[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Glocester 6-13-1975, as amended 7-1-1976 and 5-18-1995 (Ch. II, § 12, 2-12-06, of the 1991 Code). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
For the purposes of promoting health, safety, or general welfare and in order to effect uniform regulation within the Town of Glocester for earth removal as hereinafter defined, and in order to protect and preserve the valuable natural resources, groundwaters, aquifers and environment of the Town of Glocester, and in order to further the objectives of the Glocester Comprehensive Community Plan, the Town of Glocester shall have the power in accordance with the provisions of this chapter to provide for the regulation, control and licensing of earth removal as hereinafter defined, such power to be restricted and exercised in accordance with §§ 166-2 through 166-10 of this chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Includes any commercial enterprise which has as its primary purpose horticulture, viticulture, viniculture, floriculture, forestry, dairy farming, or aquaculture, or the raising of livestock, fur-bearing animals, poultry, or bees.
- EARTH REMOVAL
- The extraction, quarrying or removal of any soil, loam, sand, gravel, stone, clay, shale, or other earth material from deposits on any tract of land on which it is found, excluding, however, earth removal as follows:
- A. Fewer than 10 cubic yards of material in the aggregate in any year from any lot;
- B. In grading land for construction of a roadway or for an agricultural use as defined herein, but not to exceed 25,000 cubic yards of earth material or to extend for a period more than three months within a one-year time period;
- C. For the construction of a building for which a building permit has been issued;
- D. For an approved subdivision in accordance with a plat plan or plans approved by or in accordance with Chapter 300, Subdivision of Land; provided, however, that the removal of such material necessarily excavated in connection with the lawful construction of a building, structure, street, driveway, sidewalk, path or other appurtenance does not exceed that actually displaced by the portion of such buildings, structures, streets, driveways, sidewalks, or paths or other appurtenances below finished grade.
- TOWN COUNCIL
- The duly elected Town Council of the Town of Glocester.
- ZONING BOARD OF REVIEW
- The Zoning Board of Review established by the Town of Glocester.
Earth removal operations on any tract of land in the Town of Glocester shall be subject to the following provisions:
Hours. Earth removal operations shall be limited to the hours between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. of any Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday (except a legal holiday) except for reasonable conditions specially designed to safeguard the neighborhood and its residents or to accommodate the neighborhood schools and bus routes, which conditions may be imposed by the Town Council in issuing an earth removal license. No earth removal shall be allowed on Sundays or legal holidays.
Initiation or lateral expansion. The initiation or lateral expansion of earth removal is hereby prohibited, except where the applicant can demonstrate that no adverse impact will be created by implementation of a lesser requirement, as affirmed by the Town Council:
Fencing. Fencing shall be required of those portions of the boundary of the tract of land upon which earth removal is being conducted adjacent to residentially developed property, such fencing to be six feet in height and effective to control access to the area in which such earth removal is being conducted, to include a gate to be locked during hours of nonoperation. When an excavation will have a depth of more than 15 feet with a slope in excess of one to two, a fence at least six feet high shall be erected to limit access to this area.
Reduction of dust; recording instruments.
Calcium chloride or water shall be applied to reduce dust and mud on all non-hard-surfaced roads to be used for vehicular ingress or egress to the tract of land on which earth removal is to be conducted.
Where deemed appropriate by the Town Council, the installation, maintenance, and operation by the applicant of continuous recording instruments may be required to measure the effectiveness of all equipment used for drilling, digging, and hauling, to control or lessen noise, vibration, smoke, water pollution, odors, fly ash, dust, fumes, vapors, gases, and other forms of air pollution, toxic gases, heat, glare and fire or other safety hazards. The Town Council also may require that such recording instruments be tested at reasonable intervals under the direction of the Zoning Officer to determine their accuracy and that the results of such test be filed with the Town Council.
Drainage, groundwater table elevation; permanent water bodies.
Drainage shall be provided to prevent the permanent collection and stagnation of surface or underground waters, and to prevent the flooding and erosion of surrounding property and the pollution of ponds and streams.
Earth removal shall not encroach closer than four feet to the groundwater table.
Groundwater table elevation determinations shall be made on all land from which earth products will be removed. Procedures for groundwater table elevation determinations shall be made in the same manner as required by the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) in its "Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems" (R23-1-SD15.00-0l and 02). Where "subsurface seepage system" is used in the DEM regulations, "excavation of earth removal" shall be substituted. Where "director" or "agent of the director" is used in the DEM regulations, "Zoning Officer" shall be substituted.
When the director of the DEM determines specific dates, on a yearly basis, relative to seasonal changes in highest groundwater table elevation, such dates may be used by the Zoning Officer. When groundwater determinations are made outside the wet season and percolation tests are required, such percolation tests shall follow the percolation test procedure as set forth in the DEM Regulations.
The Zoning Officer or his appointed representative shall witness all percolation and groundwater determinations and shall certify to the accuracy of technical data recorded. Any changes made in such DEM regulations relative to groundwater level determination and percolation tests from time to time shall be considered part of this chapter.
Off-street parking; posting of signs; access roads; truck routes.
Off-street parking shall be provided and utilized by all vehicles engaged in or related to the earth removal operation.
Any access to excavated areas or areas in the process of excavation shall be adequately posted with “keep out - danger” signs.
Access roads shall be constructed with a curve so as to help screen the operation from the public view.
All trucking routes and methods shall be subject to the review and approval of the Glocester Safety Commission. The Town Council may require, after review by the Safety Commission, that such routes shall be cleaned, repaired and/or resurfaced by the earth removal operator where such is required by the Town Council.
Explosives. The use of explosives shall be in accordance with the regulations for storage or handling of explosives as set forth by the State of Rhode Island.
The storage of hydrocarbons or hazardous materials shall be prohibited above any designated groundwater aquifer. Vehicular maintenance/fueling areas shall provide the following:
As a condition precedent to the application for a license pursuant to § 166-5 hereof, the following shall be required:
The applicant's submission to the Town Council and the Town Council approval of:
Site plan. A site plan at a scale of not less than 100 feet to the inch and with contours of not more than two feet, prepared by a registered engineer, land surveyor or landscape architect, in compliance with the provisions of this chapter and setting forth:
Lot lines, ownership, abutters, adjacent public streets, watercourses, existing contours at intervals of not more than two feet and location plan at a scale of not less than 400 feet to the inch;
Proper provision for vehicular traffic, service roads, control of entrances and exits to highways and Town roads;
The relation of temporary and future buildings and operations machinery to the removal areas.
Delineation of removal areas and depths with estimates of cubic yards of material to be removed; fencing; fueling areas; method of removal; distance of excavation to street and lot lines.
A restoration or reclamation plan prepared by a registered engineer, land surveyor or landscape architect, in compliance with the provisions of this chapter at the same scale required for the site plan in Subsection A(2)(a) and as required by Chapter 177, Erosion and Sediment Control, based upon classifications of preliminary samples, the nature of the material to be removed, including:
The existing contours of the tract of land with a vertical contour interval of not more than two feet;
The final contours of the tract of land upon completion of earth removal operations with a contour interval not exceeding two feet; and
The type of ground cover to be planted or applied upon completion of earth removal operations to effectively control wind and water erosion; provided, however, if suitable fertile ground cover existed at the beginning of earth removal, enough of said ground cover is to be held in reserve and reapplied for a minimum thickness of three inches.
The land restoration plan and its implementation apply to the conversion of the site and its planned restoration. It is, therefore, required that:
Any land restoration plan correspond to a situation which could reasonably occur in the immediate future (zero to five years), and be revised as necessary as the existing physical character of the removal area changes;
The land restoration plan or any part thereof which is reasonably applied to an area shall be put into effect within one year of cessation of normal earth removal operation for that area and completed by the timetable of the restoration plan.
The land restoration plan shall cover the entire site owned by or under control or potential control of the applicant and shall include provisions for closure of operations by phases on portions of the site and for removal of equipment from the site.
The decision of the Zoning Officer shall be final in determining when a restoration plan shall be put into effect, either on the entire site or on any portion thereof.
Erosion and sediment control plan. An erosion and sediment control plan shall be submitted and approved by the Zoning Officer as required by Chapter 177, Erosion and Sediment Control, as amended.
Certificate of compliance. Upon completion of earth removal operations, or any portion thereof which may be required elsewhere in this chapter, a certificate of compliance shall be submitted by a registered engineer, landscape architect or registered land surveyor stating that completion of said activity complies with the approved restoration plan.
Bonding. A bond to insure compliance with the restoration plan and to insure repairs to Town roads of damage caused by any hauling operations related to the earth removal activity.
The bond guaranty period shall extend beyond the license period until such time as the Town Council issues a license renewal.
Conditions for release or partial release of bond guaranty shall be based on determination by the Town Council that:
Vegetation planted has been determined to be successfully established;
Drainage is satisfactory;
The approved soil erosion and sediment control plan and conditions are fully implemented;
No slope exceeds one vertical to three horizontal and so graded in accordance with approved plan;
All debris, equipment, and structures are removed;
Restoration is complete for the entire area or the phased area, whichever is applicable.
Forfeiture of bond. Failure to comply with requirements and conditions of license upon written notice and public hearing may be just cause for forfeiture by the licensing authority.
As a condition precedent to any earth removal herein defined, a license shall be issued by the Glocester Town Council following a public hearing to be held by the Town Council, with public notice thereof at least 10 days prior to the date of hearing in a newspaper of general circulation and with notice by certified or registered mail to the applicant and all property owners within a two-hundred-foot radius of all property lines, and upon the submission of the documents required by §§ 166-4 and 166-5 of this chapter, and approval thereof by the Zoning Officer, and the payment of a license fee as set from time to time by the Town Council.
The license shall be issued only to the property owner of record of the land upon which the earth removal shall take place and shall not be transferable. Should the land for which a license is issued be sold or otherwise conveyed, the transferee must obtain a new license.
The license shall expire at the end of two years and must be subject to renewal biennially with an application for renewal of an earth removal license and payment of the renewal fee as set from time to time by the Town Council. Plans shall be submitted to the Zoning Officer, showing any change or anticipated change from originally submitted plans of earth removal activities. If no changes are anticipated for the coming two-year license period, submission of new plans is not required.
The Zoning Officer, upon the Town of Glocester's receipt of an application for renewal of an earth removal license, shall make a field inspection of such earth removal activities to determine compliance with plans and approvals on file. Such findings shall be sent to the Town Council with a determination of compliance or noncompliance. The Town Council shall issue the license for another two years upon determination of compliance and the biennial fee. Upon determination of noncompliance, the license shall not be reissued until compliance with this chapter.
In granting or reissuing a license hereunder, the Town Council may impose such other additional, reasonable conditions specifically designed to safeguard the neighborhood and the Town, which may include conditions as to the overall operations set forth in this chapter and as relating to the site plan and restoration plan requirements. The Town Council may also conditionally approve a license renewal pending the applicant's compliance with the additional reasonable conditions that it imposes.
Appeals from the decisions of the Town Council shall be taken in accordance with Title 45, Chapter 5, Sections 16 and 17, of the General Laws of Rhode Island.
Any license issued under the authority of this chapter by the Town Council may be revoked after notice and public hearing for violation of any of the provisions or conditions/stipulations imposed upon said license. The Town Council shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing on revocation, give public notice thereof at least two weeks prior to the date of hearing, as well as due notice to the party in interest, by certified mail, return receipt requested, and decide the same within a reasonable time, which decision shall be in writing and contain appropriate findings of fact. Upon hearing, any party may appear in person or by agent or by attorney.
Penalty for violations. Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine as a penalty not exceeding $100 for each offense; each and every violation of or nonconformance to this chapter, or each day that any provision shall have been violated, shall be construed as a separate and distinct violation thereof. All such fines shall inure to the benefit of the Town.
Suit. Suit may be brought in the superior court in the name of the Town to restrain any violation of or compel compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
This chapter shall not apply to all presently licensed earth removal activity being conducted on the date of its enactment on any tract of land within the Town of Glocester until 180 days after the enactment of this chapter. All existing earth removal operations in the Town of Glocester shall be subject to this chapter, but all earth removal licenses issued prior to the enactment of this chapter shall be valid until the Town Council acts on any new applications that are filed within 180 days after enactment of this chapter. If a timely application for a license is not filed by a property owner within 180 days after the enactment of this chapter, any earth removal license issued for said property prior thereto by the Town of Glocester shall expire.
If the Town of Glocester shall engage in earth removal for municipal purposes, it shall substantially comply with the provisions of this chapter.