Town of Poughkeepsie, NY
Dutchess County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Poughkeepsie 6-18-1986 (Part II, Ch. 5, Art. IV, of the 1964 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fees — See Ch. 105.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 113.
Freshwater wetlands — See Ch. 116.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 177.
Zoning — See Ch. 210.

§ 97-1 Purpose.

It is the purpose of this chapter to protect the public health, safety and welfare in the Town of Poughkeepsie by regulating site preparation and construction activities, including excavation, filling, grading and stripping, so as to prevent problems related to erosion, sediment or drainage. In relation to this purpose this chapter is intended to:
A. 
Preserve the quality of the natural environment from such adverse effects of site preparation and construction as:
(1) 
Pollution of lakes, ponds and watercourses from silt or other materials;
(2) 
Unnecessary destruction of trees and other vegetation;
(3) 
Excessive exposure of soil to erosion;
(4) 
Unnecessary modification of natural topography or unique geological features; and
(5) 
Failure to restore sites to an attractive natural condition.
B. 
Protect people and properties from such adverse effects of site preparation and construction as:
(1) 
Increased runoff, erosion and sediment;
(2) 
Increased threat to life and property from flooding or stormwaters;
(3) 
Increased slope instability and hazards from landslides and slumping; and
(4) 
Modifications of the groundwater regime that adversely affect wells and surface water levels.
C. 
Protect the Town and other governmental bodies from having to undertake, at public expense, programs of repairing roads and other public facilities, of providing flood protection facilities and of compensating private property owners for the destruction of properties arising from the adverse effects of site preparation and construction.
D. 
Ensure that site preparation and construction are consistent with the Comprehensive Plan of the Town of Poughkeepsie.

§ 97-2 Legislative authority.

In accordance with Article 9 of the Town Law of the State of New York, the Town Board of the Town of Poughkeepsie has the authority to enact ordinances for the purpose of promoting health, safety or general welfare of the Town of Poughkeepsie, including the protection and preservation of the property of its inhabitants. By the same authority, the Town Board may include in any such ordinance provision for the appointment of any municipal officers or employees to effectuate and administer such ordinance.

§ 97-3 Enactment; title.

In order that site preparation and construction activities may be in conformance with the provisions of this chapter, this chapter is hereby adopted and shall be known and may be cited as the "Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance of the Town of Poughkeepsie."

§ 97-4 Conformance required.

Upon the approval of this chapter by the Town Board, all site preparation and construction activities requiring a permit under this chapter shall be in conformance with the provisions set forth herein.

§ 97-5 Conflicts with existing regulations.

Where this chapter imposes greater restrictions than are imposed by the provision of any law, ordinance, regulation or private agreement, this chapter shall control. Where greater restrictions are imposed by any law, ordinance, regulation or private agreement than are imposed by this chapter, such greater restrictions shall control.

§ 97-6 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AGRICULTURAL OPERATIONS
All activities directly related to the growing or raising of crops or livestock for the sale of agricultural produce, including horticultural and fruit operations.
AUTHORIZED OFFICIAL
The person designated by the Town Board to administer and maintain the provisions of this chapter.
DRAINAGE
The gravitational movement of water or other liquids by surface runoff or subsurface flow.
EROSION
The wearing away of the land surface by action of wind, water, gravity or other natural forces.
EXCAVATION
Any activity which removes or significantly disturbs rock, gravel, sand, soil or other natural deposits.
FILLING
Any activity which deposits natural or artificial material so as to modify the surface or subsurface conditions of land, lakes, ponds or watercourses.
GRADING
The alteration of the surface or subsurface conditions of land, lakes, ponds or watercourses by excavation or filling.
MULCHING
The application of a layer of plant residue or other material for the purpose of effectively controlling erosion.
SEDIMENT
Solid material, both mineral and organic, that is in suspension, is being transported, has been deposited or has been removed from its sight of origin by erosion.
SITE PREPARATION
The activities of stripping, excavation, filling and grading, no matter what the purpose of these activities.
SOIL
All unconsolidated mineral or nonliving organic material of whatever origin which overlies bedrock.
STRIPPING
Any activity which removes or significantly disturbs trees, brush, grass or any other kind of vegetation.
TOPSOIL
The natural surface layer of soil, usually darker than subsurface layers, to a depth of at least six inches within an undisturbed area of soils.
WATERCOURSE
Any natural or artificial stream, river, creek, ditch, channel, conduit, culvert, drainageway, gully, ravine or wash in which water flows in a definite direction or course, either continuously or intermittently, and which has a definite channel, bed and banks, and any area adjacent thereto subject to inundation by reason of overflow, flood or stormwater.
WETLANDS
Areas of aquatic or semiaquatic vegetation or any areas which have been mapped as such by the Town Planning Board, the Town Conservation Council, the County Department of Planning, the County Soil and Water Conservation District or the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation under the Freshwater Wetland Act.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Environmental Conservation Law § 24-0101 et seq.

§ 97-7 Activities requiring a permit.

A. 
None of the following activities shall be commenced until a permit has been issued under the provisions of this chapter:
(1) 
Site preparation within wetlands.
(2) 
Site preparation on slopes which exceed one foot of vertical rise to four feet of horizontal distance (or site preparation in areas known to be subject to severe erosion).
(3) 
Site preparation within the hundred-year floodplain of any watercourse.
(4) 
Excavation which affects more than 300 cubic yards of material within any parcel or any one subdivision.
(5) 
Stripping which affects more than one acre of ground surface within any parcel or any subdivision.
(6) 
Grading which affects more than one acre of ground surface within any parcel or any one subdivision.
(7) 
Filling which exceeds a total of 300 cubic yards of material within any parcel or any one subdivision.
(8) 
A development or subdivision of five or more units or any development or subdivision requiring any new street or the extension of municipal facilities.
B. 
The following activities are exempted from permit requirements:
(1) 
Activities not meeting the criteria in Subsection A.
(2) 
Excavations for the basements and footings of single-family houses and for septic tank systems, wells and swimming pools attendant to single-family homes, excepting those excavations required to obtain permits under Subsection A(1) through (3).
(3) 
Activities subject to permits under § 210-71 of Chapter 210, Zoning.
[Amended 3-27-1996 by L.L. No. 4-1996]
(4) 
Household gardening and activities related to the maintenance of landscape features on existing developed lots, excepting such activities as are regulated to obtain permits under Subsection A(4) through (8).
(5) 
Governmental activities, but only to the extent that such activities are exempted from the provisions of this chapter by law.

§ 97-8 Permit procedures.

A. 
Before any site preparation requiring a permit under § 97-7 of this chapter is commenced, the 10 copies of a permit application shall have been filed with the Town Zoning Administrator or the Building Inspector, and this application shall have been approved and a permit shall have been granted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Upon filing an application for a permit, the applicant(s) shall pay to the Town a fee as provided in Chapter 105, Fees, if the permit may be required under § 97-7A(4), (5), (6), (7) or (8) of this chapter; otherwise, the applicant(s) shall pay a fee as provided in Chapter 105, Fees. The fee shall be deemed a reasonable sum to cover the cost of administration and shall in no part be returnable to the applicant(s).
[Amended 3-27-1996 by L.L. No. 4-1996]
C. 
The Town Zoning Administrator or Building Inspector, acting, if deemed necessary, with recommendations from the Town Engineer, the Planning Board, the Superintendent of Highways and the Conservation Advisory Commission, shall have the authority to grant or deny all permits pursuant to this chapter.
D. 
Copies of the permit application shall be submitted to the Zoning Administrator or the Building Inspector who shall notify the Town Engineer, Planning Board, Superintendent of Highways and Conservation Advisory Commission as needed. Recommendations on the application shall be made by the Town Engineer, Superintendent of Highways or Conservation Advisory Commission within 30 days of the date of filing.
E. 
The Town Planning Board may, upon its discretion, conduct public hearings on permit applications, which hearings shall be fixed at a reasonable time and shall be given notice by a newspaper of general circulation in the Town at least 10 days prior to the date thereof. The applicant must provide the Planning Board with an affidavit of publication.
F. 
The Town Zoning Administrator or Building Inspector shall grant or deny all permits within 60 days of the date of filing of the application thereof, unless the applicant and the authorized official consent to a time extension.
G. 
Prior to granting a permit, the authorized official shall determine that the request is in harmony with the purpose and standards set forth in this chapter.
H. 
In granting a permit, the authorized official shall fix a reasonable time limit for the termination of the permit and may attach any conditions which he or she deems necessary to assure compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
I. 
Major modifications of the terms of an approved permit shall follow the same application, review and approval procedures as those set forth in this section for the original permit.
J. 
Inspections; enforcement.
(1) 
It shall be the responsibility of the Town Engineer to inspect the sites as frequently as necessary to assure compliance with the terms of approved permits and the provisions of this chapter and to submit written notification of any violations of these terms or provisions to the Town Planning Board, Building Department or Zoning Administrator.
(2) 
In the event that any of the activities described in § 97-7 are undertaken by any person who has not been issued a permit or if work undertaken under a permit is not in compliance with the terms of the permit or of this chapter, the Town Zoning Administrator or Building Inspector shall be authorized to issue an order to remedy and to require such further compliance with this chapter as is necessary to effect its purpose and goals. The Planning Department and the Town Engineer may assist the Zoning Administrator and the Building Inspector in actions brought under this chapter. The Planning Department, the Building Inspector and the Zoning Administrator are authorized to advise the Town Engineer of any properties requiring inspection for potential violations of the provisions of this chapter. Upon such referral, the Town Zoning Administrator or the Building Inspector may, with the assistance of the Town Attorney and upon consultation with the Town Engineer, make application to the New York State Supreme Court or file an information in the Town Justice Court.
(3) 
For any and every violation of the provisions of this chapter, the owner, general agent or contractor of the building or premises where such violation had been committed or shall exist and the lessee or tenant of any part of the premises in which part such violations have been committed or shall exist and the general agent, architect, builder or contractor or any other person who commits, takes part or assists in such violation or who maintains any premises in which such violation shall exist shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $250 or to imprisonment for not more than 15 days or both, any, each and every day the violation continues, after the owner, general agent or contractor of the building or premises where such violation has occurred has been notified thereof, shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct violation.
[Amended 3-27-1996 by L.L. No. 4-1996]
K. 
If at any time during the effective period of a permit or if upon its expiration the terms of the permit are violated, the Town Zoning Administrator or Building Inspector may revoke the permit and may require that the performance guaranty be forfeited to the Town. If the applicant shall be unable to complete the project or any phase thereof within the specified time, he or she shall, 30 days prior to the specified date of completion, present in writing a request for an extension of time, setting forth therein the reason for the request. If, in the discretion of the authorized official, such an extension is warranted, he or she may grant additional time for the completion of the work.

§ 97-9 Permit application materials.

[Amended 5-18-2005 by L.L. No. 7-2005]
A property owner(s) or his or her agent(s) may initiate a request for a permit or the modification of a permit by filing with the Town Clerk six copies of an application, who shall promptly forward copies of the application to the Town Engineer, Town Building Inspector, Superintendent of Highways and Conservation Advisory Commission. Maps and plans accompanying the application shall be prepared by a licensed architect or engineer or by any other person approved by the Town Engineer. The Chairman of the Town Planning Board may require that additional copies of the application be filed with the Town Clerk, and he or she may modify the requirements concerning materials to accompany the application by waiving or adding such requirements as he or she deems appropriate to the nature and scope of the proposed activities. The Chairman of the Town Planning Board may require the applicant(s) to reconstruct application materials if they are deemed to be of insufficient scale or quality or do not meet the standards of this section. Excepting for modifications authorized or required by the Chairman of the Town Planning Board, each application shall contain the following material:
A. 
A stormwater pollution prevention plan consistent with the requirements of Chapter 173, Part 2, Articles II, III and IV, shall be required. The SWPPP shall meet the performance and design criteria and standards in Chapter 173, Part 2, Articles III and IV. The approved erosion control permit shall be consistent with the provisions of Chapter 173, Part 2, Stormwater Control.
B. 
An estimate of the costs of providing temporary and permanent vegetation and drainage, erosion and sediment control facilities shall be prepared by applicant's engineer and confirmed by the Town Engineer.

§ 97-10 Standards for consideration.

In granting a permit under this chapter, the standards and considerations taken into account shall include but not be limited to the following:
A. 
Excavation, filling, grading and stripping shall be permitted to be undertaken only in such locations and in such a manner as to minimize the potential of erosion and sediment and the threat to the health, safety and welfare of neighboring property owners and the general public.
B. 
Site preparation and construction shall be fitted to the vegetation, topography and other natural features of the site and shall preserve as many of these features as feasible.
C. 
The control of erosion and sediment shall be a continuous process undertaken as necessary prior to, during and after site preparation and construction.
D. 
The smallest practical area of land shall be exposed by site preparation at any given time.
E. 
The exposure of areas by site preparation shall be kept to the shortest practical period of time prior to the construction of structures or improvements or the restoration of the exposed areas to an attractive natural condition.
F. 
Mulching or temporary vegetation suitable to the site shall be used where necessary to protect areas exposed by site preparation, and permanent vegetation which is well adapted to the site shall be installed as soon as practical.
G. 
Where slopes are to be revegetated in areas exposed by site preparation, the slopes shall not be of such steepness that vegetation cannot be readily established or that problems of erosion or sediment may result.
H. 
Site preparation and construction shall not adversely affect the free flow of water by encroaching on, blocking or restricting watercourses.
I. 
All fill material shall be of a composition suitable for the ultimate use of the fill, free of rubbish and carefully restricted in its content of brush, stumps, tree debris, rocks, frozen material and soft or easily compressible material.
J. 
Fill material shall be compacted sufficiently to prevent problems of erosion, and where the material is to support structures, it shall be compacted to a minimum of 90% of standard proctor with proper moisture control.
K. 
All topsoil which is excavated from a site shall be stockpiled and used for the restoration of the site, and such stockpiles, where necessary, shall be seeded or otherwise treated to minimize the effects of erosion.
L. 
Prior to, during and after site preparation and construction, an integrated drainage system shall be provided which at all times minimizes erosion, sediment, hazards of slope instability and adverse effects on neighboring property owners.
M. 
The natural drainage system shall generally be preserved in preference to modifications of this system, excepting where such modifications are necessary to reduce levels of erosion and sediment and adverse effects on neighboring property owners.
N. 
All drainage systems shall be designed to handle adequately anticipated flows, both within the site and from the entire upstream drainage basin.
O. 
Sufficient grades and drainage facilities shall be provided to prevent the ponding of water, unless such ponding is proposed within site plans, in which event there shall be sufficient water flow to maintain proposed water levels and to avoid stagnation.
P. 
There shall be provided where necessary to minimize erosion and sediment such measures as benches, berms, terraces, diversions and sediment, debris and retention basins.
Q. 
Drainage systems, plantings and other erosion or sediment control devices shall be maintained as frequently as necessary to provide adequate protection against erosion and sediment and to ensure that the free flow of water is not obstructed by the accumulation of silt, debris or other material or by structural damage.

§ 97-11 Performance guaranty.

A. 
After the approval of the application and before the issuance of any permit, the applicant shall file with the Town Clerk, in an amount of the estimated cost of the project as submitted under § 97-9E of this chapter and verified by the authorized official, one of the following performance guaranties:
(1) 
A certified check.
(2) 
A performance bond which shall be satisfactory to the Town Board and Town Attorney as to form, sufficiency, manner of execution, surety and period of execution.
(3) 
A letter of credit from a bank approved by the Town Board and Town Attorney.
B. 
The Town Planning Board may grant a waiver of such guaranty if it deems the proposed activities to be of minor scope and to be consistent with the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
The party or parties filing the performance guaranty shall provide that either upon termination of the permit or the operation, whichever may come first, the project shall be in conformity with both the approved specific requirements of the permit and the provisions of this chapter. In the event of default of such and violation of any other applicable laws, such performance guaranty shall be forfeited to the Town. The Town shall return to the applicant any amount that is not needed to cover the costs of restoration, administration and any other expenses incurred by the Town as a result of the applicant's default. Such performance guaranty shall continue in full force and effect until a certificate of compliance shall have been issued by the authorized official after such consultation with any agencies or individuals as he or she deems necessary to ensure that all provisions of this chapter and of the permit have been met.

§ 97-12 Exceptions.

Where practical difficulties, unnecessary hardships and results inconsistent with the general purpose of this chapter or certain provisions thereof are encountered, exceptions may be granted by the Town Board.

§ 97-13 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
If there is any damage due to a violation of this chapter or if any soil, liquid or other material is caused to be deposited upon or to roll, flow or wash upon any public property, private property or right-of-way in violation of this chapter, the person, firm, partnership, corporation or other party responsible shall be notified and shall cause the same to be removed from such property or way within 36 hours of notice. In the event of an immediate danger to the public health or safety, notice shall be given by the most expeditious means and the violation shall be remedied immediately. In the event it is not so remedied, the Town shall cause such and the cost of such by the Town shall be paid to the Town by the party who failed to so remedy and shall be a debt owed to the Town.
B. 
Any person, firm, partnership, corporation or other party who violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation and subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 or to imprisonment of not more than 15 days, or both such fine and imprisonment. The imposition of any such penalty for the violation of this chapter shall not excuse such violation nor permit the continuance thereof. The application of the above penalty or penalties for a violation of the provisions of this chapter shall not be held to prevent the removal of conditions prohibited by this chapter by such legal means as may be proper.
[Amended 3-27-1996 by L.L. No. 4-1996; 6-3-2009 by L.L. No. 22-2009]
C. 
Every day that a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter continues after written notice shall have been served upon the owner or his or her agent, either personally or by registered mail addressed to such person at his or her last known address, shall constitute a separate violation.
D. 
In addition to any other remedies set forth herein authorizing the Town to enforce the provisions of this chapter, establishing penalties, and setting forth additional remedies, the person charged with the responsibility to enforce the provisions of this chapter may impose a civil fine or agree to a civil fine not to exceed $1,000 per day for each day of the violation. If said civil fine is imposed, then the alleged violator may appeal to the Town Board.
[Amended 6-3-2009 by L.L. No. 22-2009]