[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Lower Frederick Township 4-6-2004 by Ord. No. 04-03. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Landowners must obtain a grading permit before any earth disturbance is commenced for an area of 5,000 square feet or more, regardless of the applicability of Chapter 145, Subdivision and Land Development. This permit shall be required for all activities classified under accepted engineering standards as grading, excavation, or fill, consistent with the following definitions:
- Any act by which natural materials are dug into, cut, quarried, uncovered, removed, displaced, relocated, or bulldozed, as well as conditions resulting therefrom.
- Any act by which natural materials are placed, pushed, dumped, pulled, transported, or moved to a new location at or above the natural surface of the ground or on top of the stripped surface, as well as the conditions resulting therefrom.
- All permanent and temporary cutting, filling, regrading, and/or other forms of earth-moving activities.
No changes shall be made in the contour of the land, no grading, excavating, filling, removal or destruction of the topsoil, trees or other vegetative cover of the land shall be commenced until such time that a plan for minimizing erosion and sedimentation has been processed with and reviewed by the Township Engineer, or there has been a determination by the Township Engineer that such plans are not necessary. If any grading activities require compliance with municipal, state or federal regulations, laws or ordinances, such compliance shall be a condition for this permit.
No subdivision or land development plan shall be approved unless:
There has been a plan approved by the Board of Supervisors that provides for minimizing erosion and sedimentation consistent with this section, and acceptable securities are deposited with the Township in the form of an escrow guarantee which will ensure installation and completion of the required improvements; or
There has been a determination by the Board of Supervisors that a plan for minimizing erosion and sedimentation is not necessary; or
The actual improvements have been made.
Measures used to control erosion and reduce sedimentation shall as a minimum meet the standards and specifications of the Montgomery County Conservation District. The Township Engineer, or other officials as designated, shall ensure compliance with the appropriate specifications, copies of which are available from the District or the municipal building or Township Secretary of Lower Frederick Township.
No topsoil may be removed from the site without written authorization from the Township. Topsoil shall be stockpiled on site and redistributed uniformly to a minimum depth of six inches.
Grading activities that disturb in excess of one acre will require applicable state and federal permits.
Performance principles. The following measures are effective in minimizing erosion and sedimentation and shall be included where applicable in the control plan:
Stripping of vegetation, regrading, or other development shall be done in such a way that will minimize erosion.
Development plans shall preserve salient natural features, keep cut-fill operations to a minimum, and ensure conformity with topography so as to create the least erosion potential and adequately handle the volume and velocity of surface water runoff.
Whenever feasible, natural vegetation shall be retained, protected, and supplemented.
The disturbed area and the duration of exposure shall be kept to a practical minimum.
Disturbed soils shall be stabilized as quickly as possible.
Temporary vegetation and/or mulching shall be used to protect exposed critical areas during development.
The permanent (fine) vegetation and mechanical erosion control and drainage measures shall be installed as soon as practical in the development.
Provision shall be made to effectively accommodate the increased runoff caused by changed soil and surface conditions during and after development. Where necessary, the rate of surface water runoff will be mechanically retarded.
All runoff from disturbed areas shall be filtered by the use of erosion control facilities such as sediment basins, sediment traps, filter fabric fence or similar measures until the disturbed area has been stabilized.
In order to provide more suitable sites for building and other uses, improve surface drainage, and control erosion, the following requirements shall be met:
All lots, tracts, or parcels shall be graded to provide proper drainage away from buildings and dispose of it without ponding, and all land shall be graded to drain and dispose of surface water without ponding, except where surface water ponds by design as part of a stormwater management plan reviewed and deemed acceptable by the Township Engineer.
All drainage provisions shall be of such design to adequately handle the surface runoff and carry it to the nearest suitable outlet such as a curbed street, storm drain, or natural watercourse. Where drainage swales are used to divert surface waters away from buildings, they shall be sodded, planted, or lined as required and shall be of such slope, shape, and size as to conform with the requirements of the Township. (See Chapter 145, Subdivision and Land Development.)
Concentration of surface water shall only be permitted in swales, watercourses or approved stormwater management facilities.
Excavations and fills:
Cut and fill slopes shall not be steeper than 3:1 unless stabilized by a retaining wall or cribbing except as approved by the Board when handled under special conditions.
Adequate provisions shall be made to prevent surface water from damaging the cut face of excavations or of the sloping surfaces of fills.
Cut and fills shall not endanger adjoining property. Grading shall not be permitted within five feet of the property boundary without a proper release from the adjoining property owner.
Fill shall be placed and compacted so as to minimize sliding or erosion of the soil.
Fills shall not encroach on natural watercourses or constructed channels.
Fills placed adjacent to natural watercourses or constructed channels shall have suitable protection against erosion during periods of flooding.
Grading will not be done in such a way so as to divert water onto the property of another landowner without the written consent of the Board of Supervisors and the adjoining property owner.
During grading operations, necessary measures for dust control will be exercised.
Grading equipment will not be allowed to cross live streams. Provisions will be made for the installation of culverts or bridges as recommended by the Township Engineer and approved in writing by the Board of Supervisors.
Proposals which will increase impervious surface area by 5,000 square feet or more must include stormwater management facilities to control the rate of stormwater runoff. Vehicular parking areas, both gravel and paved, shall be considered impervious surface area.
Whenever sedimentation is caused by stripping vegetation, regrading or other development, it shall be the responsibility of the person, corporation, or other entity causing such sedimentation to remove it from all adjoining surfaces, drainage systems, and watercourses, and to repair any damage at his expense as quickly as possible.
Maintenance of all drainage facilities and watercourses within any subdivision or land development is the responsibility of the developer until acceptance of the dedication of the public improvements. The landowner is responsible thereafter.
It is the responsibility of any person, corporation, or other entity doing an act on or across a communal stream, watercourse, or swale or upon the floodplain or floodway thereof, to maintain as nearly as possible in its present state the stream, watercourse, swale, floodplain or floodway during the pendency of the activity and to return it to its original or equal condition after such activity is completed, and to obtain all applicable permits from the Pennsylvania DEP and Army Corps of Engineers.
No person, corporation, or other entity shall block, impede the flow of, alter, construct any structure, or deposit any material or thing, or commit any act which will affect normal or flood flow in any stream or watercourse without having obtained prior approval from the Township.
Where a subdivision is traversed by a watercourse, there shall be provided a drainage easement or right-of-way conforming substantially with the line of such watercourse, and of such width as will be adequate to preserve natural drainage and convey the one-hundred-year storm.
Each person, corporation, or other entity which makes any surface changes shall be required to:
Collect on-site surface runoff and so dispose of it to the point of discharge into the common natural watercourse of the drainage area.
Provide and install at his expense, in accordance with Township requirements, all drainage and erosion control improvements (temporary and permanent) as required by the erosion and sediment control plan.
The Board of Supervisors in its consideration of all preliminary plans of subdivision and land development shall condition its approval upon the execution of erosion and sediment control measures as contained in this chapter.
The installation and design of the required erosion and sediment control measures shall be in accordance with standards and specifications REF PA DEP Erosion and Sediment Control Program Manual as last revised.
Stream channel construction on watersheds with drainage areas in excess of 99 acres, and in those cases where downstream hazards exists, will conform to criteria established by the PA DEP.
All other existing Township codes and/or ordinances, such as building codes, zoning floodplain conservation district, etc., shall prevail where any requirement or restriction is greater than those in this section of this chapter and any other existing Township code or ordinance at time of application which provide the greatest restriction shall prevail.
Final plans for minimizing erosion and sedimentation as approved will be incorporated into the agreement and bond requirements under § 77-3 of this chapter.
The approval of plans and specifications for the control of erosion and sedimentation shall be concurrent with the approval of the final plans of subdivision or land development, and become a part thereof.
At the time that a building permit is applied for a lot-specific grading plan shall be submitted and a review shall be conducted by the Municipal Engineer to insure conformance with the subdivision and land development plan as approved. During the construction, further consultative technical assistance will be furnished, if necessary, by the Township (Municipal) Engineer and the Montgomery County Conservation District. During this development phase the Municipal Engineer shall inspect the development site and enforce compliance with the approved plans. All costs and fees occasioned thereby shall be paid by the applicant.
In the event the developer proceeds to clear and grade prior to obtaining the permit(s) required by this chapter and/or § 145-38D, or if such clearing and grading is conducted in a manner inconsistent with such permit(s), any preliminary plan and/or final plan, and/or any other plans required by this chapter, the Board may, in addition to other remedies, refuse to issue any permit or grant any approval necessary to further improve or develop, and may require restoration to the original grade and vegetation or as equal as possible to the original natural conditions at the developer's expense and cost. Damages to adjoining property owners because of the developer's action in such cases will not be the responsibility of the Township but will be the sole responsibility of the developer who is in violation of this chapter.
[Amended 11-7-2018 by Ord. No. 18-05]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection G, regarding developer violations, was repealed 11-7-2018 by Ord. No. 18-05.
This chapter shall be deemed to control and take priority over any provision of any ordinance of this Township which may be inconsistent herewith.
Any person who violates or permits a violation of this chapter shall, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the Township before a District Justice, pay a fine of not more than $600, plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney's fees, incurred by the Township in the enforcement of this chapter. No judgment shall be imposed until the date of the determination of the violation by the District Justice. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the Township may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable Rules of Civil Procedure. Each day a violation exists shall constitute a separate offense. Further, the appropriate officers or agents of the Township are hereby authorized to seek equitable relief, including injunction, to enforce compliance herewith.
[Amended 10-4-2005 by Ord. No. 05-09]
This chapter may be enforced by the Code Enforcement Officer who may use only legal or equitable means, including issuing a cease-and-desist order and seeking an immediate injunction with the court of appropriate jurisdiction.