[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Springfield 6-14-1978 by Ord. No. 674. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Excavations — See Ch. 29.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 95.
Watercourses and drainage facilities — See Ch. 111.
Zoning — See Ch. 114.
Editor's Note: This ordinance repealed former Ch. 28, Erosion and Sedimentation Control, adopted 11-11-1970 by Ord. No. 599.
It is the intent of this chapter to establish rules and regulations governing the modification of natural terrain, the alteration of drainage and the maintenance of artificial structures and surfaces, and to provide stormwater management so as to reduce flooding, to control erosion and sedimentation and to assure the public health, safety and general welfare in Springfield Township.
This chapter will regulate certain grading, paving, earth disturbing and alteration of drainage within the Township of Springfield, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and establish the requirements of notification of the Township Engineer when such activities are contemplated and the submission of stormwater management and/or erosion control plans when required.
Word usage. Words in the singular number include the plural, and words in the plural number include the singular; the present tense includes the future; the word "building" shall be deemed to include the word "structure." An individual shall be deemed to include any person, group of persons and/or partnership or corporation.
Definitions. Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following words shall, for the purposes of this chapter, have the meanings herein stated:
- An excavation; the difference between a point on the original ground and a designated point of lower elevation on the final grade; also, the material removed in excavation.
- The outflow of water, silt or other mobile substances passing along a conduit, watercourse or channel or released from any type of detention or stormwater management feature.
- EARTH-DISTURBANCE ACTIVITY
- Certain paving, filling, stripping, grading, regrading, cutting, removal of vegetation or natural ground covers, excavation, digging or earth moving undertaken by an individual on private or public property as hereinafter set forth.
- The processes by which soil particles are detached and transported by action of natural forces.
- (1) The act by which earth, sand, gravel, rock or any other material is deposited in a new location above the natural surface of the ground or on top of the stripped surface, and shall include the conditions resulting therefrom.
- (2) The difference in elevation between a point on the original ground and a designated point of higher elevation in the final grade.
- (3) The material used to make a fill.
- (1) The improvement of one or more lots, tracts or parcels of land for any purpose involving a group of two or more buildings or other improvements; or the division or allocation of land by means of or for the purpose of streets, common areas, leaseholds, building groups or other features.
- (2) A division of land into lots for the purpose of conveying such lots, singly or in groups, to any person, partnership or corporation for the purpose of erection of buildings or other improvements by such persons, partnership or corporation.
- That portion of the precipitation on a drainage area that is discharged from the area. Types include surface runoff, surface groundwater runoff and seepage.
- The processes by which solid particles are deposited by the action of natural forces.
- The degree of deviation of a surface from the horizontal, usually expressed in percentage or degrees. A steep slope shall be considered any slope with a deviation of 15% or more.
- SOIL STABILIZATION
- Chemical, physical or structural treatment of a mass of soil to increase or maintain its stability or otherwise improve its engineering properties.
- STORMWATER MANAGEMENT FEATURE (FACILITY)
- Any element in a stormwater management system which is made or improved by man. Two special facilities of this nature are:
- STORMWATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
- The facilities used for conducting stormwater to, through or from a drainage area to the point of final outlet, including but not limited to any of the following: conduits and appurtenant features, canals, channels, swales, ditches, streams, culverts, streets, pumping stations, ponds and basins.
- The division or redivision of a lot, tract or parcel of land by any means into two or more lots, tracts, parcels or other divisions of land, including changes in existing lot lines for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of lease, transfer of ownership of building or lot. There are two categories of subdivision:
The following activities will require the submission of a plan and/or written proposal for minimizing erosion and sedimentation to be approved by the Township Engineer unless there has been a determination by the Township Engineer that such plans are not necessary:
Any earth-disturbance activity as herein defined.
No land development plan shall be approved unless there has been a plan approved by the Township Engineer that provides for minimizing erosion and sedimentation consistent with this chapter and, if required by the township, an improvement bond or other acceptable securities are deposited within the township in the form of an escrow guaranty which will ensure installation and completion of the required improvements.
Measures used to control erosion and reduce sedimentation shall, as a minimum, meet the standards and specifications of the Montgomery County Soil and Water 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 of Springfield Township.
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 cutfill 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 practicable.
Temporary vegetation and/or mulching shall be used to protect exposed critical areas during development.
The permanent (final) vegetation and structural erosion control and drainage measures shall be installed as soon as practical in the development.
Provisions 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 shall be structurally retarded.
Sediment in the runoff water shall be trapped, until the disturbed area is stabilized, by the use of debris drains, sediment basins, silt traps or similar measures.
[Amended 11-13-1985 by Ord. No. 736]
The following activities will require the submission of a stormwater management plan and proposal to control soil erosion and sedimentation and an application for an earth-disturbance permit:
Any earth-disturbance activity on a tract where 70% of the tract is already covered with impervious surfacing and the area being disturbed is at least 400 square feet or more.
Any earth-disturbance activity or land development plan, with the exception of minor subdivisions, where less than 70% of the tract is covered with impervious surfacing, where the percentage of area disturbed will be 20% or more of the total area of the tract or 7,500 square feet, whichever is less.
Any of the following earth-disturbance activities and those covered under § 28-8, where the Township Engineer has made the determination that such plans are necessary for the preservation of surrounding properties:
Where the total earth-disturbance activity is more than 5,000 square feet and where the total existing impervious surface is more than 40% of the tract.
On existing developed properties where the impervious surface will be increased by 25%.
Any earth-disturbance activity, excavations or fill on a property with previously approved stormwater management facilities.
Any earth-disturbance activity on a surface with a deviation from the horizontal of 10% or more.
Any individual engaging in earth-disturbance activity as herein defined or alteration of existing drainage patterns within the township shall, before work has begun, notify the Township Engineer of his intention to perform such activities, when these activities involve:
No plan or stormwater management facility shall be approved by the Township Engineer for any activity covered under this chapter unless it can show that during the storms and conditions specified in Subsection B there shall be no increase in stormwater peak discharge leaving the tract either during or after each disturbance activity covered under the plan.
Plans and designs for stormwater management facilities which are submitted to the Township Engineer for approval shall be designed to provide for no increase in stormwater peak discharge as per Subsection A under the following conditions and storm frequencies:
Average antecedent moisture conditions.
A Type II distribution storm.
A five-year, twenty-four-hour storm of 4.2 inches of rainfall.
A ten-year, twenty-four-hour storm of 5.0 inches of rainfall.
A twenty-five-year, twenty-four-hour storm of 5.7 inches of rainfall.
A fifty-year, twenty-four-hour storm of 6.4 inches of rainfall.
A one-hundred-year, twenty-four-hour storm of 7.3 inches of rainfall.
All plans and designs for stormwater management facilities submitted to the Township Engineer for approval shall determine stormwater peak discharge and runoff by the use of the Soil Cover Complex Method as set forth in the latest edition of Urban Hydrology for Small Watersheds, Technical Release No. 55, and Hydrology National Engineering Handbook, Section 4, both by United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation District.
All natural streams, channels, drainage systems and/or areas of concentration of surface water shall be maintained in their existing condition unless alteration is approved by the Township Engineer. In any event, all encroachment activities shall comply with Title 25, Chapter 105, of the Regulations of the Department of Environmental Resources of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Applicants for stormwater management permits shall comply with those other plan requirements, Standards for Excavations and Standards for Fills, which are on file in the Township Engineer's office.
Any person or persons wishing to engage in activities requiring stormwater management plan approval and permit must first submit the following items:
A completed application for an earth-disturbing permit, available at the Township Engineer's office.
A stormwater management plan conforming to the provisions of this chapter.
Fee. The applicant shall pay a fee of $25 per 1,000 square feet or part thereof of any site undergoing earth-disturbing activities, provided that the minimum fee for any site shall not be less than $100. This fee schedule is subject to revision by the Board of Commissioners either by ordinance or by resolution.
[Amended 8-12-1981 by Ord. No. 705]
Conditions upon issuance. In granting any permit, the Township Engineer may attach such conditions thereto as he may deem reasonably necessary to prevent danger to public or private property or any sewer, storm drain or watercourse, or to prevent the operation from being conducted in a manner hazardous to life or property, or in a manner likely to create a nuisance. Such conditions may include, but are not limited to, the erection or installation of walls, drains, dams and structures, plantings and vegetation and runoff and erosion control measures or devices; furnishing necessary easements; and a specified method of performing work. No permit shall be issued until a stormwater management plan is approved by the Township Engineer and the developer certifies that all earth moving, grading and filling shall be performed pursuant to the stormwater management plan. The stormwater management plan shall be a condition of the permit.
Expiration of permit. Every permit shall expire by limitation and become null and void if the work authorized by such permit has not been commenced within six months or is not completed within one year from the date of issue, provided that the Township Engineer may, if the permit holder presents satisfactory evidence that unusual difficulties have prevented work from being started or completed within the specified time limits, grant a reasonable extension of time, and provided further that application for the extension of time is made before the date of expiration of the permit.
Revocation or suspension. Any permit issued under this chapter may be revoked or suspended by the Township Engineer after notice for:
Violation of any condition of the permit.
Violation of any provision of this chapter or any other applicable law, ordinance, rule or regulation relating to the work.
Existence of any condition or the doing of any act constituting or creating a nuisance, hazard or endangering human life or the property of others.
[Added 11-13-1991 by Ord. No. 783]
Upon submission of an application, the applicant shall be required to execute a contract for the township's professional services in the form prescribed by the township and to deposit with the township such escrow amounts as are required under such contract before the application is officially received and review commenced. If all fees and escrow deposits are not posted in accordance with such contract, the application shall be considered incomplete.
At the time of filing said contract for the township's professional services, an escrow account shall be established as prescribed above, in accordance with the following schedule:
All stormwater management facilities, including retention and detention basins designed and constructed for the purposes specified under this chapter, shall be maintained in proper working order in accordance with those design plans filed with the Township Engineer and shall be the responsibility of the property owner(s) upon whose property the facilities are located. In the case of a subdivision and/or land development, the developer may, if so desired, establish a homeowners' association that, with township approval, shall be considered the responsible owner of all stormwater management facilities located in the area of development.
In order to ensure proper maintenance and function of stormwater management facilities, the Township Engineer or his designee shall perform inspections carried out on a random basis.
If at any time the Township Engineer or his designee discovers any violation or condition not conforming with those designs and plans filed with the township in regard to the operation of a stormwater management facility, he shall notify the responsible owners of the violation, informing them of the nature of such violation and the manner in which it can be corrected.
In the event the owner, occupant or homeowners' association, as the case may be, shall refuse or neglect to comply with the provisions of this chapter or the requirements of the Township Engineer, the Township Engineer may then direct the work that may be required to correct the violation in compliance with the terms of this chapter and assess all such expense of such compliance against the owner, occupant or members of the homeowners' association, such amount to be collectible as municipal claims are now collected by law.
Bond required. The Township Engineer shall, before issuing a permit, require a performance bond in a form and amount satisfactory to him and approved by the Township Solicitor conditioned upon the faithful performance of the runoff and erosion control measures and other conditions specified in the permit within the times specified, or within any extension thereof granted by the Township Engineer, in the amount of the total estimated cost of all erosion and sediment control measures and safeguards of adjoining properties, or, in the alternative, by the deposit of funds or securities equal in value to the cost of improvements pursuant to the provisions of an escrow agreement, provided, inter alia, that no portion of said funds may be released except upon order of the owner, occupier, homeowners' association and the Township Engineer, or a designated official of the Township of Springfield, for payment of the cost of labor, material and other costs of the installation of the aforesaid improvements. In the event that the owner, occupier or homeowners' association should fail to complete the improvements within a prescribed period of time, the township shall have the right to demand and receive from the escrow account the amount then remaining in the escrow fund.
Whenever the Township Engineer shall find that a default has occurred in the performance of any term or condition of the permit or bond, written notice thereof shall be given to the principal and to the surety of the bond. Such notice shall state the work to be done, the estimated cost thereof and the period of time deemed by the Township Engineer to be reasonably necessary for the completion of such work.
In the event of any default in the performance of any term or condition of the permit or the bond, the Township of Springfield, the surety or any person employed or engaged on his behalf shall have the right to go upon the site to complete the required work or make it safe.
In the event the Township of Springfield undertakes the work or makes it safe, with the funds from the escrow fund, such escrow funds shall be used to pay the cost of contracting, including engineering and administration, for restoration of the site to meet the requirements of the permit. If the cost of the work or making it safe exceeds the amount of the escrow fund or performance bond, the permittee shall continue to be firmly bound under a continuing obligation for payment of all excess costs and expenses incurred by the Township of Springfield.
The Township Engineer shall submit a bill for all such excess costs and expenses to the permittee. All such excess costs and expenses incurred by the township shall be a personal obligation of the permittee and shall be a lien upon the premises, and whenever a bill therefor remains unpaid for a period of 60 days after it has been rendered by the Township Engineer, the Township Solicitor shall file a municipal claim or an action of assumpsit for such costs and expenses in the manner provided by law for the collection of debts and municipal claims.
Return of the bond. A performance bond or escrow fund shall remain in force and effect until it is found that the work authorized by the permit has been satisfactorily completed in accordance with the requirements imposed upon final inspection of all earth-disturbing or flow laterization work. At such time, the Township Engineer will certify that the work is approved and the performance bond or escrow fund shall be returned to the depositor and his successors or assigns.
If in the opinion of the Township Engineer the nature of the work is such that it may create a hazard to human life or endanger adjoining property at a higher or lower elevation, or any street improvement or any other public property, then the Township Engineer may, before issuing the permit, require that the applicant for a permit file a certificate of insurance showing that he is insured against claims for damages for personal injury, bodily injury and property damage, including damage to the Township of Springfield, by deposit or washing of material onto municipal streets or other public improvements (which may arise from or out of the performance of the work, whether such performance is by himself, his subcontractor or any person directly or indirectly employed by or for him), in limits prescribed by the township in accordance with the nature of the risks involved but not less than $300,000 bodily injury and $100,000 property damage, and including the township as an additional insured. Such insurance shall be written by a company licensed to do business in the state.
Neither issuance of the permit nor compliance with the provisions hereto or any condition imposed by the Township Engineer shall relieve any person from any responsibility for damage to persons or property otherwise imposed by law, nor impose any liability upon the Township of Springfield or its officers and employees for damages to persons or property.
Inspections of any earth-disturbing or water flow alteration activities covered by this chapter shall be the responsibility of the Township Engineer or his designee and will be carried out on a random basis to assure full compliance with the soil erosion and sedimentation control plans on file in the township and with this chapter.
During inspections, if it is found that the soil or other conditions are not as stated or shown in the application and plans approved, the Township Engineer may refuse to approve further work and revoke present permits until approval is obtained for a revised soil erosion and sedimentation control plan conforming to existing conditions.
If at any stage of the work the Township Engineer shall determine by inspection that the nature of the formation is such that further work as authorized by an existing permit is likely to endanger property or streets or alleys, or create hazardous conditions, the Township Engineer may require as a condition to allowing the work to be done that such reasonable safety precautions be taken as the Township Engineer considers advisable to avoid such likelihood of danger.
No person shall interfere with or obstruct the ingress or egress to or from any such site or premises by an authorized representative or agent, of any surety or of the Township of Springfield, engaged in completing the work required to be performed under the permit or in complying with the terms or conditions thereof.
Should any section or provision of this chapter be declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of this chapter as a whole, or of any other part hereof.
[Amended 7-13-1988 by Ord. No. 756]
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or who shall fail to comply with any written notice from the Township Engineer that describes the condition of noncompliance or violation within five days of receipt of that notice, upon conviction thereof, shall forfeit and pay a fine of not more than $1,000 to the Township of Springfield, the same to be collected by summary proceedings brought in the name of the township. A new and separate offense shall be deemed to be committed for each day after receipt of the aforesaid notice that such violation exists.