Township of Butler, PA
Butler County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Butler 2-4-1974 by Ord. No. 497 (Ch. XIII, Part 7, of the 1965 Code); amended in its entirety 10-5-1998 by Ord. No. 765. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 138.
Drainage standards — See Ch. 156.
Floodplain management — See Ch. 183.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 242.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 252.
Zoning — See Ch. 300.

§ 188-1 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is:
A. 
To 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. 
To establish performance standards which ensure land use practices respectful of the natural topography and capabilities of the land.
C. 
To encourage maximum retention of natural topography and vegetative features on hillsides.
D. 
To prevent earthflow and rockfall landslides.
E. 
To encourage imaginative and innovative site development and building design that adapts to and takes advantage of the best use of the natural terrain.

§ 188-2 Scope.

This chapter concerns new grading, excavation and fills; and changes, additions or alterations made in existing excavations, fills and embankments which shall conform to the provisions of this chapter.

§ 188-3 Permit granting authority; inspections.

The Butler Township Board of Commissioners shall designate the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative for review, approval and granting of grading permits and to make inspections of the grading work.

§ 188-4 Separate permit required for each site.

A. 
A separate grading permit shall be required for each site. One permit shall cover all grading, excavation, and any fills made on the same site.
B. 
Only 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 or a land development, when the standards for grading of the entire parcel are satisfactory to and approved by the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative.

§ 188-5 Prerequisite.

An approved site plan, a building permit or both are prerequisite to the granting of any grading permit.

§ 188-6 Minimum requirements.

[Amended 9-5-2012 by Ord. No. 867]
A grading permit shall be required for an activity that exceeds one or all of the following:
A. 
An excavation which exceeds three feet average in vertical depth.
B. 
A fill which exceeds 500 cubic yards of material on any one site.
C. 
Fill which is intended to support structures and/or covers an area of more than 5,000 square feet.

§ 188-6.1 Exceptions.

[Added 9-5-2012 by Ord. No. 867]
A grading permit shall not be required for any of the following:
A. 
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. 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 of this section.
B. 
Soil excavated under the authorization of a properly issued building permit which is temporarily stockpiled on the same site as the excavation. If, however, excavated material is stockpiled on a site for a period of longer than 120 days, then a permit shall be necessary when disposing of the fill material.
C. 
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 do not exceed the grades or quantities set forth in the following table:
One-Family House Site Area of Lot
(square feet)
Maximum Gradient Without Permit
Maximum Excavation or Fill Without Permit
(cubic yards)
Less than 10,000
20 in 100 feet
200
10,000 to 24,000
25 in 100 feet
400
24,000 to 44,000
25 in 100 feet
500
Over 44,000
30 in 100 feet
700
D. 
Exploratory excavations under the direction of a soils engineer or engineering geologist.
E. 
Excavations for wells, tunnels, public utilities or cemetery graves.
F. 
A permit shall not be required for work performed by the Township, or of contractors employed by the Township, in a public street or alley, Township park, playground or recreation area or on other Township property.

§ 188-7 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, certain terms and words are herein defined:
ADMINISTRATOR
Zoning Officer or his authorized representative.
APPLICANT
Any landowner or agent of a landowner who proposes to make or causes to be made any excavation, fill or any combination thereof pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
ARCHITECT
A registered architect licensed as such in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
BEDROCK
Natural rock layer, hard or soft, in place at ground surface or beneath unconsolidated surficial deposits.
BUILDING CODE
UCC Uniform Construction Code.
[Amended 9-5-2012 by Ord. No. 867]
ENGINEER
A registered professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and 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 shall include the conditions resulting therefrom.
EXCESSIVE SLOPE
Shall be defined as either of the following: those slopes as 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.
FLOODPLAIN
Areas designated by the Federal Emergency Management Administration and other areas known to be subject to flooding.
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
Excavation or fill, or any combination thereof, including the conditions resulting from any excavation or fill.
GRADING, ENGINEERED
A grading operation in excess of 5,000 cubic yards and performed in conformance with a grading plan prepared by a professional engineer.
GRADING, REGULAR
A grading operation of less than 5,000 cubic yards. Where the site conditions warrant, the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative may require the submission of a report on the site as prepared by professional engineer, soils engineer or engineering geologist.
GRADING PERMIT
Any permit required pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
HAZARD
Any danger or potential danger to life, limb or health, or any adverse effect or potential adverse effect to 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 of Pennsylvania.
LANDSLIDE-PRONE SOILS
Those soil formations whose characteristics are classified as being landslide-prone or otherwise sensitive in the Soil Survey of Butler County.
PERMIT HOLDER
Any landowner, agent of said landowner, or tenant with the permission of said landowner 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 Butler County, Pennsylvania, as prepared by the USDA Soil Conservation Service.
SOILS ENGINEER
A registered professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania having training and experience in soils engineering.
SOLID WASTE
Any and all parts or combination 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 SLOPES or EXCESSIVE SLOPES
Slopes where, in a one-hundred-foot horizontal distance, the average slope exceeds 25%.
STORMWATER MANAGEMENT
The control of surface water runoff as regulated by § 252-36 of Chapter 252, Subdivision and Land Development.
SUBDIVISION ORDINANCE
The Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, as amended, being Chapter 252 of the Butler Township Code.
ZONING ORDINANCE
The Zoning Ordinance, as amended, being Chapter 300 of the Butler Township Code.

§ 188-8 Word usage.

Unless otherwise expressly stated, the terms and words shall, for the purpose of this chapter, have the meaning herein indicated. Words used in the singular number include the plural, and words in the plural include the singular; words in the masculine gender include the feminine and neuter; and the word "building" includes the word "structure," and the word "structure" includes the word "building."

§ 188-9 Application procedure.

A. 
Every applicant for a grading permit shall file a written application, plans, specifications and a soil conservation report therefor with the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative in a form prescribed by the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative. 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 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.
(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. 138, Construction Codes, Uniform.
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 or the applicant or 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 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, however, that there shall not be 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 from other methods.
(9) 
All plans shall comply with Chapter 242, Stormwater Management, of the Code of the Township of Butler.
[Amended 5-16-2011 by Ord. No. 855]
(10) 
Seeding locations and schedules, debris basins, diversion channels.
(11) 
The nature of fill material and such other information as the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative may require to carry out the purpose of this chapter.
(12) 
The name and seal of the professional engineer who prepared said plans, except that the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative 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 upon which a structure may be erected.
C. 
A soil conservation report shall be required and include existing site description of the topography, drainage, cover and soils; major problems such as soil limitations, erosions 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 most current subdivision and land development and the stormwater management ordinances are incorporated herein by reference.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 242, Stormwater Management, and Ch. 252, Subdivision and Land Development.
F. 
An erosion and sedimentation control plan in accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection requirements must be submitted.
[Added 9-5-2012 by Ord. No. 867]

§ 188-10 Responsibility of Zoning Officer or his authorized representative.

A. 
The Zoning Officer or his authorized representative 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, 1975, 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.
B. 
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 Zoning Officer or his authorized representative 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 Zoning Officer or his authorized representative.
C. 
The Zoning Officer or his authorized representative 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 Zoning Officer or his authorized representative shall review the application, plans, specifications and reports and determine whether the project will improve the site, is in the best interest of the Township, and is not detrimental to the environment. The applicant may appeal the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative's decision to the Zoning Hearing Board by preparing and submitting a site plan showing the development of the land in accordance with Chapter 252, Subdivision and Land Development.
D. 
When the requirements of this chapter for obtaining a permit have been met, the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative shall approve the application and proposed plan and grant a grading permit to the applicant.
E. 
The Zoning Officer or his authorized representative 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. Said agreement may be incorporated in the developer's agreement as required in Chapter 252, Subdivision and Land Development.

§ 188-11 Special agreement.

In the event that the applicant will move or grade an area of more than 50,000 square feet, or grade more than 10,000 cubic yards, then a formal agreement will be prepared by the applicant at his own cost and expense, and must be approved as to form by the Township Solicitor. Said agreement may be a part of, and incorporated in, a developer's agreement as required by Chapter 252, Subdivision and Land Development.

§ 188-12 Expiration of permit.

Every grading permit shall expire and become null and void if the work authorized by said permit has not been commenced within 90 days or is not completed within one year from the date of issue, provided that the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative 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, and provided further, that the application for the extension of time is made before the date of expiration of the permit.

§ 188-13 Denial of permit.

A. 
If the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative 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 proposed work is likely to endanger property or streets or alleys, or create hazardous conditions, the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative 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 denial of the permit or such other adverse determination by the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative, file a written appeal therefrom to the Zoning Hearing Board.

§ 188-14 Inspections.

A. 
The Zoning Officer or his authorized representative shall make the inspections required and shall either approve that portion of the work which has been completed or notify the permit holder wherein the same fails to comply with provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Grading and drainage plans approved by the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative 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 Zoning Officer or his authorized representative an as-built drawing of the project before the issuance of a grading certificate of completion.
D. 
The permit holder shall notify the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative in order to obtain inspections in accordance with the following schedule, and such notification shall be made by the permit holder at least 48 hours before the inspection is made:
(1) 
Initial inspection. When work is about to be commenced and stake out is completed.
(2) 
Rough grading. When all rough grading has been completed.
(3) 
Drainage facilities:
(a) 
All drainage facilities that connect to or shall 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 Zoning Officer or his authorized representative other inspections are necessary.
(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 Zoning Officer or his authorized representative shall determine by inspection that the nature of this excavation or fill is such that further work as authorized by an existing permit is likely to endanger any property, or streets, or alleys, or create hazardous conditions, the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative may require, as a condition to allowing the work to be done, that such reasonable safety precautions be taken as the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative considers acceptable to avoid such likelihood of danger.

§ 188-15 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 Zoning Officer or his authorized representative by the permit holder. If the circumstances dictate, the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative shall revoke the permit or otherwise modify the conditions upon which the permit was initially issued.

§ 188-16 Fees and bonds.

A. 
At the time of application, the applicant shall pay an application review fee to cover the Township cost of reviewing application documents. Any additional charges incurred by the Township to review the application of an excavation permit shall be borne by the applicant. Any application fees not expended by the Township shall be returned to the applicant within a reasonable period of time.
B. 
Fees for review of application and inspections of regular grading permits shall be in accordance with the schedule set forth in the applicable resolution of the Board of Commissioners.
C. 
Fees for review of application and inspections of engineered grading permits shall be in accordance with the schedule set forth in the applicable resolution of the Board of Commissioners.
D. 
Should the work require the use or occupancy of Township roads or 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.
E. 
As a condition of approval of an engineered grading permit under this chapter, the applicant shall post a cash or performance bond or other security acceptable to the Township in the amount of 110% 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 and shall be prepared and certified by the applicant's engineer or architect and accepted as reasonable by the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative. The Township Manager shall be the final arbiter as to the reasonableness of any cost estimates.
F. 
Upon completion of the grading under an engineered grading permit, a maintenance bond in amount of 15% of the cost estimated as determined in Subsection E shall be posted (payable to Butler Township) for a period of 18 months.
G. 
No bond shall be required if another bond or approved security is posted for construction and/or site improvements which already covers the cost of grading and other control facilities.

§ 188-17 Certificate of completion.

If, upon final inspection of the site for which a permit has been issued, it is found that the work is 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 Zoning Officer or his authorized representative.

§ 188-18 Maintenance.

A. 
The owner of any property on which an excavation or fill has been made shall maintain in good condition and repair the excavation or fill permitted, 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 said area shall be contingent upon the proper maintenance and upkeep of all the above-mentioned items, satisfactory to the Township and subject to such further conditions as the Township may prescribe from time to time to keep the site in proper condition.
C. 
The grading certificate of completion may be revoked by the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative, 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, persons or property. Before such revocation, the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative shall first give written notice to the permit holder and to the owner of the property involved, specifying the defect or unsatisfactory condition involved, and advising 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 same, the certificate shall not be revoked.
D. 
If the permit holder shall fail to correct such defect or unsatisfactory condition within such thirty-day period, the Township may undertake the necessary work, and the cost 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.

§ 188-19 Hazardous condition; nuisance.

A. 
Whenever the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative 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 agency in control of said property, upon receipt of notice, in writing, from the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative, 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 hold shall fail to correct such hazardous or unsatisfactory condition within the specified time period, the Township 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 an imposition of a lien against the property.
C. 
Any excavation not completed within 365 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 Zoning Officer or his authorized representative within 30 days of receipt of said written notice.

§ 188-20 Working conditions.

The following working conditions will apply to all grading sites:
A. 
Dust control. During grading operations, acceptable measures for dust control will be exercised.
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 roads without the placement of protective mats. Aggregate driveway or roadway surfaces shall be provided to prevent tracking of dirt and mud onto the public roadways.
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 higher property.
D. 
Workdays. None of the work or activity covered by a grading permit shall be conducted on a Sunday or legal holidays without the approval from the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative.
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., prevailing times, unless these time limits are extended, excused or otherwise modified by the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative.

§ 188-21 Environmental protection.

A. 
Live stream crossings. Grading equipment will not be allowed to cross live streams. Provision will be made for the installation of culverts or bridges for such crossings. Permits shall be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for temporary and permanent encroachments, reallocations, enclosures and temporary crossings of streams.
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 on excessive slopes, and to promote the perpetuation of open space on hillsides. The areas considered to have excessive slope may be revised or modified by the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative where studies or information provided by a qualified agency or person documents the need or possibility for such revision.

§ 188-22 Excavation.

A. 
All topsoil shall be removed from the area to be graded and stockpiled and preserved for possible reuse on the site.
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 not 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.
[Amended 9-5-2012 by Ord. No. 867]
(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.
[Amended 9-5-2012 by Ord. No. 867]
C. 
Cut slopes of up to one horizontal to one vertical may be allowed under a grading permit, provided that 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 above for recognized soil conditions on the site. An acceptable geological report signed and sealed by a soils engineer, 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 Zoning Officer or his authorized representative.
(2) 
A retaining wall or other approved support, deigned by a professional engineer and approved by the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative is provided to support the face of the excavation or to provide a fall zone at rock faced slopes.
D. 
The Zoning Officer or his authorized representative 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, the excavation may not be deemed to be stable or safe.
E. 
The Zoning Officer or his authorized representative may require an excavation to be made with a cut slope flatter than those specified above if he finds the material in which the excavation is to be made subject to erosion and 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. 
Excavation 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 excavating is planned. A copy of such notice(s) shall be submitted to the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative. Adjoining properties and structures shall be protected as provided in the Building Code[1] and/or as required by the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 138, Construction Codes, Uniform.
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.

§ 188-23 Blasting.

A. 
No person, firm or corporation may store, handle or use any explosive in Butler Township without first obtaining a special permit from the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative. The Zoning Officer or his authorized representative 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 Zoning Officer or his authorized representative, or imposed under any section of this chapter shall be grounds for the revocation of any permit therefor issued.
B. 
All blasting which is conducted in the Township shall be in conformity with state requirements and shall be in compliance with the Act of July 10, 1957, P.L. 685, 73 P.S. §§ 164 through 168, as amended, and the Department of Labor and Industry Rules and Regulations and the current adopted edition of the BOCA Fire Prevention Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 176, Fire Prevention.

§ 188-24 Fills and embankments.

A. 
All topsoil shall be removed from the area to be graded and stockpiled and preserved for possible reuse on the site.
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 both of the following conditions:
(1) 
The fill, in the judgment of the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative, 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 drainage ways.
(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 and that the proposed deviation from the slope specified above 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 Zoning Officer or his authorized representative.
D. 
The Zoning Officer or his authorized representative 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 non-erosive 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 sheepsfoot 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 Zoning Officer or his authorized representative 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 facilitates and protective devices.

§ 188-25 Minimization of erosion and sediment.

A. 
Guidelines for minimizing erosion and sediment of the Soil Conversation Service[1] should be followed. Approval of the erosion and sedimentation control plan by the Butler County Conservation District shall be required for all sites with one acre or more of disturbance. NPDES permits shall be obtained where required. One or more guidelines should be used to minimize hazards, depending upon the site conditions and the proposed grading.
[Amended 9-5-2012 by Ord. No. 867]
[1]
Editor's Note: Now known as the "Natural Resources Conservation Service."
B. 
The Zoning Officer or his authorized representative may approve grading plans not meeting the above guidelines if the proposed grading plans are approved by the Butler County Soil Conversation Service.

§ 188-26 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 Zoning Officer or his authorized representative.
B. 
For slopes steeper than three horizontal to one vertical, the ground covering shall be an approved variety of erosion resistance 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.

§ 188-27 Retaining walls and fences.

A. 
Retaining walls shall be constructed in accordance with the current edition of the UCC Building Code. The grading permit shall include the retaining wall and the requirements for approvals and inspections, as stated.
[Amended 9-5-2012 by Ord. No. 867]
B. 
Retaining walls shall be designed and constructed in accordance with sound engineering practice and the current edition of the UCC Building Code. The plans submitted for approval shall bear the seal and signature of a professional engineer.
[Amended 9-5-2012 by Ord. No. 867]
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 five feet back from the adjoining property.
(1) 
This requirement may be waived by the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative if it can be satisfactorily demonstrated that such an exception is necessary to ensure normal use of the property.
(2) 
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.

§ 188-28 Drainage facilities.

A. 
No grading work shall be started prior to approval of and implementation of a stormwater management plan in conformance with Chapter 242, Stormwater Management, of the Code of the Township of Butler.
[Amended 9-5-2012 by Ord. No. 867]
B. 
Adequate provisions shall be made to prevent surface water from damaging the cut face of excavations 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.
C. 
The drainage pattern 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.
D. 
Storm sewers, catch basins, drainage ditches and swales necessary to protect adjacent properties, whether they be 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 the above is not complied with, the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative 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.
E. 
New storm sewers and utilities traversing a proposed fill area shall be buried a minimum of three feet from top of pipe to proposed grade. Fill shall be constructed in that area prior to installation of said 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 Zoning Officer or his authorized representative. All storm sewers located under pavement areas shall be in pipe approved by the Township Engineer.
F. 
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.
G. 
On slopes of two horizontal to one vertical or less steep, the ten-foot level berms will not be required unless deemed necessary by the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative.
H. 
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.
I. 
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.
J. 
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 Zoning Officer or his authorized representative as a safe place to deposit and receive such waters. Approval by the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative 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.
K. 
As a guide for the prevention of damage, grading plans shall follow vegetative control methods and ditch conduit control methods in the PA DEP Erosion and Pollution Control Manual, latest edition. The Zoning Officer or his authorized representative may approve methods and materials recommended by governmental agencies, professional engineers and architects, when they are more suitable to the site in preventing damage.
[Amended 9-5-2012 by Ord. No. 867]
L. 
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.

§ 188-29 Floodplain management.

All grading work within designated or known floodplains shall conform to the requirements and standards of Chapter 183, Floodplain Management.

§ 188-30 Liability.

A. 
Neither the issuance of a permit under the provisions of this chapter, nor the compliance with the provisions hereof or with any condition imposed by the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative hereunder, 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 Township, its employees, and its consultants for damages 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 Township. The use of qualified personnel experienced and knowledgeable in the practice of excavation and landscape restoration shall be required.

§ 188-31 Violations and penalties.

A. 
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.
B. 
When notice of any violation of, or noncompliance with, any provision of this chapter has been given by the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative, such violation shall be discontinued immediately, unless the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative has specifically designated a reasonable time limit for compliance. Any violation which continues after such notice shall be subject to the penalties provided in this chapter.
C. 
Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter may be charged with such violations, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or the maximum permitted under Pennsylvania laws, as the same may be from time to time amended and in effect as of the date of conviction, plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, shall be subject to imprisonment in the County Jail for a period not to exceed 30 days.
D. 
Whenever any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter is notified of such violation by the Zoning Officer or his authorized representative by service, summons or any other manner, each day or portion thereof a violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate violation.
E. 
In addition to the above stated violations and penalties, the Township may seek remedies and penalties under applicable Pennsylvania statutes or regulations.

§ 188-32 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 Township, in addition to other remedies, may institute, in the name of the Township, an appropriate action or proceeding, whether by legal process or otherwise, to prevent such unlawful work and to restrain or abate such violation.