[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Little Egg Harbor 5-10-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-08. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Soil Removal, Excavation and Mining Ordinance."
The governing body of the Township of Little Egg Harbor has made the following determinations:
The unregulated and uncontrolled removal, relocation, filling and excavation of soil by the owners of property within the Township is likely to result and has resulted in conditions detrimental to the public health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of the Township. The unregulated and uncontrolled removal, relocation, filling or excavation of soil in, on or from lands within the boundaries of the Township will create one or more of the following conditions: a serious erosion by wind and water; inadequate and improper or complete lack of surface water drainage; decrease in or destruction of the fertility of the soil; removal of lateral support of abutting streets, lands and premises; and the creation of excessive amounts of dust and deposit of such dust and siltation on adjoining property; the deposit on the streets of the Township of large quantities of mud, dirt or dust; the deterioration of adjoining property values; the rendering of lands unfit or unsuitable for their most appropriate uses; and other conditions hampering and interfering with the coordinated and harmonious physical development of the Township.
Such stripping and removal operations are denuding the area involved of all trees, underbrush, natural vegetation and topsoil and are creating problems of erosion, siltation, dust and drainage, all of which are detrimental to adjoining lands as well as to the health of the citizenry.
This chapter shall apply as follows:
No owner, applicant, developer, excavator, subdivider or other person shall engage in commercial mining, excavating and soil removal, as defined herein, on any premises in the Township for use other than on the premises from which it is taken, until obtaining a permit in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
[Amended 11-13-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-20]
This chapter shall apply to all existing and proposed mining operations in the Township, regardless of whether the existing operation is conforming or nonconforming. All existing operations shall file for the required permit within six months of the effective date of this chapter or when the current soil removal permit expires, whichever is later.
This chapter shall not apply in the following situations:
To the removal of soil for building excavations, a private sewage disposal system or landscaping.
To the plowing, spading, cultivation, harrowing or disking of soil or any operation usually associated with agricultural or horticultural purposes.
To any operations for the purposes of soil and water conservation as defined or prescribed by the Soil Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture.
Soil removal permits are not required for projects involving the removal of less than 1,000 cubic yards of soil, where the peculiar topographic conditions existing on a property make it unusable for the purpose for which it is zoned, and where the removal of soil, where properly performed, may result in the benefit of the Township in the reclamation of the property for its zoned use. This exemption shall not apply in the Pinelands Area unless the activity is part of another Pinelands approved development on the site.
The following words shall have the following definitions:
- An individual, partnership or corporate entity who applies for a soil removal permit in the Township of Little Egg Harbor.
- COMMERCIAL MINING, EXCAVATING AND SOIL REMOVAL
- The digging, excavating or removal of sand, gravel, clay, ilmenite or stone for the purpose of selling or with the knowledge that same or any part thereof is to be sold, resold or used as a part of a commercial enterprise.
- Any person engaged in the moving, removal or excavation of soil or topsoil from, in or upon any land in the Township.
- Any person seized in fee simple of any land or having such other interest or estate as will permit the exercise of effective possession, dominion or control.
- One or more contiguous parcels of land in single ownership or control. Parcels shall not be deemed to be contiguous if separated by a road, railroad, right-of-way, brook, stream or other natural division except in the Pinelands Area where such separation shall not affect the contiguity of land.
- Any earth, sand, gravel, clay, loam, gravel, humus, rock or dirt, irrespective of the presence or absence of organic matter.
- Soil that, in its natural state, constitutes the top layer of the earth, is composed of 2% or more weight of organic matter and has the ability to support vegetation. Topsoil shall also include the overburden stockpiled during clearing operations.
Editor’s Note: The former definition of “move,” which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 11-13-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-20.
All applications for soil removal must be approved by the Planning Board. In order for a permit application to be considered at a Planning Board meeting, the application, application fees and all documents required by this chapter must be filed with the Secretary of the Planning Board at least five weeks prior to the regular Planning Board meeting.
The administrative officer of the Planning Board shall, within 45 days, determine if the application is complete. If the application is deemed complete, the Planning Board shall schedule a public hearing on the application, said hearing to be held within 45 days. The applicant shall be responsible for providing notice to all property owners within 500 feet of the premises and shall provide notice, as required by the Municipal Land Use Law, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq., for a development application. For applications in the Pinelands Area, the applicant must notify the Pinelands Commission in compliance with the requirements of Chapter 212, Land Development.
Upon deeming the application complete, the Planning Board shall transmit copies of the application to the Township Engineer and Township Environmental Commission for their review. The Engineer shall report his findings in writing to the Planning Board within 30 days of the date of referral. The Environmental Commission shall also submit its recommendations on the application to the Planning Board within 30 days; however, if the Environmental Commission has not transmitted a recommendation within the thirty-day period, it shall be deemed to have taken no position with regard to the application.
The Planning Board shall, after reviewing the application, the report(s) and holding the public hearing, take appropriate action by resolution. An applicant who receives Planning Board approval may request the Township Clerk to issue the necessary permit. Prior to issuance of the permit, the Township Clerk and Township Engineer must find that all fees are paid, bonds are posted and other requirements are met; both the Township Engineer and Township Clerk must sign the permit in order for the permit to become effective.
All permits shall be for a period of two years. No permits shall extend beyond said maximum two-year period without submission and approval of a new application. The renewal application must meet all the requirements specified in this chapter, with the exception of the inspection fees specified § 290-9C.
[Amended 7-24-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-08]
Plans submitted as part of the permit application shall be developed in accordance with the requirements of N.J.A.C. 12:185 et seq., Rules and Regulations for Pits and Quarries; Laws of New Jersey 1972, Chapter 418; N.J.A.C. 7:29 et seq., Noise Control; N.J.S.A. 34:6-98.1 et seq., Mine Safety Act; U.S.P.L. 91-596; Chapter 212, Land Development; and other such requirements that may be applicable.
Any mining operation must receive a soil erosion and sediment control permit — mining permit from the Ocean County Soil Conservation District in accordance with Chapter 451 of the Public Laws of 1980 of the State of New Jersey. No permit may be issued by the Township and no mining may commence until a copy of the Ocean County Soil Conservation District permit has been filed with the Township Engineer, Planning Board, Township Clerk and Code Enforcement Officer.
In addition to the above requirements, applicants for permits in the Pinelands Area must comply with the requirements for development specified in Chapter 212, Land Development. The Planning Board may not deem the application complete unless it is accompanied by a certificate of filing issued by the Pinelands Commission.
Unless the submission requirements are modified or waived by the Planning Board, an application filed pursuant to this chapter shall include at least the information listed below. The applicant shall file with the Planning Board Secretary three application forms addressing the items listed below, as well as 20 copies of the site plan map prepared in accordance with the requirements specified in Chapter 212, Land Development, and the fees specified in § 290-9A. In addition, the applicant must file the soil erosion and sediment control permit issued by the Ocean County Soil Conservation District and, if the project is in the Pinelands Area, the certificate of filing issued by the Pinelands Commission.
The applicant's name and address and his interest in the subject property.
The owner's name and address, if different from the applicant's, and the owner's signed consent to the filing of the application.
The legal description, i.e., block and lot number, and the street address, if any, of the subject property.
The present use of the subject property.
A project site base map, at a scale of no less than one inch to 200 feet, including the area extending 300 feet beyond each boundary of the subject property, showing ownership boundary lines; the boundary of the proposed development; owners of holdings, if any, adjoining and adjacent to the subject property existing facilities; buildings and structures on the site; all proposed development, wetlands, streams, including intermittent streams, rivers, lakes and other water bodies; and existing roads. On an annual basis, prepare a site plan of the area to be mined at a scale not greater than one inch equals 50 feet showing existing and proposed contours. In Pinelands Area, said location map must also indicate all forest associations and wildlife habitats.
A soils map, including a county soils survey, in conformance with the guidelines of the United States Department of Agricultural Soil Conversation Service, at the same size and scale as the project site base map, delineating all soil series at an appropriate level of detail.
For projects in the Pinelands Area, a resource capability map, at the same size and scale as the project site base map, indicating the cumulative limitations to development due to the standards and guidelines contained in the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan.
A map, at the same size and scale as the project site base map, showing existing vegetation and identifying the significant vegetation types in the area.
A map, at the same size and scale as the project site base map, showing stormwater drainage patterns and calculations and the applicant's proposed stormwater runoff management plan, including results of percolation tests and soil borings performed in the recharge area, together with letters of review and comment from the local Soil Conservation District and County Engineer.
All public utility agreements or other documentation evidencing the availability of electric, gas, water, sewer and other necessary public services.
For applications in the Pinelands Area, the cultural resource survey described in Chapter 212, Land Development.
A list of all permits required for the proposed development from county, municipal, state and federal agencies.
A topographic map, at a scale of one inch equals 200 feet, showing the proposed dimensions, location and operations on the subject property.
A United States Geological Survey quadrangle map showing the dimensions of the property and an area of at least 1,000 feet beyond such boundary in all directions. For applications in the Pinelands Area, USGS Quadrangle Map or copy thereof and a copy of the municipal tax map sheet on which the boundaries of the subject property in the Pinelands Management Area designation and zoning designation are shown.
The location, size and intended use of all existing and proposed buildings.
The location of all points of ingress and egress.
The location of all existing and proposed streets and rights-of-way, as well as those included within the area to be mined, showing spot elevations at fifty-foot intervals. For applications in the Pinelands Area of the Township, railroad rights-of-way must also be indicated.
The location and message to be shown on all signs as required by N.J.A.C. 12:185-10.4.
A reclamation plan which includes:
The method of stockpiling topsoil and overburden.
The proposed grading and final elevations shall show contours at two-foot intervals (existing and proposed).
Topsoil material application and preparation.
The type, quantity and age of vegetation to be used.
Fertilizer application, including methods and rates.
Maintenance requirements schedule.
Planting method and schedules.
An estimate in cubic yards of the quantity of soil, topsoil and materials to be removed and/or mined.
A statement from the Township Tax Collector that all taxes are paid to date.
A list of owners of the organization or partnership having 10% or more of its shares of stock, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:55D-48.1.
For applications in the Pinelands Area, the following additional requirements:
A brief written statement generally describing the proposed development; and
A signed acknowledgment from both the owner and the applicant that they are responsible for any resource extraction activities which are contrary to any provision of this chapter or of the approved resource extraction plan done by any agent, employee, contractor, subcontractor or any other person authorized to be on the parcel by either the owner or the applicant; and
A certificate of filing from the Pinelands Commission issued pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:50-4.34; and
Resource extraction operations shall be approved only if the applicant can demonstrate that the proposed resource extraction operation:
Is designed so that no area of excavation, sedimentation pond, storage area, equipment or machinery or other structure or facility is closer than:
Two hundred feet to any property line.
One thousand five hundred feet to any residential or non-resource-extraction-related commercial use which is in existence on the date the permit is issued.
Is to be located on a parcel of land of at least 20 acres.
Provides that all topsoil that is necessary for restoration will be stored on the site and will be protected from wind or water erosion.
Is fenced or blocked so as to prevent unauthorized entry into the resource extraction operation through access roads.
Provides ingress to and egress from the resource extraction operation from public roads by way of gravel or porous paved roadways.
Is designed so that the surface runoff will be maintained on the parcel in a manner that will provide for on-site recharge to groundwater.
Will not involve excavation below the seasonal high water table, unless the excavation will serve as a recreational or wildlife resource or a water reservoir for public, agricultural or industrial uses or for any other use authorized in the area in which the site is located; provided that in no case shall excavation have a depth exceeding 65 feet below the natural surface of the ground existing prior to excavation unless it can be demonstrated that a depth greater than 65 feet will result in no significant adverse impact relative to the proposed final use or on off-site areas:
Maximum pond size: 20 acres.
Minimum pond size: five acres.
Maximum depth of water in pond: 35 feet.
Variances shall be required from the Little Egg Harbor Township Planning Board to permit any excavation below an inwater depth of 30 to 35 feet or of ponds in excess of 20 acres or fewer than five acres in area.
Will be carried out in accordance with an extraction schedule which depicts the anticipated sequence, as well as the anticipated length of time that each of the twenty-acre units of the parcel proposed for extraction will be worked. This shall not preclude more than one twenty-acre unit from being worked at any one time, provided that there is a demonstrated need for additional units, restoration is proceeding on previously mined units and the area of clearing does not exceed that specified in Subsection J below.
Will involve restoration of disturbed areas at the completion of the resource extraction operation in accordance with the requirements of § 290-8, Restoration standards, of this chapter, and the implementation of the restoration plan is secured by a surety bond.
Will not involve clearing adjacent to ponds in excess of 20 acres or an area necessary to complete scheduled operations; or will not involve unclaimed clearing exceeding 100 acres for 50% of the area to be mined, whichever is less, for surface excavation at any time.
Temporary slopes. All slopes shall be graded to a four-to-one slope if operations cease for more than two weeks.
Dust control measures shall be taken to ensure compliance with all state, county and local regulations.
Maintenance of all roads leading to excavation areas from the streets, roads, highways and thoroughfares in the Township is the responsibility of the applicant to whom said permit is issued; all such roads used by the applicant shall be maintained by him in a safe and usable condition for public use. All access roads shall be paved and maintained to control dust.
Maintenance of traffic safety. It shall be the responsibility of the mining permit holder to maintain a safe traffic flow on the mining site, the access road to the mining site and at the point or points at which the access road enters any public highway. Appropriate signs, as approved by Township Engineer, shall be placed along the public highway warning approaching motorists of the intersection of the access road with the public highway and of heavy truck traffic entering the public highway.
Access to public highways.
All mining operations shall have a direct means of access to a dedicated public highway, street or thoroughfare. If such access requires traveling through properties outside the mining tract, the mining operator shall secure access easements from the property owners through whose land access is required. A map of the access route and copies of the executed access agreements shall be provided both to the Zoning Officer and the Township Engineer. The mining operator shall be required to construct and maintain a safe, adequate, all-weather haul road of sufficient width to allow safe, simultaneous two-way travel of trucks and mining equipment. All access roads shall be shown on the mining plan. Plans and profiles of such proposed haul roads shall be provided to the Township Engineer for review and approval.
Maintenance of all access and haul roads leading from mining areas to public roads, streets or thoroughfares shall be the responsibility of the mining operator to whom the mining permit has been issued and shall be maintained in a safe and usable condition at all times.
The mining operator shall be responsible for the immediate cleanup of any mined materials spilled on the public roads on to which the mining operation haul road enters.
All mining operation access and haul roads shall be properly maintained to eliminate dust or mud conditions. Only those dust palliative measures deemed by the Engineer to be environmentally acceptable shall be permitted; the use of road oiling or calcium chloride as dust palliative is expressly and strictly prohibited.
Access to the mining operation shall be solely by means of the access road(s) as shown on the approved mining plan. All other possible means of access shall be fenced or blocked to prevent unauthorized entry.
In the Pinelands Area, will not result in a substantial adverse impact upon those significant resources of Little Egg Harbor Township as depicted on the Special Areas Map Figure 7.1 of the Comprehensive Management Plan.
All parcels of land which are used for resource extraction operations shall be restored as follows:
Restoration shall be a continuous process, and each twenty-acre section of the parcel shall be restored within two years after resource extraction is completed for that portion. In the Pinelands Area, each twenty-acre portion of the parcel shall be restored such that ground cover be established within two years and tree cover established within three years after resource extraction is completed for each twenty-acre portion of the site mined.
Restoration shall proceed in the same sequence and time frame set out in the extraction schedule required in § 290-7.
Drainage flows, including direction and volume, shall be restored to the maximum extent practical to those flows existing at the time the resource extraction operation was initiated.
The slope of the surface of restored upland areas shall not exceed one foot vertical to four feet horizontal.
Any body of water created by the resource extraction operation shall have a shoreline not less than three feet above and three feet below the projected average water table elevation. The shoreline both above and below the surface water elevation shall have a slope of not less than five feet horizontal to one foot vertical. This requirement shall apply to any water body or portion of a water body created after December 5, 1994. For any water body or portion of a water body created prior to December 5, 1994, this requirement shall apply to the extent that it does not require grading of areas which have not been disturbed by mining activities. Where grading would require such disturbance, a reduction in the distance of the graded shoreline above and below the average water table elevation shall be permitted.
Slopes beyond a water body's shoreline shall be permitted at the natural angle of repose to the bottom of the pond.
Topsoil shall be restored in approximately the same quality and quantity as existed at the time the resource extraction operation was initiated. All topsoil removed shall be stockpiled and used for the next area to be restored, unless it is immediately reused for reclamation that is currently underway.
All equipment, machinery and structures, except for structures that are usable for recreational purposes or any other use authorized in the area, shall be removed within six months after the resource extraction operation is terminated and restoration is completed.
Reclamation shall, to the maximum extent practical, result in the reestablishment of the vegetation association which existed prior to the extraction activity and shall include:
Stabilization of exposed areas by establishing ground cover vegetation; and
Reestablishment of the composition of the natural forest and shrub types that existed prior to the extraction activity through one of the following:
The planting of a minimum of 1,000 one-year-old pitch pine seedings or other native Pinelands tree species per acre in a random pattern;
Cluster planting of characteristic Pinelands oak species, such as blackjack oak, bear oak, chestnut oak and black oak, and shrubs, such as black huckleberry, sheep laurel and mountain laurel, at a spacing sufficient to ensure establishment of these species;
The use of other planting techniques or native Pinelands species as may be necessary to restore the vegetation association which existed prior to the extraction activity.
In the Pinelands Area, all restored areas shall be graded so as to conform to the natural contours of the parcel to the maximum extent possible. Grading techniques that help to control erosion and foster revegetation shall be utilized.
At the time of application to the Planning Board, a nonrefundable fee for application and review shall be paid to the Township in accordance with the following:
The fee schedule contained herein represents estimated costs to the Township related to the land development review process. Nothing contained herein shall prohibit the applicable board from requiring the applicant to reimburse the Township for all professional review costs of the application as determined by the Township Treasurer. The fees are nonreturnable if the application for the permit is denied by the Planning Board or withdrawn.
The fee determined for permit renewal shall be based upon as-built quantities from the prior permit. If the previous fee was excessive for the actual amount of soil removed, then a credit shall be applied, and if the actual amount of soil removed is greater, then the increased permit cost shall be made a part of the fee for permit renewal.
No mining permit will be issued until the applicant has posted with the Township a performance bond naming the Pinelands Commission and the Township as the obligee if the application is for soil removal in the Pinelands Area in a form and with a surety that is acceptable to the Township and in an amount that the Planning Board Engineer deems to be reasonable, using the following as a standard.
The performance bond will be conditioned upon the full and faithful performance by the applicant, within the time specified in the application, of all the proposed work in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and of the soil removal permit issued pursuant thereto.
In the Pinelands Area, the letter of credit, surety bond, or other guarantee of performance which secures restoration for each section shall be released after the requirements of § 290-8A through G above are determined by the Township as being met and is replaced with a maintenance guarantee for a period of two years thereafter.
The applicant shall fund an escrow account to reimburse the Township for the costs of annual inspections required by this chapter. The escrow amount shall be determined by the Township Engineer in an amount necessary to cover the annual review fee.
Liability insurance. The applicant shall provide, not later than 10 days after approval, a certificate of public liability insurance issued to him wherein the Township is named as coinsured for damages arising out of any activity of the applicant, under a permit issued in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. The minimum amount of liability insurance that will be considered to be acceptable will be $5,000,000.
The Township Engineer or his authorized representative shall enforce the provisions of this chapter. He shall, from time to time, upon his own initiative, and whenever directed by the Township Committee, inspect the premises for which permits have been granted to ensure compliance with the terms of the permit of this chapter. He shall report all violations to the Township Committee and take any action deemed necessary in the circumstances.
The Township Engineer shall be paid for his services at fees on an hourly basis.
For the purpose of administering and enforcing the provisions of this chapter, any authorized officer, agent or employee of the Township shall have the right to enter any land where mining operations are being conducted, in order to examine and inspect the land and the operation. Sites shall be inspected and a report will be filed with the Township Committee twice a year.
The Township Engineer may, upon written notice, revoke the soil removal permit for violation of this chapter. The minimum revocation shall be for a period of 10 calendar days. The Township Committee shall review and confirm and/or modify actions of the Township Engineer relating to revocation at the next Committee meeting following the action of the Township Engineer.
Any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,250 or by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the Judge. The continuation of such violation for each successive day shall constitute a separate offense, and the person or persons allowing or permitting the continuation of the violation may be punished as provided above for each separate offense.
The violation of any provision of this chapter shall be subject to abatement summarily by a restraining order or injunction issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.