[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Buchanan 6-17-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-08. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building construction — See Ch. 230.
Streets, sidewalks and public places — See Ch. 456.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 282, Excavations, adopted 11-4-1997 as § 18-66 of the 1997 Code, as amended.
The Town Board of the Town of Buchanan recognizes that excavation activities on property owned by the Town and near public rights-of-way within the Town of Buchanan can create holes, trenches and depressions in the earth, and can create unnatural accumulations of soil, mud, water, snow, ice and other debris in and around the site of excavation. The Board recognizes that such activities, if not properly performed and promptly completed, can lead to the development of dangerous and unsafe conditions. The Board further recognizes that such activities can result in a significant degradation of the appearance of the site of excavation and the surrounding area, with a corresponding negative effect on property values and quality of life for residents of the Town. The purpose of this chapter is to allow reasonable and responsible excavation activities while avoiding these negative consequences.
For purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The Town Board of the Town of Buchanan, or its designee.
- Completion of excavation means the time when all of the following have been entirely performed:
- A. All holes, trenches and other depressions in the earth created by or in the course of the excavation have been refilled;
- B. All piles, mounds and other accumulations of soil or other debris created by or in the course of excavation have been removed;
- C. All unnatural accumulations of water, snow, ice, mud, gravel or other substances which were created by or in the course of the excavation have been removed or rendered in such a condition as to avoid the development of any dangerous or unsafe condition;
- D. The site of the excavation has been landscaped, and grass and/or other vegetation appropriate to the site has been seeded, planted or established, as necessary to maintain reasonable consistency with the area surrounding the site; and
- E. The site of excavation has otherwise been restored as nearly as reasonably possible to the appearance which the site had prior to the excavation.
- Any digging, shoveling, tunneling, burrowing, dredging, drilling, boring, quarrying, mining, or any other activity which may cause the topsoil, soil or any subsurface substrate to be exposed, unearthed, removed, displaced or unnaturally accumulated in one or more locations, and which is located within any right-of-way within the Town of Buchanan whether on public or private property.
- A person performing an act of excavation subject to this chapter.
- Highway as defined in § 340.01(22), Wis. Stats., together with all other roadways, thoroughfares or other means of passage or travel open to the public as a matter of right.
This chapter shall apply to all excavation on Town property or on Town right-of-way which is commenced on or after the adoption of this chapter.
Notwithstanding any other provisions hereof, the following activities shall not be subject to this chapter:
Farming or gardening activities intended to and in fact resulting in the planting, cultivation or harvesting of any fruit, vegetable or other crop, unless performed in such a manner as to create an unreasonable risk of the development of a dangerous or unsafe condition.
Emergency maintenance or servicing work performed by any public utility, including but not limited to sanitary districts, electric, phone or gas companies, and cable television companies. The excavator performing emergency maintenance or service work shall apply to the Town for a permit in accordance with § 282-5 on the first working day after such work is commenced.
Activities performed by or on behalf of a property owner for the purpose of landscaping, the planting of grass, trees, shrubs or other appropriate vegetation.
Activities performed in association with an approved building permit issued by the Town.
Except as provided in § 282-4, no person shall commence any excavation on property owned by the Town of Buchanan or on Town right-of-way unless that person first petitions, in writing, to the Administrator/Clerk and receives a permit approving said petition to conduct the excavation. The petition shall at a minimum contain the following elements:
Completed right-of-way excavation permit application form.
The location of the proposed excavation and the owner of said property if different from the excavator.
The purpose of the proposed excavation.
The date on which the proposed excavation will be commenced and a date by which the proposed excavation will be completed as that term is defined in § 282-2 above.
The particular activities which the excavator proposes to perform to complete the excavation as that term is defined in § 282-2 above.
A written plan for traffic control meeting the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Manual of Traffic Control Devices, current edition.
A permit fee shall be paid prior to issuance of a permit as listed in the Town Fees and Licenses Schedule.
The application shall contain and, if permission to excavate is granted, the applicant and owner shall agree to comply with the following provisions:
Indemnify and hold harmless the Town from all costs, damages and liabilities of every kind including all expenses and costs of defending any suit for damages on account of any claims, valid or otherwise, as to which it is claimed or alleged by any claimant that such excavation was the sole or a contributing cause.
Place or cause to be placed suitable and adequate warning safety devices, barricades and lights in such places in such quantity and of such kind or nature as stipulated in Wisconsin Department of Transportation's Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices, current edition.
Upon demand by the Town, keep in effect until all hazard to traffic caused by such excavation has been removed and terminated a bond or policy of insurance against liability to third persons for any damage growing out of negligence in making, guarding, backfilling or resurfacing of the excavation with limits as determined by the Town.
Road open-cut excavation work. No person shall excavate, dig upon or in, remove any tree or remove any material from street, alley, sidewalk, or public place unless the excavation is accomplished as follows:
Open-cut road excavations are made by neat saw joints through the masonry or asphalt surface course.
Pavement excavated shall be outlined with straight, deep saw joints. These saw joints shall be placed at least one foot away from the edge of the proposed trench.
The excavation shall not in any case be larger beneath the ground surface than at the surface of the excavation itself. Undercutting of any pavement courses shall be avoided.
Access to fire hydrants and other street and/or utility equipment shall be maintained at all times.
Adjoining private property shall be protected by providing proper foundations and bracing and other suitable measures for this purpose.
All gutters and drainage ditches shall be maintained free and unobstructed.
Trench backfilling. The trench backfill of any street excavation shall be accomplished as follows:
The backfill from the bottom of the conduit to a point one foot above the conduit shall be fine granular material carefully placed by hand and well tamped to fill completely all the space under the adjacent to the conduit so as to form a bed that will preclude subsequent settlement.
The remainder of the backfilling shall consist of excavated granular materials. This backfilling shall be made immediately after placing the hand backfill and shall be accomplished by placing and compacting in layers not to exceed eight inches in depth.
The alternative method of backfilling shall be accomplished by using excavated material. Compaction by sluicing may be used only under approval, direction and supervision of the Town Engineer or designee.
Resurfacing. Pavement removed for any street excavation shall be restored in the following manner:
On roads surfaced with gravel, the contractor shall complete the compacted backfill to a point 12 inches below the finished street grade and immediately place 12 inches of compacted gravel surface course equal in quality to that which is existing.
On roads surfaced with asphalt, the excavator shall complete the compacted backfill to a point three inches below the finished street grade and immediately place a minimum of three inches compacted asphalt surface course thereon.
On roads surfaced with concrete, the excavator shall complete the compacted backfill and shall replace the concrete to the same thickness that exists. Concrete shall be tied to the existing concrete and constructed to Town specifications.
The excavator shall be responsible for replacement of a surface due to settlement or surface failure for a period of two years. If excavation is reopened for repair, the two-year warranty period shall commence from the last date of excavation.
Immediately after placing of the surface course the area shall be cleaned and left in a safe and satisfactory manner and the street opened to traffic.
The following acts shall be prohibited:
No person shall commence or maintain any excavation on property owned by the Town of Buchanan or on Town right-of-way without first having submitted a proper petition under this chapter and received an excavation permit approving said petition. Any person who shall violate this subsection shall be subject to a forfeiture of not more than $1,000 per day, together with the costs of prosecution, for as long as the violation continues.
Any person who submits a petition under § 282-5 above and receives an excavation permit approving said petition from the Town shall conduct the excavation according to the terms of the petition submitted. Any person who shall fail to substantially follow the terms of that person's approved petition, without receiving a written variance from the Town, shall be subject to a forfeiture of not less than $10 and not more than $100 per day, together with the costs of prosecution, for as long as the violation continues.
In addition to the penalties prescribed in § 282-7 above, the Town shall in its discretion also be entitled to enforce this chapter by means of the following:
Remediation. If any person shall receive written notification from the Town or its designee of a violation of this chapter, said person shall have five days in which to correct said violation. If the violation is not corrected within five days, the Town may at any time thereafter proceed to correct the violation and charge any and all costs associated with correcting the violation to the person(s) causing the violation.
Injunctive relief. The Town may also apply to any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce this chapter by means of an order under Ch. 813, Wis. Stats., directing the person conducting the excavation to comply with this chapter and restraining that person from any further violation.