[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Bradford Woods 9-16-1974 by Ord. No. 249. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “Bradford Woods Borough Grading Ordinance."
The purpose of this chapter is to provide minimum standards to safeguard persons and property, to protect and to promote the public welfare, by preventing excess erosion, hazardous rock and soil slippage, sediment production and other soil and water management problems, and by regulating and controlling the design, construction, quality of materials, use, location and maintenance of grading, excavation and fill.
Wherever used in this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings indicated:
- Natural rock layer, hard or soft, in place at ground surface or beneath unconsolidated surficial deposits.
- ENGINEERING GEOLOGIST
- A person who holds a degree in geology from an accredited college or university and who has training an experience in the field of engineering geology.
- The detachment and movement of soil or rock fragments by water, wind, ice or gravity, including such processes as gravitational creep.
- Any act by which earth, sand, gravel, or any other similar material is cut into, dug, quarried, uncovered, removed, displaced, relocated or bulldozed and shall include the conditions resulting therefrom.
- An act by which earth, sand, gravel, rock or any other material is deposited, placed, pushed, dumped, pulled, transported or moved to a new location and shall include the condition resulting.
- GOVERNING BODY
- The Council of the Borough of Bradford Woods.
- Excavation or fill or any combination thereof, and shall include the conditions resulting from any excavation or fill.
- GRADING PERMIT
- Any permit required under these regulations.
- A danger or potential danger to life, limb, or health, or an adverse effect or potential adverse effect to the safety, use or stability of property, waterways, public ways, structures, utilities and storm sewers; including stream pollution.
- A natural person, but shall also include a partnership, corporation, trust, or association.
- A person (engineer, surveyor or architect) licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- A lot, tract, parcel of land, or a series of lots, tracts, or parcels of land which are adjoining where grading work is continuous and performed at the same time.
- SOIL ENGINEER
- A person registered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a professional engineer and who has training and experience in the branch of soils engineering.
- SOIL SURVEY
- The unpublished and operational soil survey for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and the accompanying text Soil Survey Interpretations of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, as prepared by the USDA Soil Conservation Services, et al. When applicable, “soil survey” shall mean Soil Survey, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, when this publication is completed.
- SOLID WASTE
- All parts or combinations of ashes, garbage, refuse, radioactive material, combustible demolition materials and industrial wastes such as food-processing wastes, wood, plastic, metal scrap, etc.
A grading permit must be obtained from the Administrator for new grading, excavations and fills. Changes, additions or alterations made to existing excavation or fills shall conform to the provisions of these regulations. A separate grading permit shall be required for each site. One permit may cover the grading, excavation, and any fills made on the same site.
Only one permit is required for a continuous parcel to be graded for a proposed major planned development, such as residential planned unit development or a planned industrial park when adequate standards or requirements for grading the parcel are approved by the Administrator.
When grading is to be performed for and executed concurrently with the construction of a new building, a separate grading permit will be required.
A grading permit will not be required for any of the following situations:
Grading limited to reasonable, regular, normal maintenance and landscaping improvements by individual homeowners, where standards herein are not violated.
Stockpiling of rock, sand and aggregate in area properly zoned for such use.
Grading performed for the construction of an individual residence shall not require a separate permit. Grading permit will be part of the building permit and all provisions herein shall apply unless otherwise noted.
The maximum slope of cut shall not be greater than two horizontal to one vertical, and maximum slope for fill shall not be greater than two horizontal to one vertical.
Adequate provisions shall be incorporated to prevent erosion due to storm drainage. All provisions shall be properly engineered and may be paved or planted swales and/or gutters and/or piped storm sewers. All are to be reviewed and are subject to approval of the Borough Engineer.
Existing storm drainage shall not be diverted to adjacent property owners.
Adequate engineered provisions shall be incorporated to prevent sediment infiltration into existing streams.
All fills shall be compacted to provide stability of fill materials and to prevent settlement of slippage.
Immediately upon completion of grading, all areas not designated for building or paving shall be mulched and planted. Planting shall be appropriate to maintain slopes from erosion and subject to approval of the Borough. In general, planting may be rye grass, crown vetch, or honeysuckle.
Areas used for land fills shall be graded a minimum of once per week during the fill operation. In the event the fill operation is stopped for a period of 60 days, the area shall be finish graded with clean soil or earth and planted as outlined above.
Any slope which exceeds 50 feet in vertical height shall be properly terraced.
In addition to the above, all fill and cut operations shall follow the Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook for Allegheny County.
In the event that the cut and fill operation affects any natural watercourse under Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Division of Dams and Encroachments jurisdiction, by change in direction, cut and fill along the banks, culverts or bridges, or construction adjacent thereto, the applicant must present with his application the permit and the letter of comments from the Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Dams and Encroachments.
Every applicant for a grading permit shall file a written application with the Administrator in a form prescribed.
The application shall describe the land on which the proposed work is to be done by lot, block, tract, or street address.
The application shall be accompanied by the plans and specifications prepared and sealed by a professional (engineer, surveyor, or architect) giving a reasonable picture of the site and proposed soil erosion controls, if any. Said plans must be complete with North arrow, scale, distance to road intersections, adjacent structures, roads, utilities, waterways, existing contours, finished proposed contours (all contours minimum five-foot intervals). All necessary existing and finished spot elevations required to show drainage details of all constructed measures to prevent soil erosion, and planting.
The Administrator may waive the preparation of said plans by a professional when it is self-evident that the proposed work is simple, clearly shown on the plans submittal, and create no potential nuisance or hazard to adjacent property.
Plans and specifications above shall be submitted to Allegheny County Conservation District for approval before submission to the Administrator, and said approval must be submitted for permit when:
Excavation or fill exceeds five feet in vertical depth, and results in a cut or fill slope steeper than four horizontal to one vertical, and exceeds an area of 1,000 square feet for areas recognized by the Allegheny County Soil Survey as containing landslide-prone soils.
Excavation or fill exceeds 10 feet in vertical depth, and results in a cut or fill slope steeper than three horizontal to one vertical and exceeds an area of 5,000 square feet in area for areas not recognized by the Allegheny County Soil Survey as landslide-prone.
In the event the applicant deems it necessary to exceed the slopes of cut and fill as recommended in the Soil Survey, or by the Allegheny County Conservation District, said applicant may do so, only when the design is certified by a soils engineer or geologist. However, in no case shall the slopes be greater than specified in § 129-6A.
Whenever the governing body, upon the recommendation of its Administrator, determines that any existing excavation, embankment or fill has become a hazard as defined in § 129-3, the owner of the property upon which the excavation, embankment or fill is located, or other person or agent in control of said property, upon receipt of notice in writing from the Administrator, shall within the reasonable period specified therein repair, reconstruct or remove such excavation, embankment or fill so as to eliminate the hazard.
If, after such notification, the property owner has not made the necessary repairs within the time adopted, then the governing body may direct municipal employees to made the required repairs and the cost thereof shall be borne by the property owner by a lien filed as provided by law.
Whenever, the governing body upon the recommendation of its Administrator, determines that any proposed excavation or fill may present a hazard as defined in § 129-3, the governing body reserves the right to require the applicant to have the proposed work certified by a soils engineer or geologist.
Before issuance of a grading permit, the applicant shall post a bond, Pennsylvania approved corporate surety, or other approved security in the amount of 10% of the estimated cost of the grading work and erosion control facilities proposed for the permit to guarantee said work and facilities in a satisfactory manner and meeting the requirements of this chapter. No bond shall be required if another bond or other approved security is posted for construction and/or site improvements. When all requirements of this permit have been met and the work has been completed in a satisfactory manner, the full amount of security shall be returned to the person posting said security.
Alternate surety for construction of individual residence, in lieu of above, may be as follows:
Cash deposit in the amount set from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council for each residence, refundable upon compliance with this chapter, or may remain in deposit with the Borough to be applied to the next permit. 
Cash deposit or surety as outlined in Subsection B(1) above in the amount set from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council, to remain in effect for grading all individual residences, for a one-year period. 
Every grading permit shall expire by limitation and become null and void if the work authorized by such permit has not been commenced within one year or it is not completed within three years from the date of issue, provided that the governing body, acting upon the recommendation of the Administrator, may, if the permit holder presents satisfactory evidence that unusual difficulties have prevented work being started or completed within the specified time limits, grant a reasonable extension of time, and provided further that the application for the extension of time, and is made before the date of expiration of the permit. Any physical changes in the site such as surface water drainage, soil and bedrock dislocations, alteration of groundwater discharge or any other natural or man-made modification which would cause a doubt to be cast upon the feasibility of the contents of the original permit approval, must be reported to the Administrator in the intervening period between approval of permit and completion of the project.
When the requirements of this chapter for obtaining a permit have been met, the Administrator shall approve the proposed plan and grant a grading permit to the applicant. Approved work may then start. However, when in the opinion of the Administrator work proposed by the applicant is likely to endanger any property of streets or roads, or create hazardous conditions, the Administrator shall give due consideration to possible saturation by rains, earth movements, runoff surface waters and subsurface conditions such as the stratification and faulting of rock, aquifers, springs and the nature and type of the soil or rock.
The governing body shall consider within 30 days appeals from the provisions of these regulations or from the denial by the Administrator, and the governing body within 30 days shall consider alternate methods, standards or materials proposed by the developer when in his opinion strict compliance with the provisions of these regulations is unnecessary. Any applicant or permit holder shall have the right to appeal to any court of competent jurisdiction from any decisions of the governing body.
The permittee or his agent shall notify the Administrator in writing of the start and completion of each continuous grading operation. Notice shall be received by the Administrator or at his office at least two working days before start of completion of grading operations.
Grading work at these stages or at any other time will be subject to spot inspections at the discretion of the Administrator to determine that the work is being performed in compliance with these regulations.
In special cases, when grading occurs in areas of landslide-prone soil as recognized by the Soil Survey or better, the Administrator may require special precautions from the grader. The results of all soil tests and core borings made relating to the site graded shall be submitted to the Administrator.
The owner of any property on which an excavation or fill has been made shall maintain in good condition and repair the excavation or fill permitted, and also all retaining walls, cribbing, drainage structures, fences, ground cover, and any other protective devices as may be a part of the permit requirements.
If, at any time subsequent to the completion of the grading work, the cut face or fill slope shall evidence signs of deterioration, erosion, or other evidence which might be detrimental to the properties above and below the grading site, the Borough Council, upon the recommendation of its Administrator, may direct the property owner to take necessary remedial steps in accordance with sound engineering practice to restore the grading to a safe condition, and to do so in a reasonable period of time.
It shall be unlawful to track or deposit mud, soil, stones or other debris on the surface or pavement of any Borough street, right-of-way or highway. Any such material deposited which may obstruct a street, right-of-way or highway in such a manner so as to create an immediate safety hazard or completely obstruct the street, right-of-way or highway must be removed immediately. If the material deposited does not create an immediate safety hazard, it shall be removed by the person depositing same by 5:00 p.m. of the day on which such tracking or depositing occurred, and it shall be unlawful to fail to do so.
Neither the issuance of a permit under the provisions of this chapter, nor the compliance with the provisions hereto or with any condition imposed by the Administrator hereunder, shall relieve any person from any responsibility for damage to persons or property resulting therefrom, or as otherwise imposed by law, nor impose any liability upon the Borough for damages to persons or property.
A fee in the amount set from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council will be charged for each grading permit. Where, in the opinion of the Administrator, a professional inspection of the site is necessary, cost of inspection is to be borne by the applicant.
No person shall construct, enlarge, alter, repair, or maintain any grading, excavation or fill, or cause the same to be done contrary to or in violation of any provision of this chapter.
When written notice of any violation of any of the provisions of this chapter has been served by the Administrator on any person, such violation shall be discontinued immediately or within a reasonable time limit specified in such notice. If violation is not discontinued, or extends beyond the specified time limit, the Administrator shall revoke the grading permit and the violator shall be subject to a fine.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction before the District Justice having jurisdiction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, be subject to imprisonment for not more than 30 days. Whenever such person shall have been notified by the Administrator by services of summons in a prosecution or in any other way that he is committing such violation of this chapter, each day that he shall continue such violation after such notification shall constitute a separate offense punishable by a like fine or penalty. Such fines or penalties shall be collected as like fines or penalties are now by law collected. 
In case any work is performed by any person in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, the proper office of the Borough of Bradford Woods, in addition to other remedies, may institute in the name of the Borough any appropriate action or proceeding, whether by legal process or otherwise, to prevent such unlawful work and to restrain or abate such violation.