption of suitable access roads to other lands and the disruption of the future road pattern.
H. 
The rendering of lands unfit or unsuitable for their most appropriate uses.
I. 
The depreciation of property values.
J. 
The creation of other deterrents to the coordinated and harmonious physical development of the Town of Southold.

§ 228-3 Permit required.

[Amended 7-31-1973]
No lands or other premises shall be operated or used as sand and gravel pits nor for the excavation or removal of sand, gravel, stone or other minerals, or for other excavation purposes, nor for the stripping or removal of topsoil therefrom, including sod farming (except such sod farming operations as remove only the top two inches or less of topsoil annually), without a currently effective permit issued by the Town Board in compliance with the provisions of this chapter, or unless listed as an exception in § 228-4.

§ 228-4 Operations excepted.

The following operations and uses are hereby excepted from the application of this chapter:
A. 
Excavation or removal of sand, gravel, stone or other minerals, or removal of topsoil, on premises owned or leased by a water district, public improvement district, municipal or other public or governmental subdivision, authority or department.
B. 
Excavation or removal of excess sand, gravel, stone or other minerals incident to highway, sidewalk, driveway, cesspool, foundation or cellar construction on the same premises, including the grading of said premises, upon obtaining a permit therefor from the Building Inspector.
[Amended 11-9-1971]
C. 
Excavation or removal of sand, gravel, stone or other minerals incident to the construction of a stormwater basin, recharge basin or drainage sump on the same premises, provided that topsoil shall not be removed from the premises, and provided further that before commencement of any such operation, a fence or suitable barrier shall be erected around the area of excavation in accordance with plans and specifications approved by the Town Board as adequate to safeguard the public in the particular circumstances of the terrain and location of the excavation.
D. 
The moving of topsoil or other earth from one part of a lot or premises to another part of the same lot or premises as an incident to building, farming or landscaping.
[Amended 11-9-1971]
E. 
Removal of excess topsoil or other earth from the area of a subdivision plat, or from one area of such plat to another area thereof, when authorized by a special order, in writing, issued by authority of the Planning Board.[1]
[Amended 11-9-1971; 7-2-1991 by L.L. No. 15-1991]
[1]
Editor's Note: For further provisions regarding the development of subdivisions, see Ch. 240, Subdivision of Land.
F. 
Removal of topsoil or other earth incident to the business of operating a nursery.
G. 
The moving and/or removal of topsoil or other material on premises subject to site plan approval by the Town Planning Board, when authorized in writing by such Board incidental to the approval of such site plan.
[Added 11-9-1971]
H. 
The removal of two inches or less of topsoil annually during the normal operation of sod farming.
[Added 7-31-1973]

§ 228-5 Permit standards.

A. 
The Town Board may, by resolution in a specific case, after public notice and hearing and subject to appropriate conditions and safeguards to be prescribed by such Board in conformity with this chapter, and in accord with the guides and standards herein, issue a permit for the use of land for the excavation and removal of sand, gravel, stone or other minerals or for other excavation purposes or for the stripping or removal of topsoil.
B. 
Such authorization shall not be granted unless the Board finds that:
(1) 
The proposed operations will not interfere with the surface water drainage plan of the area nor endanger any street, road or highway.
(2) 
The circumstances of the location and the terrain are reasonably adapted to rehabilitation to the end that the premises will not become desert or waste land following completion of operations.
(3) 
The circumstances of the location and the terrain are such that conditions and safeguards may feasibly be imposed to assure that the premises will not constitute an attractive nuisance to nor endanger the safety of children.
(4) 
The use will not cause undue traffic hazards.
(5) 
The use will not cause undue vibration, noise or windblown dust or sand.
(6) 
The use will not change the established character of the neighborhood nor depress the value of other lands generally in such neighborhood.
(7) 
The proposed operations are set back at least 200 feet from any road, street, avenue or highway and are set back at least 150 feet from any property line; provided, however, that in the case of operations in existence at the effective date of this chapter, where the present front, side or rear setbacks of such operations are less than the requirements hereof, such operations shall not be extended beyond such present front, side or rear setback lines.
(8) 
The proposed operations are to be conducted upon premises having an area of not less than 20 acres; provided, however, that the provisions of this subsection shall not apply in the case of operations in existence at the effective date of this chapter upon premises having an area of less than 20 acres.

§ 228-6 Application for permit.

A. 
Before any excavation is commenced for any purpose other than those excepted in § 228-4 of this chapter, or before topsoil, earth, sand, gravel, stone or other minerals are removed from the ground, the owner, lessee or agent of the premises shall obtain a written permit therefor from the Town Board. For that purpose, such applicant shall file with the Town Clerk of the Town of Southold an application in duplicate for such permit, which shall set forth and include:
(1) 
A detailed statement of the proposed operation; a plan of the area proposed for excavation or for removal of topsoil, showing the condition of the plot or premises before operations are commenced and the proposed condition of said plot or premises after the work is completed; such plan shall be prepared by a duly licensed engineer or land surveyor of the State of New York, shall be drawn to scale and shall show all the streets adjoining the property, the location and dimensions of the premises upon which it is proposed to excavate, and the location, size and use of any existing buildings.
(2) 
A topographic survey of the property prepared by a duly licensed engineer or land surveyor of the State of New York, showing contours at ten-foot intervals, using Coast and Geodetic Survey datum.
(3) 
A duly acknowledged consent, in writing, of the owner of the premises and mortgagee, if any, including his or their addresses.
(4) 
Receipted tax bills or a photostatic copy thereof, or a letter signed by the Receiver of Taxes of the Town of Southold or by the Suffolk County Treasurer or by any title insurance, abstract or searching company authorized to do business in Suffolk County, certifying that all taxes and assessments against the property described in the application have been paid.
(5) 
The names and addresses of all property owners of record within 200 feet of the outside boundaries of the premises within which operations regulated by this chapter are proposed to be performed.
(6) 
The following items shall be supplied unless waived by the Town Board under § 228-10 of this chapter:
(a) 
A proposed comprehensive plan for the rehabilitation of the premises, together with a schedule of progress therefor. The proposed plan of rehabilitation shall set forth the ultimate contour and grade of the area upon completion thereof and shall describe the areas to be refilled, topsoiled and seeded, and shall specify the amount and extent thereof to be performed before December 31 of the year for which a permit or renewal of a permit is being applied for.
(b) 
An estimate, prepared by a duly licensed engineer or land surveyor of the State of New York, of the total number of cubic yards of material to be removed from the property pursuant to such plan during the permit period or renewal thereof.
(7) 
A stormwater management control plan consistent with the requirements of Chapter 236, Stormwater Management, of this Code, if required. The stormwater management control plan shall meet the performance and design criteria and standards in Chapter 236, Stormwater Management.
[Added 2-14-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
B. 
An application for a permit for sod farming need not include the information required by Subsections A(1), (2), (4) and (6) above. Such application shall set forth a detailed statement of the proposed sod farming operation; a plan of the area to be used for that purpose, showing its existing condition; and the material and information required by Subsections A(3) and (5) above.

§ 228-7 Regulations.

Compliance with the following regulations shall be a continuing condition for the validity and existence of any permit granted or renewed hereunder.
A. 
When required by the Town Board as necessary for the protection of the health, safety and general welfare of the public, for the preservation of property values in the neighborhood or to facilitate the proper drainage of surface water or appropriate use of land, in accordance with the standards prescribed in § 228-5, the premises on which operations regulated by this chapter are performed shall be rehabilitated in accordance with a plan of rehabilitation and schedule of progress therefor approved by the Town Board, which plan and schedule shall be filed in the office of the Town Clerk and are hereinafter referred to as the approved plan of rehabilitation. Such plan of rehabilitation may provide for a partial restoration of the property involved pending the completion of operations regulated by this chapter, and need not include the delineation of streets.
B. 
When required by the Town Board as necessary for the protection of the public, barriers consisting of wire fencing of the type known as chain-link or cyclone fence, or its equivalent, of such height as shall be specified by the Town Board as necessary for the protection of the public, considering the particular circumstances of the terrain and location, substantially erected and with no opening except necessary gates for ingress and egress, shall be erected to prevent public access to the top of any pits or steeply graded slopes.
C. 
Bank and pit excavations shall not extend, nor shall topsoil be stripped or removed, within 150 feet of any property line nor within 200 feet from the front line of any street, road, avenue or highway, except when incident to the construction of a cellar; except that in the case of a bank excavation, the same may begin at a street or road line. The term "bank excavation" refers to an excavation which is not carried below the grade of the street or road mentioned in the preceding sentence.
D. 
All slopes shall be excavated and maintained during operations at safe angles of repose to prevent erosion thereof and erosion or collapse of upper grade surfaces above such slopes, and final slopes shall not be inclined steeper than one foot vertical on one foot horizontal. All slopes shall be protected against collapse or erosion by the construction of proper drainage ditches back of the lip or edge thereof.
E. 
Dust-down or a similar dust layer shall be spread on access roads and other traveled areas to protect the public and the countryside against windblown sand and dust.
F. 
Topsoil stripped in connection with operations regulated by this chapter shall not be removed from the premises but shall be preserved for use in connection with rehabilitation; provided, however, that any excess topsoil may be removed after rehabilitation has been completed. Excess topsoil is any topsoil in excess of that required to allow a cover of at least six inches over any area on which topsoil is required to be respread by this chapter. This subsection shall not apply to sod farming authorized by permit and performed in conformity with the conditions and safeguards prescribed under this chapter.
G. 
Topsoil set aside and preserved for use in accordance with Subsection F of this section shall be respread upon the surface of the land from which topsoil or sand and gravel have been stripped or removed, excepting areas which are laid out as streets, parking lots or areas to be occupied by buildings on a subdivision plat approved by the Town Planning Board.
H. 
Upon completion of any operation regulated by this chapter, the excavation area shall be refilled and graded to such reasonable level as may be specified in the approved plan of rehabilitation.
I. 
All material used as fill shall be free from garbage, refuse and offal and any combustible, deleterious or unwholesome matter.
J. 
All areas on which topsoil has been respread as required hereinabove shall be prepared for and seeded with grass unless other vegetation or planting with vines or other covering is specified in an approved plan of rehabilitation.
K. 
Adequate provisions shall be made for the prevention of the accumulation of water from any source as a result of such operations.
L. 
No excavations shall be made which shall cause pollution to any underground water supply by saltwater intrusion or other causes.
M. 
The setback areas shall not be used for the storage of any products or other materials or equipment.
N. 
Natural vegetation is to remain undisturbed within the setback area. In cases where natural vegetation is inadequate in such area to provide proper screening, a suitable planting of shrubbery shall be required.
O. 
The operations shall comply with all statutes, ordinances, rules and regulations applicable thereto.
P. 
The issuance of a permit hereunder shall not constitute authorization for washing, screening or other processing of excavated materials unless expressly authorized by such permit.

§ 228-8 Issuance and renewal of permits.

Permits may be issued or renewed by the Town Clerk at the direction of the Town Board upon compliance by the applicant with this chapter. Permits may be issued for a period not exceeding one year and may be renewed for successive periods of one year, provided that the regulations prescribed herein have been complied with and upon furnishing the information required by § 228-6 insofar as applicable to the renewal period, and upon payment of any additional fee required by this chapter and upon furnishing such additional bond or security in an amount approved by the Town Board as sufficient to ensure compliance with these regulations during the renewal period, including performance of the approved plan of rehabilitation on the areas covered by the renewal permit.

§ 228-9 Bond or cash deposit.

A. 
Before the issuance of a permit, the applicant and the owner of record of the premises shall execute and file with the Town Clerk a surety bond in the amount required by the Town Board, conditioned upon the faithful and punctual performance of the work required to be performed by the approved plan of rehabilitation on the area covered by the permit, and conditioned upon compliance with the other regulations contained in this chapter, and to indemnify the Town of Southold and/or the Superintendent of Highways for any damage to Town property and for the cost of taking over such performance in case of default. In case of any default or failure to perform the work required to be performed and to furnish the materials required to be furnished by said approved plan of rehabilitation at or before the times specified in the schedule of progress approved in connection therewith, or to do any of the other things required to be performed by this chapter, such bond shall be forfeited upon written notice of such default or failure being mailed by certified mail to the permittee at the address stated in the application and upon failure by the permittee to cure such default within 60 days after the mailing of such notice. The sixty-day notice of such default or failure of performance may be given at any time after such default or failure of performance, and no default or failure of performance shall be deemed waived or excused by any delay or failure to mail notice thereof or by any subsequent renewal of a permit under this chapter.
[Amended 8-26-1976 by L.L. No. 3-1976]
B. 
Said bond shall remain in full force and effect until released or until the original amount thereof is reduced by the Town Board upon issuance of a certificate of completion or of partial completion by the Town Board, certifying that all provisions of this chapter and conditions of the permit have been fully complied with. Application for such certificate shall be made by the permittee, owner, lessee or his agent to the Town Clerk and shall be accompanied by a map drawn to scale showing the affected property, giving elevation thereof at ten-foot intervals, prepared by a duly licensed engineer or land surveyor of the State of New York after the completion of the operations, who shall also certify as to the amount of topsoil remaining upon ground required to be respread with topsoil by § 228-7 hereof, and that such area has been seeded in compliance with this chapter and that the other conditions of the approved plan of rehabilitation have been fulfilled.
C. 
In lieu of such bond, a cash deposit or deposit of negotiable securities may be made with the Supervisor of the Town, subject to the approvals, conditions and forfeitures specified hereinabove in the case of a bond.

§ 228-10 Waiver by Town Board.

If the Town Board shall determine, upon the request of an applicant for a permit, that no substantial rehabilitation of the premises will become necessary as a result of the proposed operations, or upon any application pertaining to an operation in existence at the time of enactment of this chapter, or whenever the applicant shall satisfy the Board that unusual hardship shall exist, the Town Board, in its discretion, may waive any or all of the requirements or this chapter by resolution of the Board, and the Town Clerk shall then issue the permit at the direction of the Town Board.

§ 228-11 Fees.

[Amended 11-9-1971]
Before a permit shall be issued or renewed, the applicant shall pay to the Town Clerk the following fees: A filing fee of $50 shall be paid with the filing of an application for a permit required by this chapter. In addition to the foregoing, an additional fee of $10 for each 500 cubic yards or fraction thereof of material to be excavated shall be paid upon the issuance of the permit.

§ 228-12 Public hearing.

A. 
Except as set forth in § 228-10, no permit authorizing operations regulated by this chapter shall be issued for the first time under this chapter until after a public hearing by the Town Board in relation thereto, at which parties in interest and citizens shall have an opportunity to be heard.
B. 
Public hearings need not be held on renewals of permits previously issued under this chapter, provided that the area covered by the renewal does not extend beyond the area of operations previously authorized. At least 10 days' notice of the time and place of such hearing shall be published in one newspaper designated for official Town notices, and a written notice of any application for a permit shall be mailed by the applicant to the owners of record, as set forth in the application, of properties within 200 feet of the outside boundaries of the premises within which operations regulated by this chapter are proposed to be performed.

§ 228-13 Penalties for offenses.

[Amended 7-31-1973 by L.L. No. 1-1973]
A. 
Any person committing an offense against any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,500 or by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. The continuation of an offense against the provisions of this chapter shall constitute, for each day the offense is committed, a separate and additional offense hereunder.
[Amended 11-21-2006 by L.L. No. 15-2006]
B. 
In addition to the above-provided penalties, the Town Board may also maintain an action or proceeding in the name of the Town in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or to restrain by injunction the violation of this chapter.