[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Wrightstown by Ord. No. 1977-7 (Chapter XVI of the Revised General Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Borough Council of the Borough of Wrightstown finds and determines that the unregulated and uncontrolled relocation, filling, excavation and removal of soil on a large scale for the sale or for the use other than on the premises has or may result in conditions detrimental to the public safety, health and general welfare, substantially hampering and deterring the efforts of the borough to effectuate the general purpose of municipal planning.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Borough of Wrightstown Soil Removal Ordinance."
The words defined in this subsection shall mean and include the following when used in this chapter.
- The Borough of Wrightstown.
- The Borough Council of the Borough of Wrightstown.
- A soil removal permit issued under the terms hereof.
- Includes an individual, a partnership, a corporation or any other legal entity.
- Includes dirt, stone, gravel, sand, humus, clay, loam, rock, top soil, muck and mixtures of any of these.
- The arable soil within six inches of the surface.
No person shall excavate for the removal of soil or otherwise remove soil for sale or for use other than on the premises from which the soil shall be taken, except in connection with construction or alteration of a building on such premises for which a building permit has been issued, and excavation or grading incidental thereto without first having obtained a permit therefor approved by council.
Before the issuance of a permit, the applicant shall make application therefor on a form available from the Borough Clerk, and the data on the application or accompanying documents shall show the following:
The name and address of the owner or owners of the tract involved and the name and address of the applicant, if a different person is involved. The signed consent of the owner shall be required if the applicant is not the owner.
A map of the premises for which the permit is sought showing the existing topographical contour lines of the land involved and abutting lands and roads, the proposed topographical contour grades which will result from the intended soil removal and the location of any streams or other bodies of water near the premises.
The tax block and lot number of the property involved, if any.
A description of any processing of the soil which will be done on the premises, including description of equipment and plans of such processing equipment and facilities.
The name and address of the person who is doing the work of removing the soil.
The number of cubic yards to be removed pursuant to the permit.
Routes to and from the proposed site to be used in transporting soil removed.
Period for which the permit is sought.
Each such application shall be accompanied by a deposit of a fee of $10 for operation of removal of soil up to 500 cubic yards. Application involving over 500 cubic yards shall pay a fee of $75 plus a sum computed at a rate of $.02 per cubic yard multiplied by the number of cubic yards to be moved. In the event the application is denied, the fee deposited shall be returned after deducting actual engineering or legal fees incurred by the borough in the course of processing the application. In the event the application is granted, the applicant shall pay the reasonable cost of engineering or legal service incurred by the borough which exceeds the original deposit.
The application and fee shall be filed with the Borough Clerk. If more than 50,000 cubic yards are to be removed, the application shall promptly be referred to the Borough Engineer for investigation, report and recommendations. The Engineer shall make a report concerning the application to the Council indicating specifically whether the proposed operation will result in any sharp activities, pits or depressions, soil erosion or fertility problems, drainage or sewerage problems, or other dangerous conditions, and recommend reasonable conditions regarding the permit to be issued, including the following:
Areas shown on map, if any, where excavation should not be permitted because of adverse effects on abutting property or roads.
Changes, if any, in permitted contours and slopes to be accomplished by proposed removal.
Maximum area from which topsoil may be stripped before replacement thereof to permit soil removal with consideration given to the number of yards to be removed and the duration of the requested permit.
Before any permit shall be granted, the applicant shall file, with the Borough Clerk, a bond, approved as to form by the Borough Attorney and with surety in an amount in accordance with the Borough Engineer, which amount shall be sufficient to insure the faithful performance of the work to be undertaken as approved.
Capacity of public roads to be used for ingress or egress to withstand damage from proposed operation.
Any other recommended considerations or conditions to protect the public welfare or adjoining property or roads.
After receiving the report, Council shall fix a time and place for a public hearing thereon not less than two weeks, nor more than 30 days, from the date of the report. The applicant shall publish a notice of the time and place of such hearing in the official newspaper of the borough at least one week prior thereto, specifying that he is applying for a permit, the general location and site or acreage of the property involved, and the names and addresses of the owner and the applicant. The applicant shall notify the owners of property within 500 feet of the outside boundaries of the property to be licensed, personally or by certified mail. Notices may be mailed to the addresses shown on the tax records. After the hearing, Council shall grant or deny the permit, after giving consideration to the engineering report which shall be incorporated in the record thereof by reference, the evidence adduced at the hearing and the effect of such permit on the public health, safety and general welfare and particularly, but not in limitation thereof, the following factors:
Soil erosion by water and wind.
Drainage or sewerage problems.
Lateral support slopes and grades of abutting roads and lands.
Land values and uses.
Such other factors as may bear upon or relate to the coordinated, adjusted and harmonious physical development of the borough.
No soil shall be removed nor shall any operation be conducted so as to violate any of the following conditions after a permit is granted:
Topsoil shall not be removed from the licensed owner's premises but on completion of operations in each area defined in the permit as determined pursuant to § 178-7C, the topsoil so retained shall be respread on the surface, if no such area be defined, the topsoil shall be respread when the entire operation is completed.
Soil removed shall not be deposited or in any way thrown or placed upon adjoining property or public roads.
All operations shall be conducted in strict accordance with any state law, other ordinances of the borough, and the terms of the applications as modified by the permit as granted.
The operation shall be so conducted as not to constitute a nuisance to adjoining owners and in no event shall any sharp activities, pits or depressions be created.
Upon completion of an operation or of excavation from an area delineated under § 178-7D, the area shall be properly leveled off, cleared of debris, and graded to conform to the contours and grades as approved by the Council.
No slope along the perimeter of any excavated area shall exceed 30 degrees from the horizontal.
Hours of operation shall be limited to the following: 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays, both inclusive. There shall be no operations of any kind or character on Sundays or legal holidays, except by special permission of the Borough Council.
On or before the fifth of each month or at the completion of the permitted work, there shall be filed with the Borough Engineer a certification by a professional engineer as to the volume of soil previously removed. Upon the completion, and prior to the release of the bond, an "as built" drawing shall be filed with the Borough Engineer and certified by a professional engineer reflecting the final elevations, slopes and cross sections of the area and immediate surrounding undisturbed area. The violation of any part of this provision shall automatically revoke the permit.
Each such operation shall be inspected by the Borough Engineer at least once in each calendar year and a written report made of such inspection. The permittee shall pay the cost of such inspection not to exceed the sum of $50 and the reasonable cost of reinspection, required because of violation found in the course of regular inspection.
After reasonable notice and an opportunity to be heard before the Council, the permit of any person may be revoked or suspended for such period as the Council may determine, for any violations of the terms hereof or the terms and conditions of any permit granted hereunder.