[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Essex Fells 9-15-1987 by Ord. No. 87-527 (Ch. 12.12 of the 1992 Code); amended its entirety 5-7-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-1015. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Permit required prior to land disturbance or construction. No land shall be cleared, graded or otherwise disturbed for any purpose, including but not limited to the construction of single-family dwellings, two-family dwellings or other buildings or structures, the mining of minerals, the removal of other natural resources, the development of golf courses and/or the construction of streets, by any person or entity other than the Borough of Essex Fells, County of Essex or State of New Jersey unless the Borough Engineer has first approved a lot grading and soil erosion and sediment control plan for the proposed activity and has issued a grading permit allowing such activity to proceed.
This chapter shall not apply to those situations falling within the scope of and covered by Chapter 228, Soil Removal and Relocation.
Provided that there are no environmentally sensitive areas, such as but not limited to steep slopes, wetlands, streams or bodies of water, located in the area to be graded or disturbed, and further provided that, in the opinion of the Borough Engineer, the proposed land disturbance will not create a soil erosion problem, then the following exemptions may be granted: land disturbance less than or equal to 20 cubic yards.
The lot grading and soil erosion and sediment control plan shall be prepared by a professional engineer licensed by the State of New Jersey. Two copies of the plan shall be submitted to the Borough Engineer together with two copies of an application for a grading permit (which application form shall be available through the office of the Borough Engineer) and the fee required by this section. The lot grading and soil erosion and sediment control plan shall contain the following information:
Layout of proposed buildings and structures.
North arrow; scale; block and lot number of the subject property (or properties); name and address of record owner; and name, address, license number and seal of the person preparing the plan.
Complete lot boundary line information based on a current survey prepared by a New Jersey licensed land surveyor.
Building setback lines, lines of existing streets, easements affecting the property and any areas dedicated to public use.
Location of existing buildings and structures, if any, including walls, fences, culverts and bridges. Spot elevations as to all such structures shall be provided. Structures to be removed shall be indicated by dashed lines.
Location of all existing and proposed storm drainage structures.
Existing contours at two-foot intervals where slopes are less than 10% and five-foot intervals where slopes are 10% or greater. Existing contours shall be shown by dashed lines.
Proposed contours with similar intervals. Proposed contours shall be shown by solid lines.
Location of existing rock outcroppings, high points, watercourses, depressions, ponds, marshes, wooded areas and other significant natural features.
Proposed use of land, buildings and other structures, including driveways, roads, curbs, sidewalks and other paved areas.
Existing and proposed utility locations.
Landscaping plans showing existing vegetation to remain and all areas to be seeded or planted. Size and type of proposed trees and shrubs shall be indicated. All trees eight inches in diameter at breast height (DBH) or greater shall be shown.
Disturbance fencing shall be provided around the limits of all areas of disturbance.
Silt fencing and/or hay bales shall be provided downstream of all areas of disturbance.
Such other information as may be required by the Borough Engineer in order to determine that the requirements of this section have been met.
The Borough Engineer shall approve an application upon determining that there is a reasonable probability that the grading will not:
Interfere with the natural drainage of the general area surrounding the property;
Interfere with the riparian or drainage rights or easements of other property owners;
Interfere with lateral supports or slopes;
Cause an unreasonable accumulation or flow of surface water upon or over any property; or
Create or aggravate any condition detrimental to the public health and safety.
No person, firm or corporation shall change the grade of any property within the Borough except in conformance with maps, plans and specifications approved by the Borough Engineer or the Planning Board of the Borough as provided in this chapter.
Fee. Each applicant for a grading permit under this section shall submit an administrative fee payable to the Borough of Essex Fells in the amount of $85. In addition, a professional escrow of $600 shall be posted to cover the costs of engineering review.
The owner may appeal the denial of the permit to the Planning Board of the Borough on five days' written notice to the Construction Official, the Borough Engineer and all persons owning property within 100 feet from the property proposed to be regraded. If the Planning Board determines that the proposed change in grade does not violate any of the provisions of this chapter, it shall direct the Construction Official to issue the permit.
Not less than 30 days after the completion of any change of grade, the owner shall furnish the Construction Official with the written certification of a licensed engineer or licensed land surveyor that the change of grade has been completed in accordance with the application. Failure to furnish such a certification shall be deemed a violation of this section. In no event shall a certificate of occupancy be issued prior to the furnishing of the certification.