[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of South Bristol 5-14-2015 by L.L. No. 2-2015. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Steep slopes — See Ch. 143.
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 106, Logging, adopted 9-9-1996 by L.L. No. 2-1996, as amended.
This chapter is enacted pursuant to the authority granted under Section 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law.
The purpose of this chapter is to promote the general health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Town by protecting the natural environment as affected by timber harvesting. The Town recognizes that timber resources are of significant value and should be harvested. The Town also recognizes that if harvesting practices are carried out poorly, they can result in significant and direct environmental damage to land and water quality. This chapter requires the landowner, logger and his or her agent to be responsible for the implementation of the best management practices as outlined in this chapter.
Whenever the requirements of this chapter are at variance with the requirements of any other lawfully adopted rules, regulations, ordinances or laws, the most restrictive shall govern.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms shall apply:
- Any person, corporation, firm, partnership or other entity having written authorization from the owner of property for the purpose of representing the property owner in his or her dealings with the Town and its officers and certified by the property owners, in writing, over his signature on the permit application form for this purpose. Examples of agents include but are not limited to loggers, foresters, family members, tenants and adjacent landowners.
- The act of the landowner and/or the landowner's agent, of submitting a completed permit information form to the Code Enforcement Officer, signed by the property owner and his agent (if applicable).
- BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
- Devices and procedures to be considered and used as necessary to protect the values and functions of forested land during harvesting and during other forest management operations. The New York State Guidelines for Timber Harvesting and New York State Forestry BMP Field Guide, 2011 Edition, are reference examples of best management practices.
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The official designated by the Town Board to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
- COMMERCIAL TIMBER HARVESTING (LOGGING)
- The business of felling trees for commercial lumber and/or firewood production and/or sale other than:
- A. Felling trees for firewood production for the personal use of the landowner or the immediate family members of such landowner fewer than 25 standard cords within a twelve-month period.
- B. Production of saw lumber by the landowner for the personal use of the landowner or the immediate family members of such landowner of fewer than 10,000 board feet within a twelve-month period.
- HAUL ROADS
- A constructed road of dirt and/or gravel utilized for moving cut trees from the point where they are loaded on a truck to exit from the site.
- An open or cleared area used for loading logs onto trucks or used for any purpose such as storing logs or servicing equipment.
- An individual, corporation, firm, partnership or other entity contracting with an owner of property in the Town for the purpose of commercial timber harvesting on said property, or an individual, corporation, firm, or partnership engaged in commercial timber harvesting on such property.
- The act of dragging cut logs to a collection point for loading into a transport vehicle.
- SKID TRAIL
- Temporary trail or rough road used to move a log from the place where it was cut to a pile or landing where it is loaded onto a truck.
- STANDARD CORD
- Cut wood stacked four feet high by four feet wide by eight feet long. A standard cord is equivalent to 128 cubic feet.
- A body of running water flowing continuously or intermittently in a defined channel with bed and banks on the ground surface. All streams regulated under this chapter will be identified on an official map for the Town.
- TOP OF STREAM BANK
- The first substantial break in slope between the edge of the bed of stream and the surrounding terrain. The top bank can either be a natural or constructed (i.e., road or railroad grade) feature lying generally parallel to the watercourse. The top of stream bank is associated with bank full flow conditions.
No person, firm, partnership, corporation or other entity (hereinafter referred to as "person") shall engage in commercial timber harvesting as defined in this chapter without a permit issued in accordance with § 106-6 herein.
Any person desiring to engage in commercial timber harvesting in the Town shall file a timber harvesting permit application with the Town Code Enforcement Officer (CEO), together with payment of the permit fee in an amount, which shall be set from time to time by resolution of the Town. The application shall be signed by the owner of real property on which the activity will occur, as well as the logger or their respective designated agent.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall have the right of entry to inspect, examine and survey all grounds affected by the timber harvest in order to verify adherence to the submitted plan/map. By signing the permit application, the property owner shall consent to the Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) entering the premises for inspection purposes related to the enforcement of this chapter and shall further consent to the CEO bringing other persons onto the premises whom the CEO deems necessary to provide assistance in conducting such inspections, such persons to include, but not be limited to, the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Manager, the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Inspector, a representative from the Ontario County Soil and Water Conservation District and/or a licensed engineer.
All commercial timber harvesting pursuant to this chapter shall comply with the following standards:
In order to minimize erosion, no haul road or skid trail used by heavy equipment during the timber harvesting operation shall exceed a slope of 15% for a distance of more than 200 feet without reducing the slope below 15% or installing a practice recommended in the New York State Forestry BMP Field Guide to divert running water from haul roads and skid trails. Avoid placing haul roads or skid trails within a fifty-foot setback distance from streambanks or other surface waters on slopes 15% or greater.
In order to minimize streambank erosion, there shall be no skidding up and down any stream channel. All logging slash and debris shall be promptly removed from any such channels, normally within two days. There shall be no skidding on any public roads.
In order to minimize streambank erosion, the applicants will be responsible for complying with all New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) permitting requirements during stream and/or wetland crossings.
In order to maintain the integrity of streambanks and to shade streams, no harvesting shall be allowed within 15 feet of all streams. The fifteen-foot no harvest zone will be a slope distance measured from the immediate top of the stream bank. In cases where maintenance is necessary to cut trees that are tipping and exposing the stream bank to erosion, trees may be cut within the fifteen-foot no harvest zone with the stump and root system left in place to stabilize the bank area.
Landings shall not be in the public right-of-way and shall be properly graded to prevent sediment from washing into streams, public roads or drainage ditches along public roads.
Site reclamation shall be performed under the direction of the Code Enforcement Officer when site conditions allow either during or upon completion of the harvesting activity. The following shall be considered to complete site reclamation:
Haul roads, skid trails and landings shall have permanent erosion control and drainage structures installed. It is required that waterbars, dips, diversion ditches or other appropriate management structures be placed by the timber harvester based on the New York State Forestry BMP Field Guidelines to reduce erosion.
Seventy-two hours prior to the commencement of any logging operation, the applicant must contact the Town and County Highway Superintendents or their deputies, in writing or by telephone.
It shall be the obligation of the logger to notify the Town Code Enforcement Officer, in writing, upon the completion of the timber harvesting operation. The Town Code Enforcement Officer may, at his/her discretion, inspect the site upon completion of the timber harvesting operation to determine if all reclamation efforts have been completed.
The Town CEO shall not accept for review any application which does not contain the required information. The permit application package will include a basic application, a full application, a copy of this chapter, and access to a "New York State Forestry Best Management Practices for Water Quality, Field Guide," 2011 edition, and other appropriate education materials.
Basic timber harvest application.
The basic timber harvest application requires the following:
Names, signatures and addresses of landowner and his or her logger, forester and agent (if applicable). The landowner's signature on the application shall signify the landowner's consent to the Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) entering the premises for inspection purposes related to the enforcement of this chapter and shall further permit the CEO to bring other persons onto the premises whom the CEO deems necessary to provide assistance in conducting such inspections, such persons to include, but not be limited to, the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Manager, the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Inspector, a representative from the Ontario County Soil and Water Conservation District and/or a licensed engineer.
Tax Map number(s) of the property to be harvested.
Copy of a topographic map with property boundaries, haul roads, stream crossings, landing areas and area to be logged clearly marked.
Approximate dates of harvesting and approximate amount of timber to be harvested.
If, as a result of the commercial timber harvesting operation, logs are to be transported on any public roads in the Town, then the company transporting the logs shall list the roads and provide a certificate of commercial vehicle insurance to the applicant. The applicant shall be responsible for providing a copy of the certificate to the Town and it will become part of the application form. Such insurance shall provide for a minimum of $250,000/$500,000 bodily injury and $500,000 property damage or $500,000 combined single limit. The Town of South Bristol shall be named as an additional insured on such certificate.
If the Town CEO determines that the basic application is complete and the area to be harvested does not have slopes exceeding 15% for more than 200 feet and no streams are present in or contiguous to the harvest area, the above steps will complete the information needed and the Town CEO will issue a permit within five business days of application receipt.
Full timber harvest application:
If the harvest area has a slope greater than 15% for more than 200 feet or a stream is in the harvest area, then a full timber harvest plan will be required in addition to the basic application. In addition to the basic application, the full timber harvest application will require:
A description of the best management practices applied to the harvest area pertaining to riparian areas, haul roads, skid trails and landings.
Submission of joint applications to the New York State DEC and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers for permits for any stream crossing and wetland disturbances.
The Town CEO will have 10 business days from application receipt to determine if the full application is complete and issue a permit.
The CEO will send a copy of all permit applications to New York State DEC Region #8 Office, Canandaigua Lake Watershed Manager (if in Canandaigua Lake Watershed), Ontario County Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Town Highway Superintendent/Ontario County Highway Commission/NYS Department Of Transportation.
The CEO shall mail written notice to each landowner of land abutting the property to be logged. Such notice shall be mailed by regular mail to each landowner at the address shown on the most recent tax assessment records of the Town. Such notice shall state the name of the owner and address of the property to be logged and the approximate date on which logging is to commence. Such notice shall be mailed within two business days of the receipt of a completed application by the CEO.
The owner, agent and logger of land where a violation of any provision of this chapter has been committed or shall exist are all jointly and severally subject to the following enforcement action:
It shall be the duty of the Code Enforcement Officer to enforce the provisions of this chapter. The Town may, at its sole discretion, designate a separate individual, to include but not limited to the Watershed Manager, Soil and Water Conservation District and/or a professional forester of the Town's choice, to review timber harvesting applications and make recommendations on permit authority to decide on permit acceptance and enforcement.
Upon notification by the CEO to the applicant of any violation hereunder, the timber harvesting permit granted to such applicant may be suspended and/or revoked. Upon suspension or revocation, as the case may be, all operations shall immediately cease, and the applicant shall take immediate steps to implement the actions necessary to come into compliance with the application and timber harvesting permit. Such suspension or revocation notice may contain conditions to be met to obtain reinstatement of the permit.
Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine not to exceed $250 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both. Each day's continued violation will be considered a separate and distinct offense. Such notice shall be in writing, signed by the CEO, and shall be served upon the person or persons at his or their address listed on the timber harvesting permit application.
Pursuant to § 150.20 of the Criminal Procedure Law and in accordance with § 10(4)(a) of the Municipal Home Rule Law, the CEO or other appropriate law enforcement official of the Town is hereby authorized to issue and serve appearance tickets with respect to any violation of this chapter.
In addition to or as an alternative to the above provided penalties, the Town Board may also maintain an action in the name of the Town in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or restrain by injunction any violation of this chapter.
There may be situations where strict adherence to certain provisions of this chapter is impossible or impractical. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall have the power, upon an appeal from a decision or determination of the CEO, to grant variances from the strict application of this chapter. Substantial variation from the chapter may fall outside of the scope of the Timber Harvesting Generic Environmental Impact statement thus requiring separate SEQR review.
Neither the issuance of a permit, nor the compliance with the provisions hereof or with any conditions imposed in the permit issued hereunder, shall relieve the permittee from the full responsibility for any damage whatsoever to other persons or property, nor impose any liability upon any officer, agent or employee of the Town for damage to persons or property.