[HISTORY: Adopted by the Special Town Meeting of the Town of North Reading 11-25-1968 by Art. 10, approved 1-16-1969. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Excavations — See Ch. 62.
No person shall strip or remove any soil, except from land in public use, for purposes not in conformity with the intent and purpose of this by-law. The removal of soil, loam, sand, peat, or gravel shall be in accordance with one of the following procedures.
[Amended 6-4-2018 ATM by Art. 28, approved 9-21-2018]
For general removal (sand pit) operations, a written permit must be obtained therefore from the Select Board after a public hearing, at which time all interested persons shall be given the opportunity to be heard. At least fourteen (14) days notice of the time and place of such hearing shall, at the expense of the applicant for a permit, be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town.
Before granting any such permit, the Select Board shall give due consideration to the location of the place from which it is proposed to remove soil, loam, sand, peat, or gravel, to the general character of the neighborhood surrounding such location, and to the effect of the proposed removal on such neighborhood, to the amount of noise, dust, and vibration likely to result from the proposed removal, to the extent, depth, and contour of the location and surrounding neighborhood from which such removal is proposed, to the general safety of the public in the immediate vicinity of such location and to the use to which such location has been put prior to the application for a permit. A determination shall be made as to the existence of any other gravel pit in the close vicinity of the proposed location, the existence of which shall normally be considered an inhibiting factor in granting the proposed permit. No permit granted by the Select Board shall be valid for a period in excess of three (3) years from its date of issue.
As part of and set forth in such permit shall be the restriction forbidding excavation to a depth below the mean grade of an adjacent serving street in the immediate vicinity of the street. No excavation shall be such as to alter the direction of a watercourse or to cause surface water to gather as in a sump or swale. In addition, the Select Board shall impose and set forth in the permit such other restrictions and conditions as they deem reasonable and in the public interest, including but not limited to the following:
The duration of time during which the permit may be exercised;
The extent, depth, and contour of the area of removal;
The grade of the slope of the banks of the area of removal;
The proximity of such operations to any public way;
The hours of the day during which such operations may be permitted;
The hours of the day during which vehicles may be loaded with soil, loam, sand, peat, and gravel and during which such loaded vehicles may be permitted to leave such location;
The use of covers over soil, loam, sand, peat, or gravel loaded in vehicles for removal from the area;
The shoring and reinforcement of the banks of any excavation; and
The placement of topsoil and the replanting of the area of removal and screening the same from public view.
In the renewal of any permit upon its expiration, the Select Board shall give full consideration to the manner in which the permit holder has lived up to his contractual relations with the Town, and under no circumstances shall renewal be granted where there has been a history of repeated failure to live up to restrictions and requirements of the previous permit.
Where soil is to be removed in connection with the preparation of a subdivision, the soil, loam, sand, peat, or gravel may, under normal circumstances, be removed solely from the road down to the grades indicated on the subdivision plan only after the approval of said plan by the Community Planning Commission and the issuance of a permit by the Select Board. Where special circumstances exist requiring regrading of other than the road areas, the developer shall with the approval of the Community Planning Commission, file a topographic plan showing the proposed initial and final contours of the area involved. In these circumstances, sufficient loam must be retained on the subdivision for regrading to a minimum depth of six (6) inches over the exposed subsoil.
[Amended 10-2-2000 ATM by Art. 11, approved 3-29-2001; 6-4-2018 ATM by Art. 28, approved 9-21-2018]
Where soil is to be removed in connection with the preparation of a specific site for building, removal may take place only after the issuance of a building permit by the Building Inspector. Removal will normally be only from the area for the building, the driveways, from parking areas, and from areas where removal is specifically required by the Board of Health in connection with disposal systems. Where special circumstances exist requiring general regrading, removal of peat, etc., the builder may file a rough plan and request for additional soil removal with the Building Inspector as provided in § 149-4 below. In all cases, sufficient loam shall be retained on the premises for regrading to a minimum depth of six (6) inches over the subsoil.
Removal of miscellaneous amounts of soil not covered under the provisions of § 149-2 or § 149-3 above is permitted, provided the removal is concomitant with the improvement of the property from which removal takes place and provided the removal is in accord with the expressed intent and purpose of the provisions of this by-law.
Removal of aggregate quantities of less than fifty (50) cubic yards from any one general site requires no formal permit. Where the removal of soil in quantities in excess of fifty (50) cubic yards but less than five hundred (500) cubic yards is desired, application must be made to the Building Inspector for a miscellaneous soil removal permit. If appropriate, the Building Inspector, with the concurrence of the Town Engineer, may issue the permit. The permit, if issued, shall indicate the approximate quantity of soil to be removed, the purpose of removal, and the location of the site of removal. The permit shall also specify that upon completion of excavation, exposed subsoil shall be graded and covered with loam to a minimum depth of six (6) inches and that failure to do so shall be deemed a violation of the by-law.
Where special circumstances exist which indicate the removal of soil in excess of five hundred (500) cubic yards but for which a general permit under § 149-2 above is not appropriate, a permit for a larger amount up to two thousand (2,000) cubic yards may be issued, provided that it additionally has the approval of and bears the signature of the Chairman of the Select Board or his designated representative.
[Amended 6-4-2018 ATM by Art. 28, approved 9-21-2018]
Except where the removal under this § 149-4 is done in connection with the formation or enlargement of a pond, excavation shall not be permitted below the mean grade of the street or road serving the property where the excavation is in the immediate vicinity of the street and, in any case shall not be such as to change the direction of flow of a watercourse or to cause surface water to gather as in a sump or swale. Pits for burying large rocks, stumps, or other large objects shall immediately be backfilled for safety reasons.
[Amended 10-2-1989 ATM by Art. 9, approved 12-7-1989]
The penalty for violation of this by-law shall be as follows: for the first offense fifty ($50) dollars, for the second offense, one hundred ($100) dollars, and for the third and subsequent offenses, two hundred ($200) dollars.