[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Lower by Ord. No. 77-75 (Sec. 13-7 of the 1975 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
No sand, gravel, earth, or soil may be excavated, dug, or mined for commercial purposes in the Township without first obtaining a permit therefor from the Township Committee in the manner hereinafter set forth. "Commercial purposes" refers to the sale or commercial use of the sand or other product which is excavated as distinguished from personal use of the product by the owner of the ground at the place where the same is excavated.
Applications for permits for excavating, digging or mining of sand, gravel, earth, or soil in the Township shall be submitted to the Secretary of the Planning Board at least 10 working days prior to the monthly meeting of the Township Environmental Commission.
The Environmental Commission shall review each application, together with the accompanying documents enumerated below, and recommend either approval or rejection of the application prior to consideration by the Township Committee. The Township Committee may, in its sole discretion, accept or reject the recommendation of the Environmental Commission.
The application shall be accompanied by:
An initial fee of $500 for the purpose of paying the costs of processing the site plan application;
The site plan shall be prepared by a licensed engineer and shall include:
A topographic map at a scale of a minimum of one inch equals 200 feet based on a current survey and shall show:
Elevation contours at two-foot intervals with elevations based on the United States Coast Geodetic Survey data;
A plot of the access roads to the site, including all intersections with the nearest public highways;
Tree lines and all wooded areas;
All other natural features, including but not limited to streams, marshes, drainage ditches and the like;
Names and addresses of all site property owners and all owners of properties abutting the site. Where the site property is owned by a corporation, the names and addresses of all stockholders holding 10% or more of the outstanding shares must be supplied;
All buildings on the existing plot as well as all buildings within 200 feet of the plot;
A determination of the amount of topsoil required to cover the reclaimed area to a depth of four inches.
A log of soil samples to the depth of at least two feet below the seasonal low water level shall be submitted with the application. The samples shall be taken under the direct supervision of the licensed engineer preparing the site plan. At least one sample per acre shall be taken, and samples obtained with a backhoe shall be deemed acceptable. All test holes shall be filled immediately after the test is made.
A soil erosion and sediment control plan, showing sediment and erosion control measures to be used during and after material removal. In construing and enforcing this chapter, the issuing authority shall use the study Standards for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control in New Jersey, published by the New Jersey State Soil Conservation Committee as a guide.
A performance guaranty shall be posted with the Township prior to approval of the site plan. The performance guaranty shall be in the amount of $500 for each acre upon which the permit holder has been granted the privilege to excavate, dig or mine. The performance guaranty may be in the form of a performance bond, a certified check, an escrow agreement, acceptable securities, or other similar collateral or surety agreements. The performance guaranty shall be approved by the Township Attorney as to form, adequacy and execution. The performance guaranty shall be released only after the land has been restored pursuant to § 297-9 of this chapter. No performance guaranty shall be released absent written certification by the permit holder that he has completed all excavation, digging and/or mining at the operation site. Submission of such certification to the Township by the permit holder shall constitute an abandonment of the permit by the permit holder, and no further excavating, digging or mining shall be permitted on the operation site absent resubmission of the site plan application stipulated herein.
All topsoil shall be stripped from the operation area, and the amount of topsoil submitted in accordance with § 297-3A(8) of this chapter shall be stockpiled at the site.
Access roads must be a minimum of 30 feet and a maximum of 50 feet in width. The last 100 feet of the access road in its approach to the public highway must be of the same gauge and surface as the public highway. The angle of intersection with the public road must conform to the same regulations set forth in Chapter 400, Land Development, concerning intersection of roads. In no case shall access road into the site intersect a public highway less than 500 feet from the intersection of the public highway with any other public highway.
Stop signs shall be provided by the permit holder and installed on the access road into the site at its intersection with the public highway. "Truck entering" signs shall be installed by the permit holder on the public highway at least 200 feet in each direction from the access road into the site.
A gate shall be provided across the access road at the intersection with the public highway. The gate shall be closed and locked at all times that the site is not in active operation.
All loaded trucks must be covered with a suitable cover that complies with state regulations. All material deposited on the public highway by spillage or trucking from the wheels must be removed by the permit holder before nightfall on the day of deposit. This regulation shall apply only to that portion of the public highway within 200 feet of the intersection with the gravel pit access road.
No natural vegetation at the site shall be disturbed except at the exact area where the excavation, digging or mining is being conducted. All natural vegetation shall be left and maintained on the undisturbed land and protected for landscape enhancement, screening, and noise reduction purposes.
No excavation, digging or mining other than that necessary for construction approved by the Township Construction Official shall be conducted within 200 feet of an existing public highway. No excavation, digging, mining, stockpiling of debris or disturbance of the natural vegetation shall be conducted within 25 feet of the boundary line of any abutting property, within 500 feet of any school, church, shopping center, campground, other public building, or any major subdivision of 25 or more lots.
During operation, when any portion of the excavation, digging or mining shall reach a depth of more than 12 feet with a slope in excess of 1:1, a chain link or comparable barrier fence not less than four feet in height with suitable gates where necessary shall be erected around the excavation, digging or mining to limit access to the area. All gates shall be locked when excavation, digging or mining are not in progress.
No excavation, digging or mining shall be allowed within 60 feet of a natural stream. No stream or surface water naturally flowing across the site shall be disturbed or diverted.
No permit holder may excavate, dig or mine an area in excess of 10 acres at any one time. No permit holder shall be permitted to extend his operation into a new ten-acre area absent certification from the Township Engineer that at least 1/2 of the previous area of operation has been "rough graded" to the grade shown in the plan submitted in accordance with the restoration standards portion of this chapter.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to those excavations, diggings or minings where no water can accumulate in the reclaimed area.
Dry pit excavation, digging and mining operations shall be conducted so as to result in a dry pit condition when restored and reclaimed. During the entire operation of the dry pit, no freestanding water shall be permitted to accumulate. Dry pits shall be excavated, dug or mined so that a minimum of one foot of soil is retained over the seasonal high water table.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to those excavations, diggings or minings where the accumulation of water in the reclaimed area is contemplated.
Wet pits shall be excavated, dug or mined so as to result in a wet pit condition when restored and reclaimed. These pits shall be excavated to a depth of at least five feet below the seasonal low water table with sides both above and below water having a slope not greater than 2:1.
[Amended by Ord. No. 92-3]
The members of Township Council or their agents shall be free to inspect the site at any reasonable time.
The officers responsible for enforcement of this chapter shall be the Township Engineer, Construction Official, Code Enforcement Officer, or any other Township official that Council may designate by resolution.
Restoration of the operation site shall be conducted in accordance with the restoration plan submitted with the site plan at the time of original application.
A plan showing the final regrading of the site of the proposed operation shall be submitted with the site plan prior to the approval of the permit. Upon completion of the excavation, digging or mining, the site shall be made usable for a use permitted by Chapter 400, Land Development, in that area of the municipality. A final grading and planting plan shall also be prepared by a licensed engineer and submitted with the gravel pit application.
The plan shall show the side slope of all cuts and fills. No slope shall be left with a slope greater than 2:1. In the case of a wet pit, the slope (2:1) limitations shall apply both above and below the water.
The final regrading plan shall show the depth to seasonal high water at representative points throughout the pit area.
All debris, stumps, etc., shall be covered with a minimum of two feet of soil.
Topsoil which has been stockpiled in accordance with § 297-3A(8) of this chapter shall be returned to the excavated area and spread to a uniform depth throughout to provide a suitable base for establishment of vegetation.
Upon completion of the regrading operation, the land shall be left so that the natural storm drainage leaves the property at the original natural drainage points and that the area of drainage at any point is not increased.
In accordance with the restoration plan, appropriate vegetation shall be planted within 12 months of cessation of the excavation, digging or mining, and a planting report shall be filed with the Planning Board Secretary when planting of the permit area is completed. All planting reports shall be certified by the permit holder and the party with which the permit holder contracts for planting, if any.
No earlier than 30 days and no later than 90 days after planting has been made, the permit holder shall request an inspection of the site by the Township Engineer. Thereafter the Township Engineer shall inspect and evaluate the vegetative cover and determine whether said cover is in compliance with the approved planting plan. Upon certification by the Township Engineer that the approved planting plan has been complied with and that a minimum of 75% stand has been achieved, the Township Council may, in its discretion, release the performance bond to the permit holder.
[Amended by Ord. No. 83-14; Ord. No. 92-3]
Except as provided in Subsection B below, all sites legally in operation as of December 1, 1977, shall be exempted from the provisions of this chapter and shall be subject instead only to the provisions of the predecessor to this chapter. "Sites in operation" shall be defined as those areas actually under excavation or previously under excavation and not reclaimed as of December 1, 1977. Any site within licensed areas not under excavation as of December 1, 1977, shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter. The circumference of sites actually under excavation as of December 1, 1977, may likewise not be expanded. Any such expansion shall also be subject to the provisions of this chapter.
All permits, including those covering sites in operation prior to December 1, 1977, shall be subject to an annual renewal fee of $150. Said fee shall be due and owing on the 15th of July of each calendar year. If said renewal fee is not paid by August 15, a late fee of $15 shall also be charged in addition to the renewal fee. No such renewal shall be issued unless the real estate taxes on the property are current pursuant to Chapter 413, Article I, Payment of Taxes Required Prior to Issuance.