[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Manchester at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I). Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Excavation, Clearing, Grading, Filling and Mining of Premises Local Law."
This chapter shall apply to lands lying within the Town of Manchester outside the Villages of Manchester, Shortsville and Clifton Springs.
The purpose of this chapter is to prevent activities which may increase the erosion rate of the site and to prevent grading of individual sites which may have an effect on adjacent or downstream properties.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The removal by any means, including grubbing, burning or stripping, of the vegetative cover of the ground, or the topsoil, soil or earth, turf and other similar substances.
- CLEARING, GRADING AND FILLING ACTIVITIES
- All on-site operations involving the clearing and/or redistribution of the vegetative cover, topsoil, soil or earth, turf and other similar substances from their natural location, that are not conducted in accordance with an approved subdivision or site plan; not governed as an appurtenant activity by Chapter 325, Zoning, or Chapter 275, Subdivision of Land, of the Code of the Town of Manchester; and not governed under Article 23 of the New York Environmental Conservation Law, including the New York State Mined Land Reclamation Law (Environmental Conservation Law § 23-2701 et seq.). "Activities" within this definition include the use of fill or topsoil, whether originating on the premises or elsewhere, for the purpose of filling to establish grade and/or to improve the general site area.
- GRADING PERMIT
- A permit issued for clearing, grading and filling activities.
- GRADING SKETCH PLAN
- A plan showing the location of areas to be graded, filled or cleared, and which includes, at a minimum, the property lines of the area, existing structures and the final contours and drainage after grading, filling or clearing activities have been completed.
- The restoration to an environmentally acceptable natural state of an area which has undergone physical change due to stripping and grading activities.
- The layer of surface material which is not less than six inches deep and which is capable of nurturing vegetation.
No clearing, grading and filling activities shall henceforth be commenced on lands within the Town of Manchester outside of the Villages of Manchester, Shortsville and Clifton Springs except under a permit issued under this chapter. All clearing, grading and filling activities shall obtain approval as part of the permit application process.
All clearing, grading and filling activities commenced henceforth shall be in conformity with the provisions of this chapter, Chapter 325, Zoning, or Chapter 275, Subdivision of Land, of the Code of the Town of Manchester and the design and construction standards for land development of the Town of Manchester unless specifically waived by the Planning Board.
Permanent removal of topsoil requires prior permission of the Planning Board as part of the permit required by this chapter. Prior to said removal authorization the applicant shall demonstrate that sufficient topsoil will remain. A minimum of six inches of topsoil must remain throughout the area covered by a permit issued under this chapter at the end of clearing, grading or filling activities.
Stripping of topsoil. No person shall strip, excavate or otherwise remove topsoil for sale or for use other than on the premises from which the same shall be taken except in connection with the construction or alteration of a building on such premises and excavation or grading incidental thereto, except as otherwise provided in the Code of the Town of Manchester.
Before any clearing, grading or filling activities are commenced in the Town, an application for a grading permit shall be filed with the Building Department. This application can be approved by the Building Inspector if, in his opinion, the work is limited in scope, not to exceed one acre over a three-year period, and will not have off-site impacts. Work which is broad in scope, having off-site impacts, or affects more than one acre over a three-year period shall obtain the approval of the Town Planning Board and a grading permit shall be issued by the Building Department pursuant to the provision of this chapter.
Upon filing an application for a grading permit as required by this chapter, the applicant shall pay to the Town a nonrefundable fee established by the Town Board.
Written notice of the application being considered shall be given to all adjacent property owners at least five days prior to the Planning Board meeting, if applicable.
The following uses, activities and operations shall be exempt from this chapter:
All customary agricultural uses and activities.
All excavation, clearing, grading and filling necessary and applicable to subdivisions and site plans heretofore or hereafter approved by the Town of Manchester, or any of its boards or agencies.
All permitted and validly existing waste management facilities.
Excavations or fill for septic systems and wells attendant to single-family homes.
Household gardening and activities related to the maintenance of landscape features on existing developed lots.
Governmental and public utility activities to the extent such activities are exempted by law.
For activities involving an area greater than one acre, a surety in an amount of not less than $1,000 per acre, as recommended by the Engineer for the Town and approved by the Town Planning Board, shall be required. After the approval of the application and before the issuance of any permit, the applicant and each owner of record of the premises, other than the applicant, shall jointly execute and file with the Town Clerk a letter of credit in the amount approved by the Town Planning Board. The letter of credit or certified check shall forth in this chapter, and provide funds for the restoration of the property by the Town, if necessary. Surety will be administered according to the applicable provisions as provided in the Code of the Town of Manchester.
The application for each permit shall be signed by the applicant and by each owner of the premises other than the applicant and shall include the name, address and telephone number of the applicant and the name and address of each owner of the premises.
For clearing, grading and filling activities involving less than one acre, the application shall include five copies of a grading sketch plan prepared by the applicant or his representative.
For clearing, grading or filling activities involving more than five acres, the application shall include five copies of a plan prepared by a surveyor or engineer licensed in the State of New York at a scale of one inch equals 100 feet or larger, showing the following:
Boundaries of land owned by the applicant.
Proposed area to be cleared, graded and/or filled.
Physical features within 75 feet of the property boundaries.
Current land use of land in question, including zoning districts and boundaries of county agricultural districts, and adjacent lands in the general area.
Existing topography at contours not exceeding five-foot intervals.
Limits of wooded areas.
Drainage features, including streams, ponds, marshes, wetlands and drainage channels.
Existing structures and improvements.
Final grading of the area proposed for restoration at a minimum of five-foot contour intervals.
Area where topsoil and overburden will be stockpiled for use in restoration.
Final surface drainage path and the location and characteristics of drainage facilities in the area proposed for restoration and in contiguous areas.
Erosion control measures and sequence of operations.
Amount of topsoil, if any, that will be permanently removed from the site.
Upon receipt of an application for a clearing, grading or filling permit, the Planning Board shall conduct a review in accordance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act. If the Planning Board determines that the clearing, grading and filling activities will not have a significant adverse effect on the environment and issues a negative declaration, no further review shall be required and the Planning Board may issue a permit in accordance with this chapter, including such conditions as the Planning Board deems appropriate. If the Planning Board determines that the clearing, grading and filling activities will have a significant adverse effect on the environment, and issues a positive declaration, or if the affected area is greater than five acres and the Planning Board determines that further review is required, further review shall proceed in accordance with the same process as for site plan review under Chapter 325, Zoning, of the Town of Manchester, but using the submittals under this chapter, unless the Planning Board requires additional information. After such review and completion of the environmental review, the Planning Board may issue a permit in accordance with this chapter, including such conditions as the Planning Board deems appropriate.
Editor's Note: See Environmental Conservation Law § 8-0101 et seq.
In approving or denying a clearing or grading permit, the standards and considerations taken into account shall include but not be limited to the following:
Whether the clearing and grading is in conformance to the Town design and construction standards and in accord with the intent of the Town Comprehensive Plan or Master Plan.
Whether the activity will cause soil erosion or render the land unproductive or unsuitable for agricultural or development purposes.
Whether the activity will impair the aesthetic or natural environment of the site or surrounding area.
Whether the activity will affect the character of surrounding land use.
Whether the activity will impair the existing drainage.
Whether the site can be effectively restored and revegetated.
No clearing or grading activity shall be located closer than 10 feet to a public right-of-way or adjoining property line.
Any area of stockpile materials shall be sufficiently protected to prevent erosion.
Protection of existing topography and wooded areas shall be considered as much as possible.
The natural pattern of surface drainage prior to the clearing and grading activities shall not be so changed as to adversely affect adjacent properties and natural water bodies and streams.
Finished slopes shall be based on the Town's design and construction standards for land development.
Erosion and sedimentation control measures shall be provided to protect slopes and unstable areas from erosion and to prevent the accumulation of silt and sediment in drainage systems, streams, water bodies and on downstream properties.
The permit, if granted, will establish the period of time in which the clearing and grading of fill shall be completed and time within which the restoration must be completed. Upon due cause being shown to the approving agent or body, an extension of time and conditions may be granted.
Any person, firm, company or corporation operating or conducting any stripping, grading or excavation in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter and any person, firm, company or corporation assisting in the commission of any violation of this chapter or of any conditions imposed by the Town Board pursuant to this chapter and any person, firm, company or corporation who shall omit, neglect or refuse to do any act required by this chapter shall be guilty of an offense and shall be punishable by a fine of $250 or imprisonment not to exceed 15 days, or both. Each day that such violation, disobedience, omission, neglect or refusal continues or arises shall be deemed a separate offense, carrying with it a fine of $50 for each additional day the violation continues.
In addition to the remedies here in above set forth, the Town may institute any appropriate action or proceeding to prevent and to restrain, correct or abate such violation or to prevent any illegal act, business or use in and about such premises.
The Town Code Enforcement Officer shall have the right and authority to issue stop-work orders to those operating in violation of the terms of this chapter.
Upon violation of any provision of this chapter or if, upon periodic inspection and review, activities have not been conducted in full compliance with the terms of the permit and compliance is not effected within 10 days after written notice of the violations to the permit holder, the permit may be revoked by authority of the approving agent. The Town shall thereafter also have the right to do or cause to be done such work, including restoration, necessary to meet the terms of the permit and to recover the cost from the permit holder and/or his surety.
The applicant, in accepting the permit, shall grant to the Town of Manchester, its officers or employees the license to enter upon the premises at any time and without notice to determine that the provisions of this chapter are being fulfilled and to require such work to be done as may be necessary to meet the conditions of the permit.
If the permit holder fails to restore any property governed by a grading permit, the Town shall have the right, after providing notice of violation and an opportunity to cure, to provide for the restoration of the property including, but not limited to, the replacement of topsoil in an amount of not more than six inches throughout the property, correct drainage problems and replace vegetation. Such restoration shall occur at the expense of the permit holder and owners of the property. If any surety provided is insufficient to cover such costs, the costs shall be assessed against the property.
Any person having knowledge of any violation of this chapter may file a complaint in writing with the Town Clerk, and the Code Enforcement Officer shall thereupon make an investigation and report his findings to the Town Board.
Where this chapter imposes greater restrictions than are imposed by the provision of any law, ordinance, regulation or private agreements, this chapter shall control. Where greater restrictions are imposed by law, ordinance or regulation of any authority having jurisdiction or private agreement than are imposed by this chapter, such greater restrictions shall control.