[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Islandia during codification; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Village Board to provide for the proper use of land to prevent all manner of excavations which create pits, holes or hollows in the earth, leaving it in a hazardous or dangerous state, or cause soil erosion which depletes the land of its natural vegetative cover and supply of organic material and renders such land unproductive and unsuitable for agricultural purposes and undesirable for building homes, resulting in lower land values. By this chapter the Village Board seeks to remove the danger to health and life caused by deep excavations remaining in the ground and the stripping of topsoil, thereby resulting in damage to agricultural crops through dust storms in dry weather by exposure of the bare earth to wind action and in wet periods by pools of water, which chapter will promote the safety, health and general welfare of the people of the village.
No excavation for purposes other than the construction of a wall, driveway, sidewalk, building or part thereof, or as permitted by § 72-10, shall be commenced except in conformity with the provisions of this chapter.
Before any excavation is commenced for any purpose, other than those excepted in § 72-2, and topsoil, earth, sand, gravel, rock or other substance is removed from the ground, the owner, lessee or agent of the premises shall obtain a written permit therefor from the Village Board. For that purpose such applicant shall file with the Village Engineer of the Village of Islandia a verified application, in duplicate, for such permit, containing a detailed statement of the proposed work, together with a plan prepared by a duly licensed engineer or land surveyor of the State of New York, setting forth in detail the following information:
All information as required on the application form prepared by the Village Engineer, including a detailed statement of the proposed work and a three-dimensional extent of the proposed excavations and the exact condition of the plot or premises before the work is commenced and the proposed condition of said plot or premises after the work is completed.
The plan shall be drawn to scale and shall give all streets adjoining the property; the location and dimensions of the premises upon which it is proposed to excavate; the location, size and use of any existing buildings; cross sections of the property, giving elevations thereof at intervals of fifty-foot squares and also at each break in the grades; and the elevation of the premises as compared to the elevation of any abutting highways.
A duly acknowledged consent, in writing, of the owner of the premises and the mortgagee, if any, including his or their address, or a verified statement that there is no existing mortgage affecting the premises.
Receipted tax bills or a certificate from the Village Receiver of Taxes showing payment of all taxes or assessments to date against the property described in the application.
Notwithstanding any other requirements of this chapter, the Village Board shall set such conditions on permits issued pursuant to this chapter as it may deem necessary to implement the provisions of this chapter and to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Village of Islandia, consonant with the purpose of this chapter. Such permit conditions should take cognizance of but may not be limited to the preservation of the ecological and aesthetic values of the immediate and surrounding area of any excavation and the avoidance or reduction of nuisance emanating from any excavation.
No such excavations shall be made:
Within 20 feet of any property line and must not be greater than 10 feet below the established grade, unless the sidewalks remain at an incline of at least 45° or are supported by retaining equipment equal to that specified for building excavations, except that in the case of bank excavations, same may begin at the property line.
Unless adequate barricades shall be erected and maintained, together with adequate provisions for prevention of flying dust, acceptable to the Village Engineer.
Unless excavation shall be immediately refilled with clean, nonburnable fill containing no garbage, refuse, offal or any deleterious or unwholesome matter, and the premises, after completion of the work, shall be graded to the level of the nearest abutting street or road.
No stripping or removal of topsoil shall be made within 10 feet of any property line, and, upon completion of the work, the premises, if below grade, shall be graded to the level of the abutting highway or the original grade if the same were below the level of the highway. Dust-down or its equal shall be spread to prevent dust from flying, and there shall be left upon the surface of the land from which topsoil is removed not less than six inches of topsoil. No topsoil shall be removed between the first day of October and the first day of April in the following year. All area from which topsoil is removed shall, during the period between August 20 and October 1, inclusive, be prepared into a loose, level seedbed, limited, fertilized and seeded in the following steps:
Apply ground limestone at the rate of one ton per acre.
Apply 5-10-5 fertilizer at the rate of 600 pounds per acre.
Disk the area to work limestone and fertilizer into the soil to a depth of at least three inches.
Smooth area with a smoothing harrow.
Sow the following seed mixture at the rate of 100 pounds per acre:
Brush in seed lightly.
Roll firm with ground roller.
Before the issuance of a permit, the applicant and the owner of record of the premises shall execute and file with the Village Clerk a bond, approved by the Village Board of the Village of Islandia, in an amount to be fixed by said Board, but not less than $2,000, with a surety company as surety and conditioned for the faithful performance of the conditions contained in this chapter and the observance of all municipal legislation and indemnifying the Village of Islandia and/or the Trustee responsible for highways for any damage to village property. In the event of a default, such bond shall be forfeited to the Village of Islandia.
Said bond shall remain in full force and effect until a certificate of completion has been issued by the Village Engineer, certifying to the fact that all provisions of this chapter and conditions of the permit have been fully complied with. Application for such certificate shall be made by the applicant, owner or his agent who shall present a verified authorization from the owner concerning the agency or lessee, on forms provided by the Village of Islandia, and shall be accompanied by a map drawn to scale showing a cross section of the affected property, giving elevations thereof as provided in § 72-3B, prepared by a duly licensed engineer or land surveyor of the State of New York after the completion of the operations, who shall also certify that there is not less than six inches of topsoil remaining upon the ground from which topsoil has been removed and that such area has been seeded in compliance with § 72-6 hereof. In lieu of such bond, a cash deposit or deposit of the negotiable securities may be made with the village.
The officer designated by the Village Board to issue such permits shall charge and collect for each such permit:
Topsoil removal permits shall expire by limitation 60 days from the date of issuance unless extended by the Village Board, and no permit or permits shall be granted for removal of more than four acres of topsoil from any one tract of land until full compliance with this chapter is had under any existing permit for the same tract, except the preparation of the ground and seeding as provided in § 72-6 hereof.
No topsoil removal permit shall be valid except between April 1 and October 1 of any year.
Nothing contained in this chapter shall require a person to obtain a permit under the following circumstances:
When the material to be removed from a building lot has been excavated for the purpose of placing the foundation of a building or other permitted use.
Every excavation having a depth at any point in excess of three feet shall be properly guarded and protected by fencing, railing or a rigid cover so as to prevent the site from becoming dangerous.
The Village Trustee responsible for highways or other appropriate officials of such village, upon the direction of the Village Board, shall fill in excavated lands and property if, after hearing, the existence of such lands and property were deemed by the Village Board to constitute a hazard to public safety, provided that 30 days' notice shall be given by registered mail addressed to the owner of record of such lands and property at the address shown on the last preceding assessment roll, and provided that such excavated lands and property are not filled by or on behalf of such owner within such period, and it is further enacted that the cost thereof shall be against such lands and property.
Any person committing an offense against any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be guilty of a violation pursuant to the Penal Law of the State of New York, punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. The continuation of an offense against the provisions of this chapter shall constitute, for each day the offense is continued, a separate and distinct offense hereunder.