[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Essex Fells 8-29-1961 by Ord. No. 331. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The descriptive terms and phrases used in this chapter shall be taken, deemed and construed to have the following meanings:
- Any person, firm, corporation, copartnership, or association of individuals engaging in moving, removal or excavation of soil or topsoil from any land in the Borough.
- IMPROVED LOT
- A separate lot shown on the Official Tax Maps of the Borough which is improved by the construction thereon of a dwelling house.
- Any land in the Borough.
- Any person, firm, corporation, copartnership, or association of individuals owning land in the Borough.
- Any earth, sand, clay, loam, gravel, humus, rock or dirt without regard to the presence or absence therein of organic matter.
- Soil that in its natural state constitutes the top layer of earth on any land in the Borough and is composed of 2% or more, by weight, of organic matter and having the ability to support vegetation.
[Amended 12-18-1962 by Ord. No. 338]
No owner, person, firm or corporation shall excavate, and remove or cause, allow, permit or suffer to be removed, any soil from off any land in the Borough, unless and until a permit for such soil removal has first been issued by the Planning Board of the Borough; provided, however, that where a building permit is issued for the erection, construction, alteration or addition of a building, no permit shall be required for the excavation necessary for the construction of the building and the grading of the lot upon which the building is being constructed, provided that nothing contained in this chapter shall authorize the removal of topsoil contrary to the provisions of § 228-5 of this chapter or the establishing of any grade or slope which is not in compliance with § 228-4 of this chapter, and provided, further, that no permit shall be required for excavation and necessary soil removal work in connection with the grading, landscaping or driveway construction on any improved lot.
An application, in duplicate, shall be filed for the issuance of a soil removal permit on forms supplied by the Borough Clerk, which shall set forth:
The name and address of the applicant;
A description of the land in question;
The name and address of the owner of the land;
The purpose or reason for moving or removing soil from off the land;
The kind and quantity, in cubic yards, of soil to be moved or removed;
In case of removal, the place to which the soil is to be removed, and the kind and quantity of soil to be removed;
The proposed dates of commencement and completion of the work;
The type and number of machines or other equipment to be used in the operation, and the daily starting and finishing time during which machines are to be operated;
A statement as to what fences, barriers, or other structures are to be provided to protect the project and to keep out children and others.
Accompanying the application there shall be filed a topographical map prepared and certified by a licensed civil engineer and land surveyor, in duplicate, showing:
Present grades on a ten-foot grid layout;
Proposed grades at said points when the work has been completed;
Quantity, in cubic yards, of soil involved in the work;
Grades of all abutting streets and lands;
Proposed slopes and lateral supports;
Present and proposed surface water drainage.
There shall be paid to the Borough on filing of the application a permit fee in the sum of $20. In the event of a refusal of such soil removal permit as hereinafter provided, 1/2 of the permit fee shall be returned to the applicant and the other half retained to partially cover the expense of the investigation of the project by the Planning Board prior to its refusal to issue the permit.
The Planning Board shall act on the application within 30 days after the date of the filing thereof, and if it approves the same, it shall direct the Borough Clerk to forthwith issue a permit to the applicant, but if it should deny approval of the application, it shall so notify the applicant by a letter addressed to the applicant at the address shown on the application.
If the Planning Board disapproves the granting of a permit, the applicant may, within five days after the mailing to him of notice of disapproval, appeal the refusal to the Borough Council, which, after investigation and study of the project, shall afford the applicant a public hearing at a regular meeting of the Mayor and Council to be held not less than three weeks, nor more than five weeks, after the appeal of the applicant is filed with the Borough Clerk. The Borough Council, by a vote of 2/3 of the entire Council, may reverse the action of the Planning Board in refusing to grant the permit, and in that event, the Borough Council shall direct the Borough Clerk to forthwith issue the permit applied for.
In the event the application for soil removal involves the cutting down or removal of a bank extending above the elevation of the surrounding lands or the elevation of a public street contiguous to the land upon which the removal is to occur, no such soil removal shall be conducted in such manner as to leave the ultimate grade of the land from which the bank is to be removed lower than the grade of the surrounding lands or of the grade of a public street contiguous to the land upon which the removal is to take place.
If the soil removal project contemplates the leaving of any part of the bank, then, in such event, the removal shall be conducted in such a manner as to leave all sides of the bank upon which soil removal has taken place at a slope of at least 1 1/2 feet horizontal to one foot vertical.
Should the soil removal project involve the removal of topsoil, then and in such event the topsoil shall be replaced when the earth removal has been completed to grade, or if the topsoil is removed from the land and taken elsewhere, then other topsoil to a depth equivalent to that of the depth of topsoil removed shall be provided to the end that the grade, when completed, shall be covered with topsoil to at least the same depth as it was before the grading or excavation commenced. This provision shall not apply to such portions of the land as are to be permanently covered by a building or other similar structure, a street, a street pavement, curb, sidewalk, driveway or other paved area, or by any body of water or waterway.
For the purpose of administering and enforcing this chapter, any duly authorized officer, agent or employee of the Borough shall have the right to enter into and upon any lands in or upon which soil-moving operations are being conducted, to examine and inspect such lands.
Any person, firm or corporation or copartnership who violates this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished as provided in Chapter 1, Article III, General Penalty. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.