City of Clifton, NJ
Passaic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Municipal Council of the City of Clifton 1-22-85 by Ord. No. 4956-85. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Noise — See Ch. 327.
Soil removal — See Ch. 387.
Zoning — See Ch. 461.

§ 361-1 Legislative intent.

It is the intent of this chapter to license and regulate quarries so as to provide for the preservation of the public health, safety and welfare of the residents and property living and located in the City of Clifton; to ensure that all quarrying operations shall be conducted with a minimum of annoyance from noise and dust to nearby owners and occupants of property and in a manner which protects the safety of persons, particularly children; and to ensure that the quarried area shall be suitably and reasonably rehabilitated after quarrying operations have been completed or otherwise terminated.

§ 361-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
OPERATOR
Any person engaged in and controlling the business of conducting a quarry.
QUARRY
A place where stone, shale, slate, bank-run material, sand or gravel is excavated, removed, crushed, washed, graded or otherwise processed.
QUARRYING
Those aspects of the business of conducting a quarry as related directly to the excavation and processing of stone, rock, shale, slate, bank-run material, sand or gravel, and the removal thereof from any quarry premises, or other related activities.
RECLAMATION
The reconditioning of the area of land affected by quarrying operations to restore same to a productive use after termination of quarrying operations, consistent with the Master Plan adopted by the Planning Board of the City of Clifton, the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Clifton and the Soil Removal and Excavation Ordinance of the City of Clifton.
RECLAMATION PLAN
A written proposal, approved as set forth in this chapter which sets forth a plan for reclamation of the area of land affected by quarrying operations, including land use objectives, specifications for grading, manner and type of vegetation and such maps and other supporting documents as may be required by the Quarry Inspector. The plan shall be prepared by a licensed professional engineer and land surveyor licensed in the State of New Jersey, unless otherwise provided by statute.

§ 361-3 License required.

It shall be unlawful for any person to conduct the business of quarrying within the City without first having obtained a license therefor in accordance with this chapter.

§ 361-4 Application for license.

Applications for licenses required by this chapter shall be made to the City Clerk upon forms provided by the Clerk and shall be signed and verified by the applicant, setting forth or accompanied by the following information.
A. 
The name and address of the applicant, if an individual; the name, residence and business address of each partner, if a partnership; or the name, date and state under which organized, if a corporation. A corporate applicant shall indicate the names of directors, principal officers and local managing representatives, together with their residence and business addresses, and a designation of the person upon whom service of process can be made. If the applicant is a foreign corporation, whether the same is authorized to do business in the State of New Jersey shall be indicated.
B. 
A legal description of the premises where the business is to be conducted and a map or maps of the premises prepared by a professional engineer and land surveyor licensed in the State of New Jersey, which shall depict and show the entire tract involved; permanent (concrete or metal) markers at the beginning and ending of each course, delineating the boundaries of the property and any municipal boundary line traversing through the property or any portion thereof; all roads or buildings on the tract or within 200 feet thereof; existing and proposed final contours of the land involved and adjoining lands [contours to be created by the quarrying operation shall be shown at two-foot intervals for grades up to 10% and five-foot intervals for grades 10% or greater]; and all wooded areas, brooks, streams or bodies of water on the tract involved and within 200 feet thereof.
C. 
A statement as to the ownership of the tract involved and when such ownership was acquired, the interest of the applicant, its officers, directors or stockholders in the quarry property and any interest of said persons in adjoining property. In the event the applicant is not the owner, the written consent of the owner must be furnished.
D. 
Plans and specifications supported by maps and diagrams, where necessary, indicating places where quarrying is to be conducted; property boundary line markers, as provided in Subsection B; all entrances or exits to the tracts involved; fences, including location, height and type, gates or buildings, including outside dimensions and precise locations, either erected or to be erected; equipment used or to be used in the operation, with the location of such equipment; and a narrative describing the method of operation.
E. 
The nature, location and phasing of a screening plan, to minimize the visibility of quarry operations to neighboring residents and persons utilizing adjacent roadways.
(1) 
The owner or operator shall provide and/or maintain effective visual screening of the quarry operation. In those areas of the quarry where fully effective visual screening is not feasible, the owner or operator shall make every reasonable effort, through screening, to minimize the visual impact of quarry operations to neighboring residents. The design for such screening/buffer strip shall utilize existing land contours, artificially created berms, natural vegetation on the site and plant material not presently on the site, all of the above to be supplied and/or maintained by the owner or operator. Elements of the screening/buffer strip design to be submitted shall be as follows:
(a) 
In those areas where natural contours of the land provide effective visual screening, the design shall generally describe existing plant material and, if necessary, indicate methods of preventing erosion through the planting of ground cover material.
(b) 
In those areas where existing land contours do not in themselves provide adequate screening, the design shall indicate the use of berms or plantings to provide effective visual screening or, where effective visual screening is not feasible, to minimize the visual impact of quarry operations.
(2) 
The owner or operator shall adequately maintain the screening/buffer strip at all times as a continuing obligation and as a condition of renewal of the license.
F. 
The hours during which the quarry normally will be operated consistent with this chapter.
G. 
Certificates of insurance attached to the application evidencing liability insurance coverage in amounts of not less than $5,000,000 for personal injury, including death, for each person or each occurrence and $2,000,000 for property damage.
H. 
Information describing public and private roads to be used for access to the site by the public and any limitations that there might be with respect to the adequacy of the pavement. Such information shall include a certification by a professional engineer of the adequacy of these road for traffic by trucks whose sizes shall be identified in said report.
I. 
A consent executed by the appropriate person which consents to the entry upon the premises by the Quarry Inspector for the purpose of inspection.

§ 361-5 Reclamation plan.

A. 
Prior to approval of any application, a reclamation plan shall be submitted to the City Clerk. The reclamation plan shall not only show the ultimate use of the site and the plans therefor but shall also indicate measures which will be taken during the course of quarrying operations which will lead to the accomplishment of the reclamation of the site. The reclamation plan shall demonstrate the foregoing by including the following:
(1) 
The data required under § 361-4B above.
(2) 
Provisions for grading of all rock slopes to a topography not to exceed 30º off the vertical slope.
(3) 
Provisions indicating that, after the effective date of this chapter, ultimate rock quarry faces sloped in excess of 30º off the vertical slope shall be benched at heights not exceeding 50 feet to permit trimming of faces and removal of loose material. Adequate accessways shall be provided to all benches, and all benches shall be drained adequately. Sufficient stabilization or sloping shall be provided consistent with the quality or nature of the material on the site. Interim or finished slopes shall not exceed the angle of repose for the material involved, and slopes shall be such that the material shall be stabilized.
(4) 
Where topsoil will be removed, provisions for setting aside and retaining on the premises sufficient arable soil so as to be available to be distributed over those portions of the premises which the ultimate reclamation plan indicates reasonably require such arable soil. The reclamation plan shall provide that when arable soil is required to be distributed, it shall be to a minimum depth of four inches or such depth as may be required so as to support vegetation. Where final contours are of such slope as to make the replacement of topsoil impractical, the reclamation plan shall provide that all such slopes (except quarry faces in excess of 30º) shall be planted with rootable plant ground cover material in sufficient number and of sufficient size to minimize erosion.
(5) 
Provisions demonstrating a method whereby a reasonable portion of the areas of the site now being used or which shall hereafter be used for quarrying operations shall be reclaimed prior to the opening of new areas. To the extent practicable, the reclamation plan shall make provisions for simultaneous quarrying and reclamation.
(6) 
Provisions showing adequate drainage during quarrying operations and after the termination of same.
(7) 
Provisions showing adequate lateral support for slopes and grades abutting streets and neighboring lands during quarrying operations and after the termination of same.
(8) 
Provisions which indicate that the current and continued operation of the quarry will permit not only the preservation of land values but also allow appropriate residential use of the quarry premises and surrounding areas when quarrying operations have been terminated.
(9) 
Wherever quarrying has, prior to the adoption of this chapter, reduced the quarried area below the grade of the lowest adjoining property or road, provisions for the reclamation and future use of said below-grade areas.
(10) 
Provisions for completion and maintenance of the fencing required to be placed around the perimeter of the area which is to be quarried. The reclamation plan shall indicate, in detail, the schedule for erection of such fencing and what provisions are to be made for its maintenance and repair.
(11) 
Provisions for the completion of all reclamation within a period of one year after the termination of quarrying operations.
(12) 
Such other facts that may bear upon or relate to the coordinated adjustment and harmonious physical development of the City and quarry.
B. 
The reclamation plan shall remain in effect until such time as quarrying operations are terminated. Nothing herein shall require that an entire reclamation plan be submitted annually; however, reclamation plans shall be amended or revised annually upon application for renewal as quarrying operations proceed.

§ 361-6 Review of license application; issuance.

A. 
The license application containing all the data required as set forth, the reclamation plan and all other data required to be submitted by the applicant hereunder shall be delivered by the City Clerk to the Quarry Inspector, as well as to any independent experts that may be retained by the City for the purpose of reviewing the aforesaid plans and data.
B. 
If the aforesaid plans and data comply with the requirements of this chapter, that fact shall be certified by the City Engineer and any independent experts to the Quarry Inspector.
C. 
The Quarry Inspector shall receive the reports and complete his own examination of the documents. If, upon such examination, the Quarry Inspector is satisfied that the documents comply with the requirements of this chapter, a certification to that effect shall be forwarded to the City Clerk, who shall certify the application for a public hearing at the next regular meeting of the Municipal Council, provided that the date of such meeting shall be at least 15 days following such certification.
D. 
The City Clerk shall notify the applicant of the time and date of said public hearing within three days after certification is approved. The applicant, upon receipt of such notification, shall notify or cause to be notified, by personal service or by mail, at least five days prior to the public hearing, all property owners of adjoining property; of property directly across the street from the quarry premises; of property within 200 feet of the extreme limits of the quarry property, as their names appear on the municipal tax records. Prior to serving such notice, the applicant shall receive a list of the property owners involved from the City Engineering Department.
E. 
When the City Clerk has received such certification and the Municipal Council has, after public hearing, approved the application and has been advised that the applicant has posted a performance bond as established herein and that the license fee called for hereunder has been paid, as well as all real estate taxes, assessments or fees, the Clerk shall issue the license.
F. 
If the City Engineer, independent expert or Quarry Inspector finds that the submitted items fail to meet the requirements of this chapter, he shall prepare a report detailing such deficiencies and shall either deliver a copy of said report personally to the applicant or mail a copy of said report to the applicant by certified mail, return receipt requested. The applicant shall have 45 days from the date when the report is delivered to him or mailed to him to file with the City Clerk such corrected supplemental or additional plans or data as may be necessary to remedy the defects noted. After receipt of such data, the City Clerk shall transmit same to the City Engineer, Quarry Inspector and independent expert, who shall review same, and if they find that the plans and data filed comply with the requirements of this chapter, they shall report same to the Quarry Inspector, who shall certify such fact to the City Clerk and the license shall be issued upon compliance (including the holding of a public hearing and Municipal Council approval) with the procedure set forth hereinabove. If the plans and data shall still fail to meet the requirements of this chapter, such fact shall be certified to the applicant. Any further filing by the applicant or any filing by the applicant after the expiration of the forty-five-day period referred to above shall be proceeded upon as in the case of a new application for a license.

§ 361-7 Application for renewal of license.

A. 
Upon application for the renewal of the license, the applicant shall not be required to resubmit the site plan, screening plan, reclamation plan or other data as set forth herein, but shall, in writing, apply for said renewal and shall in said application set forth:
(1) 
Those changes or differences which have taken place or occurred since its last application. Where necessary, modified site plans, screening plans, reclamation plans and the like shall accompany said application.
(2) 
Those changes in performances or maintenance guaranties required by actual performances or changed conditions. No changes or additions shall be regarded as being effective to amend the operating plans, screening plans, reclamation plans or other items set forth in previously approved license applications unless the Quarry Inspector specifically approves such changes and certifies approval of such changes to the City Clerk. The Quarry Inspector shall review all such proposed changes with the City Clerk and any City-appointed independent expert.
(3) 
All reclamation, screening and similar operations which have been completed during the past year, if not set forth in any other documents or statement required herein.
B. 
The applicant shall file a maintenance and performance bond in the amount determined by the City Engineer as set forth hereafter and shall also file a certificate signed by the City Tax Collector certifying that all municipal taxes and other municipal liens due to date have, in fact, been paid.
C. 
In the event of a dispute as to the amount of the performance and maintenance bonds or reclamation work and maintenance required by the approved site plan for the ensuing year, nothing herein shall be construed to limit the right of the applicant to contest, by legal proceedings, any determinations made by the City Engineer or other municipal agency.
D. 
The applicant for the renewal of the license shall be referred by the City Clerk to the City Engineer, Quarry Inspector and any independent expert selected by the City, who shall review the renewal application to determine whether the documents and other items comply with the requirements and standards of this chapter. If this is found to be a fact, such fact shall be certified to the City Clerk. The procedure used shall be the same as that used in the case of a new license. Upon receiving such a certification and being advised of the payment of the appropriate fees and the filing of the proper bonds, the City Clerk shall issue to the applicant a renewal of the license.
E. 
Notice that an application for renewal of the license has been delivered to the City Clerk shall be posted on the bulletin board in City Hall, and a notice to a similar effect shall be placed by the applicant for the license in the official newspaper of the municipality within 10 days of the date of filing same.

§ 361-8 Performance and maintenance bond required.

Prior to the issuance of any license or the renewal of a license, the applicant shall submit a performance and maintenance bond with adequate surety to assure completion of all screening and reclamation of the site of operation which is required to be performed under this chapter during the ensuing year and the maintenance of such items as have already been completed. The form of the bond shall be subject to approval by the City Counsel and shall be in such amount as may be approved by the City Engineer. The amount shall be sufficient to guarantee the completion of fencing, screening and such portion of the reclamation plan intended to be completed during the ensuing year and the maintenance of such work as may already have been completed. The surety thereon shall be a recognized surety company authorized to do business in the State of New Jersey. At the request of the applicant, the amount of the performance or maintenance guaranty shall be adjusted annually, provided that the basis therefor is substantiated by said applicant. The guaranties shall be renewed annually during the period that quarrying operations are conducted and until completion of reclamation and shall, at all times, be sufficient to cover the costs of performance and maintenance guaranties.

§ 361-9 Fees.

Each initial application shall be accompanied by a fee of $1,000, which shall be deemed to be the sum needed to reimburse the City for the cost of the engineering examination for the initial application, and the applicant shall further deposit the sum of $2,000, which shall be deemed to be the sum needed to reimburse the City for the cost of inspection as provided herein. Each renewal application shall be accompanied by a fee of $500 to reimburse the City for the cost of examining the application. In addition, the applicant shall further deposit the sum of $2,000 to cover the cost of inspections to be made throughout the year by the Quarry Inspector. If the application is referred to an independent expert for a report and if the cost of said report exceeds the application fees set forth above, then in such event the applicant, upon being notified by the City Treasurer of such additional cost, shall pay the same within 14 days of said notification.

§ 361-10 Quarry Inspector.

The City Engineer is hereby designated as the City Quarry Inspector. In his capacity as Quarry Inspector, he shall conduct at least a quarterly inspection of the licensed premises in order to determine whether operations are being conducted in accordance with the application therefor and to evaluate performance of the licensee with regard to the reclamation procedures. The Quarry Inspector may inspect more often than stated above, if required. The Quarry Inspector shall submit written reports of such inspections to the City Manager. The Quarry Inspector shall be the enforcing officer of this chapter and shall investigate any and all alleged violations thereof. The City may, if it wishes, engage the services of an independent expert to make the inspections called for in this chapter. If the cost to the City for the services of said expert exceeds the amount deposited by the licensee to cover the cost of said inspections, the City shall bill the licensee for excess costs. The licensee, upon being so notified, shall pay such excess costs within 14 days of said notification.

§ 361-11 Restrictions on operation.

A. 
Unless otherwise regulated by state or federal regulations:
(1) 
Quarrying and related operations shall be conducted for a period not in excess of 10 gross hours per day, starting at 7:00 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and starting at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. There shall be no trucking of any material from the quarry prior to starting time and after 4:30 p.m. on any day when the quarry is open for operation.
(2) 
Quarrying or related operations shall not be conducted on Sunday, except for necessary operations of an emergent nature; provided, however, that same will not detrimentally affect the health, safety and welfare of the community, more particularly of those inhabitants residing in the neighborhood of the quarry.
[Amended 7-2-85 by Ord. No. 4989-85]
(3) 
Nothing contained herein shall be deemed to prevent the emergency maintenance or repair of equipment.
B. 
All drilling must be done by the wet-drilling method or by any other method of equivalent effectiveness for dust control.
C. 
All roads or traveled rights-of-way within the licensed premises must be treated with water in order to prevent the dissemination of dust. Water must be applied whenever necessary.
D. 
Quarrying which will reduce the quarried area below the grade of the lowest adjoining property or road is prohibited. No quarrying shall be permitted which will endanger the lateral support of abutting properties or roads. In the event that quarrying or excavation should result in face slopes in excess of 30º, a minimum leveled (or natural) buffer area of 50 feet shall be provided between any quarry boundary line and the commencement of the slope.
E. 
In no case shall any quarry products, equipment or other materials be deposited or stored on any property, public or private, other than the licensed premises. No buildings, equipment, quarry products or other materials shall be erected or stored within a distance of 50 feet of any quarry boundary line.
F. 
A stockade, chain-link or existing fence of a minimum height of six feet shall be erected around the perimeter of the area being quarried and that has been quarried, and all means of ingress and egress shall be controlled by substantial gates of similar height, which gates shall be closed and securely locked when not in actual use. Reasonable variations of fence alignment may be made in order to accommodate existing natural features and terrain, thereby making erection of the fence practicable within the boundary lines of the quarry premises. Installation of fences shall be completed in segments of 1/3 over three years. The operator of the quarry shall be relieved of the requirements of this section of this chapter if abutting property owners refuse to grant permission to the operator to go upon their land to carry out its requirements. The operator shall establish such refusal by filing with the Quarry Inspector proof of communication with said abutting owners as well as proof of either their affirmative denial of access or their refusal to respond to such communication. If such property owners grant permission for such work in the future, the operator of the quarry shall honor its obligations under this section at that time. The exception established hereunder shall also apply to the requirements set forth in this chapter, which require the operator to erect signs, screening and trees on said abutting property.
G. 
Blasting and the use of explosives shall be in conformity with New Jersey statutes and regulations and federal regulations where applicable. The licenses shall notify the Quarry Inspector of any contemplated blasting, specifying the intensity and force of each said contemplated blast not less than one hour prior to said scheduled blasting. The licensee shall provide the Quarry Inspector with a certified quarterly report of all blasting done during the previous quarter within 30 days of the termination date of said quarter. Said report shall contain the date and time of each blast, the intensity and force thereof, with supporting documentary evidence, and a map or sketch showing the site location of the explosive used for each blast.
[Amended 7-2-85 by Ord. No. 4989-85]
H. 
Signs shall be maintained at all entrances or exits of the quarried premises, indicating the name and address of the licensee and that the business being conducted is a licensed quarry operation. Signs shall also be placed at no greater than two-hundred-foot intervals on the perimeter fence, warning of the potential hazard of climbing the fence. The operator shall be excused from complying with this chapter if abutting landowners deny it permission to erect said signs. Denial shall be proven as set forth in Subsection F above.
I. 
Where conveyors discharge material of less than one inch in diameter onto stockpiles of such material and where the free and uncontained fall of material being stockpiled from the conveyor to the highest point of the stockpile shall exceed a distance of six feet, a high-pressure water-mist spray must be directed onto the material as it falls from the conveyor to the stockpile in such manner as to reduce the accumulation and dissemination of dust.
J. 
Wherever the licensed premises abuts a public street, a solid continuous landscape screen shall be planted and maintained. The landscaping shall consist of massed evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs of such species or density as will provide a solid and continuous screen throughout the full course of the year. This provision shall not apply where the natural contours of the land provide adequate visual screening so that a person of average height traversing said street would not be able to see the quarry operation.
K. 
All crushing and processing of quarry materials shall be conducted by the use of wet-method of dust control or by local exhaust systems of equivalent effectiveness.
L. 
Provisions shall be made for adequate drainage, soil and sediment control, point- and non-point-source water pollution, as in accord with control of the best management standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency, during quarrying operations and after the termination of same.
M. 
Provisions shall be made for the prompt removal from the streets of Clifton of any debris which has either fallen from any truck removing material from the quarry site or has been washed out of the quarry either as a result of natural events or quarry operation.

§ 361-12 Term of license.

Licenses shall expire on December 31 of the year and shall be renewed annually upon filing an application therefor in accordance with the standards outlined above. Initial licenses issued during a calendar year shall expire on December 31 of the same year. Where the approval of or certification by any state or federal regulatory agencies or departments is required, such approvals or certifications shall be filed with the City Clerk prior to his issuing any license or renewal thereof.

§ 361-13 Enforcement.

[Amended 7-2-85 by Ord. No. 4989-85]
This chapter shall be enforced by the Quarry Inspector, who shall investigate any alleged or potential violation of this chapter coming to his attention, whether by complaint or arising from his own personal knowledge, and report the same to the Municipal Council. If a violation is found to exist, he shall serve a written notice by certified mail or personal service upon the owner or person designated to accept service of process, but if the owner or person so designated cannot be served, then posting a notice of the violation in a prominent place upon the premises shall be adequate notice of the violation. The notice shall require the violation to be abated within a period of 10 days from the date of service thereof or within such lesser period of time as the Quarry Inspector shall deem reasonable in cases where the danger to public health, safety and general welfare is so imminent as to require more immediate abatement. If the violation is not abated within the time specified, the Quarry Inspector shall prosecute a complaint to terminate the violation in Municipal Court and shall report the violation to the City Manager for possible action under § 361-14 of this chapter.

§ 361-14 Revocation or suspension of license.

Upon 10 days' notice and after giving the licensee an opportunity to be heard, the City Manager may revoke or suspend any license issued under this chapter if it is found that the licensee is violating the terms or provisions of this chapter. The decision of the City Manager to revoke or suspend may be appealed to the Municipal Council, who shall conduct a de novo hearing based on the record presented to the City Manager. Appeals from the decision of the City Manager shall be filed with the City Clerk within 10 days after said decision is delivered or mailed to the licensee.