[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Woolwich 11-18-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-24. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Land use procedures — See Ch. 23.
Building construction — See Ch. 68.
Environmental site assessment — See Ch. 92.
Fees — See Ch. 95.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 103.
Grading plans — See Ch. 109.
Site plan review — See Ch. 149.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 157.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 163.
Topsoil — See Ch. 173.
Zoning — See Ch. 203.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed Ord. No. 2006-07.
The purpose of this chapter is to control the placement and removal of soil in order to promote the safety, public health, convenience and general welfare of the community. The adoption and enforcement of this chapter is by no means a substitute for the approval of the Gloucester County Soil Conservation District but is meant to supplement District requirements with regards to soil placement and removal.
The words or terms not interpreted or defined by this chapter shall be used with common or standard utilization. The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning.
- An individual person, developer, partnership, corporation, or other entity or public or quasi-public agency requesting permission to engage in land-disturbance activity.
- Any aquifer designated as such pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:9-6. The aquifers represent groundwaters with the designated use of potable water and conversion to potable water.
- Any hazardous substance, hazardous constituent, hazardous waste or pollutant.
- CONTAMINATED SITE
- Any property, including but not limited to structures, sediment, soil and water, that contains a contaminant which is present at such levels of concentration as to require action pursuant to any federal or state statutes or regulations.
- Any person engaged in the moving, delivery or placement of fill from, in or upon any land in the Township.
- CRITICAL AREA
- A sediment-producing, highly erodible soil or severely eroded area.
- The legal or beneficial owner of a lot or any parcel of land included in a proposed development, including the holder of an option or contract to purchase, or any other applicant or person having an enforceable proprietary interest in such land.
- Any activity involving the clearing, grading, transporting, storing or filling of land.
- DREDGED MATERIAL
- Any material removed from the bottom of a body of water.
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Township Zoning Officer or person(s) designated by the Township Committee in the absence of the Zoning Officer.
- EXCAVATION or CUT
- Any act by which soil or rock is cut into, dug, quarried, uncovered, removed, displaced or relocated.
- Any area which is used for the sole purpose of farming, which provides for the use of land, within its capabilities and treatment, within practical limits to grow and harvest produce or other crops, the raising of animals for slaughter or the production of mild. The raising of an animal as a hobby or as a pet is exempt from the requirements of this chapter.
- FILL and FILL MATERIAL
- Any sand, gravel, earth, soil, dredged material, or other material of any composition whatsoever, the placement of which upon a site results in a change of topography of the site.
- FLOOD HAZARD AREA
- The floodway and additional portions of the floodplain that are subject to flood flow at lesser depths and lower velocities than the floodway and that are inundated by the flood hazard area designed flood.
- HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE
- Any hazardous substance as defined pursuant to Section 3 of P.L. 1976, c. 141 (N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11b), hazardous waste as defined pursuant to Section 1 of P.L. 1976, c. 99 (N.J.S.A. 13:E-38), or pollutant as defined pursuant to Section 3 of P.S. 1977, C. 74 (N.J.S.A. 58:10A-3).
- Any ground, soil or earth, including marshes, swamps, drainageways and areas not permanently covered by water within the Township.
- LAND DISTURBANCE
- Any activity involving the clearing, grading, transporting, storing or filling of land.
- Any parcel of land separated from other parcels or portions as by a lawful subdivision or deed of record, by a survey map or by a metes and bounds description.
- To dig, excavate, deposit, place, fill, grade, regrade, level or otherwise alter or change the location or contour of any site; or to transport and to supply fill material or soil from one parcel or premises to another.
- The application of plant residue or other suitable materials to the land surface to conserve moisture, hold soil in place and aid in establishing plant cover.
- A certificate or other document issued to perform work or other activity under this chapter.
- PERMITTABLE EFFLUENT CONTAMINANT LEVELS
- The dissolved priority pollutant plus-40 containment levels within the effluent which are below the groundwater quality criteria for Class IIA groundwater as set forth in N.J.A.C. 7:9-6.
- PERMITTABLE SOIL/SEDIMENT CONTAINMENT LEVELS
- Priority pollutant plus-40 contaminant levels, which are below the most stringent soil cleanup criteria, as set forth by the State Department of Environmental Protection.
- A scheme or design, which indicates land treatment measures, including a schedule of the timing for their installation to minimize soil erosion and sedimentation.
- PRIORITY POLLUTANT PLUS 40 and PP +40
- The priority pollutant list of 126 compounds and elements developed by the Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to Section 307(a)(1) of the Clean Water Act and 40 nontargeted organic compounds detected by gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (GC/MS) analysis. For the purpose of this chapter, a PP +40 scan means the analysis of a sample for all priority pollutants except those as analyzed using GC/MS analytical methods. Nontargeted compound criteria shall be used pursuant to the version of the Environmental Protection Agency's "Contract Laboratory Program Statement of Work for Organic Analysis, Multi-Media, Multi-Concentration" in effect as of the date which the laboratory is performing the analysis.
- REMEDIAL ACTION
- Those actions taken at a site when hazardous materials have been found, including the removal, treatment, containment, transportation, the securing of or other engineering treatment measures, including related operations and maintenance activities, whether of a permanent nature or otherwise, designed to ensure that any discharge or placement at the site is remediated in compliance with the applicable remediation standards, including the sealing of or closure of wells and groundwater supplies contaminated by the placement of hazardous materials.
- All necessary actions to investigate and clean up any known, suspected, or threatened discharge or placement of hazardous substances, including, as necessary, identifying areas of concern and determining the presence of hazardous substances and the collection and evaluation of data adequate to determine whether or not discharged or placed hazardous materials exist. In addition, remediation includes the determination of the nature and extent of any discharged or placed hazardous substance, identifying and evaluating any problems presented by the discharge or placement and the performance of a remedial action.
- Any plot or parcel or parcels of land.
- All unconsolidated mineral and organic material of any origin.
- SOIL CONSERVATION DISTRICT AND THE STATE SOIL CONSERVATION COMMITTEE
- The Gloucester County Soil Conservation District and the State Agency Committee established or organized in the State Department of Agriculture, under the provisions of N.J.S.A. 4:24-1 et seq.
- Any natural or artificial watercourse, river, creek, ditch, channel, canal, conduit, culvert, drain, waterway, gully, ravine or wash, in which water flows in a definite direction of course, either continuously or intermittently, and which has a definite channel and shall include an area adjacent thereto subject to inundation by reason of overflow or floodwater.
- Any activity which significantly disturbs vegetated or otherwise stabilized soil surface, including clearing and grubbing operations.
No owner, applicant, developer, corporation, contractor, subdivider, or other person shall move, deliver, fill, place, or remove soil or otherwise disturb, cause, allow, or permit material to be moved or placed on or removed from any property in the Township without first obtaining approval from the Township Zoning Officer and/or any other applicable county, state or federal approval(s) or permit(s).
The owner or applicant who claims that he cannot develop his property without the removal, regrade or placement of fill in excess of what is available on site shall make application to the Township Zoning Officer for a fill placement or removal permit, together with an application for site plan or subdivision approval if the project is a nonresidential use or minor or major subdivision.
The applicant shall submit a map or plat with the application as provided for in the land use and subdivision and site plan ordinances and shall delineate the place on which the fill is to be placed, moved or removed. The application shall also specify the number of cubic yards of fill to be delivered; the origin of the fill material; the number of cubic yards to be removed; the destination of this removed material; the length of time necessary to do so; and a statement indicating why it is removed; the destination of this removed material; the length of time necessary to do so; and a statement indicating why it is essential to the development of the premises to place, fill or remove the specified amount of material. If the application requires review by the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment (referred to as "the Board"), the Board shall schedule and conduct a public hearing on the full application for development in accordance with applicable provisions of the Municipal Land Use Law, as amended. Following the public hearing, the Board shall make the findings and conclusions, based on the evidence submitted to it as to whether the placement or movement of the fill or the removal of the material is essential to the development of the premises for the permitted use, taking in to account the grades of abutting streets and lands, adjacent land values and uses, drainage, and all other factors as may be borne upon or relate to the coordinated and harmonious physical development of the Township.
The conclusions and findings of the Board shall be incorporated in its resolution of approval or denial.
No land area shall be disturbed by any person, developer, partnership, corporation, other entity, municipal corporation or other public agency within the Township unless the applicant has received the following:
A permit following the submission of a plan to the Township Zoning Officer for his review.
The required and approved plan from the soil conservation district.
By way of amplification and not by way of limitation, approval of a soil removal or soil placement plan is required for the following application categories: subdivision, site plan, conditional use, zoning variance, planned unit development and construction permit.
The applicant must submit a separate soil removal or soil placement plan for each site or lot. The applicant may consult the soil conservation district for the selection of appropriate erosion and sediment control measures during the development of the plan.
Approval of the State Department of Environmental Protection.
If certification is required and has been issued by the soil conservation district and a permit has been obtained from the Township Zoning Officer or any other applicable county, state or federal approval(s) or permit(s), then only notification of the commencement of the permitted work is required to be given to the Township Engineer. The soil removal and soil placement plan shall be prepared in accordance with standard engineering practices, showing the requirements stated in this chapter, and shall be approved before any disturbance shall commence unless exempted as allowed in this chapter. Work undertaken by Township personnel shall be exempt from the notification requirements. An applicant must provide three signed and sealed sets of plans drawn by a state-licensed design professional.
The applicant shall file the required three sets of plans with the application for the permit required under this chapter and all other material or data in the time frame required by the land use and land subdivision and site plan ordinances. The plan and application shall show, include or contain the following:
The block, lot and street address of the property.
Proof of soil conservation district approval.
The title block with original signature and embossed seal of the design professional who prepared the plan.
The identity and addresses of the owner and applicant.
The name of the individual who represents the applicant and who is responsible for conformance with this chapter, including the proper mailing address and telephone number where the individual may be reached.
The name, address and telephone number of the contractor who will be doing the actual work on the property.
During the course of the construction, any modification or alteration of the approved plans requires approval by the authority having jurisdiction, before the work is started.
A description of the proposed use of the site following completion of work.
If the application is for a major subdivision or the proposed work requires site plan approval by the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment, provide a survey map prepared by a state-licensed land surveyor showing the location of all property corners, with permanent markers set at each corner point and a metes and bounds description of the property, including the total land area.
An estimate, in cubic yards, of the quantity of fill to be brought to the site with a description of the origin of the soil or an estimate of the quantity, in cubic yards, of the material to be removed from the site, with the destination of the soil included.
The proposed dates of commencement, completion and maintenance of work.
An estimate of the type and number of earthmoving machines to be used in the operation, the daily starting and finishing times during which machines will be operated, and the means of protection to prevent unauthorized access.
With the application there shall be filed the required number of topographic maps of the site showing where the proposed fill, placement or soil removal operation is to be conducted. Include an engineering plan showing surrounding lands within 200 feet of the perimeter of the site, prepared and certified by a licensed professional civil engineer or land surveyor of the state, on a scale of not less than one inch equals 100 feet, and as referred to in the United States Coastal and Geodetic Survey data.
Proof that no contaminants exist in the soil, including but not limited to results of tests for permissible effluent contaminant levels, permissible soil/sediment contaminant levels and priority pollutant plus-40 scans.
The present and proposed grades on a fifty-foot grid layout with contour lines at two-foot intervals for the property up to and including five acres; or for more than five acres, one-hundred-foot grids with contour lines at five-foot intervals. If topographic maps are obtained by aerial topography, the required grid layout may be superimposed on it. Where access to adjoining lands is not permitted, the contour lines of the perimeter lands shall be taken from available state maps or data or from United States Coastal and Geodetic Survey Map of the particular area.
The grades of all abutting streets and lands within 200 feet of the property.
The existing elevations of all buildings, structures, streets, streams, bodies of water and watercourses, natural and artificial, as well as all proposed elevations of the areas to be modified.
All existing structures, land features, showing all existing surface and subsurface water drainage conditions and provisions, both on site and off site. Include all existing and proposed elevations of these drainage systems including the profiles of any new construction. If the work is on a watercourse, provide cross sections at fifty-foot intervals in addition to the proposed profile.
Show all wooded areas in the property under construction, locating all trees with a diameter of six inches or larger. All trees and shrubs to be retained shall be protected at the drop line with the erection of protective snow fencing. Include protection erection details.
Show the proposed slopes and lateral supports at the limits of the area upon completion of the proposed work. Define how the area filled or the material removed will not impact the adjacent areas, create hazard, or adversely affect the slope, swale or drainage of all abutting property.
Show where all materials, good and bad, shall be stockpiled on site.
Show the location and provide a description of one benchmark elevation for each 20 acres of land.
Control measures shall apply to all aspects of the proposed land disturbance and shall be in operation during all stages of the disturbance activity.
Stripping of vegetation, grading or other soil disturbance shall be done in a manner which will minimize soil erosion.
Whenever feasible, natural vegetation shall be retained and protected.
The extent of the disturbed area and the duration of its exposure shall be kept within practical limits.
Either temporary seeding, mulching or other suitable stabilization measures shall be used to protect exposed critical areas during construction or other land disturbance.
Drainage provisions shall accommodate increased runoff, resulting from modified soil and surface conditions, during and after development or disturbance. Such provisions shall be in addition to all existing requirements.
Water runoff shall be minimized and retained on the site, whenever possible, to facilitate groundwater recharge.
Sediment shall be retained on the site to the maximum extent feasible.
Diversions, sedimentation basins and similar required structures shall be installed before any on-site grading or disturbance.
Construction activities which create obnoxious and unnecessary dust, fumes, odors, smoke, vibrations, or glare noticeable in adjacent occupied buildings or on public streets will not be tolerated. The applicant must define, perform and maintain proper procedures to eliminate this occurrence or nuisance.
Any damage to public or private property shall be repaired in place or removed and replaced at the applicant's expense and inspected by the Township Engineer before any performance or cash bonds are returned.
Unsightly construction debris, including scrap materials, cartons, boxes and wrapping, must be removed daily. The burial of any debris on site is strictly forbidden.
Whenever construction activities take place within or adjacent to a traveled way or interfere with existing traffic patterns in any manner, the applicant, developer or permit holder shall conform to Township requirements.
All trench excavations shall conform to all applicable federal, state and local regulations. No trench shall be left uncovered during nonconstruction hours. Any trenches in a right-of-way or easement shall be covered with a steel plate and secured to avoid bouncing and movement.
All areas of excavation in areas other than public streets or rights-of-way shall be protected by the installation of a temporary fence enclosure prior to the commencement of any work, which shall be maintained throughout the excavation process to prohibit unauthorized access.
The routes for trucks coming to and leaving the site shall be subject to the approval of the Township Engineer or his authorized representative.
No trucks shall arrive at or leave the site with material prior to 8:00 a.m. or after 4:00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.
No trucks shall operate on legal holidays or Sundays.
The applicant shall truck the material to sites within the Township whose owners will accept the material, and only if the sites and the fill therein are approved by the Township Zoning Officer and Township Engineer.
Videotaping of the condition of the Township-owned paved cartways along the route may be filed with the Township prior to the hauling of fill material on Township roads.
Any dirt dropped on all roads within the Township shall be cleaned up immediately upon notice from the Engineering Department. Failure to follow this condition will result in the requirement of prewashing all excess soils from the tires and/or truck undercarriage prior to the entrance onto and use of Township roads.
Certain major subdivisions may be limited regarding import/export of soil by Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment resolution and/or Township Council resolution and/or developer's agreement.
All lots where fill material is deposited shall have clean fill and/or topsoil deposited which shall be graded to allow complete surface draining of the lot into local storm sewer systems or existing natural drainage courses. No regrading of a lot shall be permitted which would create or aggravate stagnation or a drainage problem on site or on adjacent properties or which will violate this chapter. Grading shall be limited to areas shown on a plan approved pursuant to this chapter or an approved site plan, or subdivision or approved grading plan. Any topsoil disturbed during approved excavation and grading operations shall be redistributed throughout the site. The requirements of this section shall be enforced by the Township Zoning Officer, in consultation with the Township Engineer and shall be in addition to any other applicable county, state or federal approval(s) or permit(s).
All necessary soil removal and soil placement control measures installed under this chapter shall be adequately maintained during construction and for a minimum of one year after completion of the subject project or until such measures are permanently stabilized, as determined by the Township Zoning Officer in consultation with the Township Engineer; however, such period shall not exceed two years. The Township Zoning Officer, acting as Township agent, shall give the applicant a certificate upon request indicating the date on which the measures called for in the approved plans were completed. All trees and shrubs to be retained shall be protected at the drop line with the erection of protective snow fencing. Nothing in this section shall affect the right of the Township to enforce maintenance requirements of structures that are to be perpetually maintained by the developer or owner of the property or structure.
No permits will be issued pursuant to this chapter until the applicant has posted with the Township a performance guarantee or cash bond in a form approved by the Township Attorney. The bond shall be in an amount equal to 120% of the cost of temporary and/or permanent site restoration and shall be deposited with the Township Clerk to guarantee complete site restoration and cover.
Permission to postpone work shall not exceed six months. Upon failure to complete the work, the Township may use the money deposited with the Township to finish the unfinished portion of the work in accordance with the land disturbance permit. Any unused portion of the moneys deposited shall be returned to the applicant, less an amount of money to be retained by the Township for expenses incurred in the administration of such funds.
In addition to the performance bond requirement in Subsection A of this section, the applicant shall be obliged to reimburse the Township for the cost of all documented extraordinary costs or expenses necessitated as a result of unforeseen difficulties or exigencies or necessitated by or resulting from any violation of any provision of this chapter. This shall include specifically all engineering fees, attorney's fees and costs incurred by the Township in prosecuting any complaint in the municipal or other court for a violation of this chapter. Also included are all costs or fees incurred by the Township in conducting a hearing for revocation or suspension of any permit or obtaining injunctive or other relief in any court.
If any person violates any of the provisions of this chapter or any standard promulgated pursuant to the provisions of any statute or regulation or fails to comply with the provisions of the permit, the Township may institute a civil action in superior court for injunctive relief to prohibit and prevent such violations, and such court may proceed in a summary manner.
Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter or any standard promulgated pursuant to this chapter or who fails to comply with the provisions of the permit plan shall also be subject to a penalty of not less than $25 nor more than $3,000, to be collected in a summary proceeding pursuant to the Penalty Enforcement Law, N.J.S.A. 2A:58-1 et seq. The superior court and municipal court shall have jurisdiction to enforce the Penalty Enforcement Law.
Editor's Note: See now N.J.S.A. 2A:58-10 et seq.
If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it continues shall constitute an additional separate and distinct offense.
The Construction Official shall, upon receiving notice from the Township Zoning Officer that the developer or contractor is in violation of this section, suspend the further issuance of construction permits or certificates of occupancy as a violation of his prior approval.
Under this chapter, no temporary certificate of occupancy or certificate of occupancy for a building on a lot shall be issued unless there has been compliance with the provisions of the approved permit. The Township Engineer must file a formal report of such compliance with the Construction Official so that a temporary certificate of occupancy or certificate of occupancy may be issued.
The Township Zoning Officer, acting on behalf of the Township, may issue a stop-work order if a project subject to this chapter is not being executed in accordance with the permit or if there is any violation of this chapter.
The following activities are specifically exempt from this chapter:
The use of land for gardening primarily for home consumption.
The agricultural use of lands when operated with a farm conservation plan approved by the local soil conservation district.
The construction of a swimming pool, patio or deck at a single-family dwelling.
Landscaping of an existing single-family dwelling.
Any movement of 15 cubic yards or less of material.
Activity that is part of a State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) remediation project, as certified to by the Township Health Officer.
Any activity that is part of a septic system repair, replacement and/or removal project, as certified to by the Township Health Officer.
The Township Zoning Officer or designee, in cooperation with the Township Engineer, shall inspect or require adequate inspection of the work performed pursuant to this chapter and shall enforce the requirements of this chapter.
If the Township Zoning Officer finds existing conditions are not as stated in the applicant's permit, he may refuse to approve further work and may require necessary remedies to be promptly installed and may seek other penalties as provided elsewhere in this chapter.
The applicant shall have the permit on the site during all phases of construction.
Should the applicant fail in his obligation to maintain the site in a safe and orderly condition, the Township may, on five days' written notice or immediately in the case of a hazard to life, health or property, undertake whatever work may be necessary to return the site to a safe and orderly condition and deduct the cost thereof from the performance guarantee. Upon notice of such deduction, the developer shall, within 10 business days, reimburse the Township in the amount of the deduction, or its performance guaranty will be held to be void, and the Township may take action against the applicant.
A project is deemed to be abandoned and in default for purposes of this chapter when there is no major construction activity, such as excavation, installation or filling, for a period of not less than six months, with the exception of the period normally considered winter as governed by the construction industry operating within the Township. If an apparent default occurs, the Township Administrator, upon the recommendation of the Township Engineer, shall serve the applicant, by certified mail, return receipt required, with a notice of default, with a copy thereof to the Township Clerk and Township Committee. The applicant shall have 10 business days to: