Town of Onondaga, NY
Onondaga County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Onondaga 6-7-1982 by L.L. No. 2-1982. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 80.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 118.
Sand and gravel operations — See Ch. 205.
Sewers — See Ch. 218.
Stormwater — See Ch. 249.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 257.
A. 
The purpose of this chapter is to regulate and control the modification of the topography of land in the Town of Onondaga by either stripping, excavating, grading or filling.
B. 
The Town Board hereby finds that uncontrolled modification of the topography results in the destruction of natural ground cover, air pollution, soil erosion, stream and pond sedimentation, alteration and disruption of natural drainageways and visual blight and has adversely affected the health, safety and general welfare of the inhabitants of the Town.
A. 
When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words used in the plural number include the singular, words used in the singular number included the plural and words in the masculine include the feminine. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
B. 
For the purposes of this chapter, the following words, phrases and terms and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein:
MODIFICATION OF THE TOPOGRAPHY
Any change or alteration in the elevation, slope or contour of land in the Town, whether by the addition or removal of soil, rock or similar substances, including excavating, filling, topsoil stripping and grading operations.
PERSON
Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
SITE
The location where any modification of the topography is conducted.
TOWN
The Town of Onondaga.
This chapter shall not apply to the following:
A. 
Sand and gravel operations conducted under a valid permit issued pursuant to Chapter 205, Sand and Gravel Operations, and any amendments thereto.
B. 
Farming and agricultural operations, including timbering and related procedures.
C. 
Excavations for buildings or structures for which a valid building permit or other permit has been issued by an official of the Town or pursuant to a resolution of the Town Board, including permits issued pursuant to § 285-23 of the Zoning Ordinance of the Town.
D. 
Any modification of the topography which has been ordered or contracted for by the Town Board for public improvements, such as the construction of public buildings, streets, utilities and drainage facilities.
E. 
Any modification of the topography conducted by or under the direction of the Town Highway Superintendent.
A. 
Any person proposing to modify the topography in excess of 1/4 of an acre or by more than two feet in elevation or to fill in or otherwise obstruct a drainageway for surface water shall first obtain a permit therefor from the Town Codes Enforcement Officer.
B. 
Any modification of the topography of the nature and extent described in Subsection A of this section shall be undertaken and performed in conformance with the requirements of this chapter and with any conditions set forth in the permit, as well as all information contained in the permit application and documents accompanying said application.
C. 
Filling restrictions.
[Amended 7-15-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2002]
(1) 
No person shall dump or otherwise deposit in the Town more than 10 cubic yards of soil, rock or similar substance without grading it in conformance with Subsection D, General requirements, of this section.
(2) 
Only rock, soil or similar solid substances may be used as fill material. Grass clippings, brush, lumber or similar substances which can emit odors, attract vectors or insects or collapse as they decompose shall not be allowed as fill material.
D. 
General requirements.
(1) 
The removal of any soil, rock or similar substance shall be conducted having due regard to the contours adjacent to and in the vicinity of the site. The excavation or creating of pits shall not be allowed unless adequate drainage facilities are provided to assure that water will not accumulate. Slopes in excess of one foot vertical to three feet horizontal shall not be permitted unless approved by the Codes Enforcement Officer.
(2) 
The site shall be graded smooth in conformity with the land surrounding the site and shall be left in a neat condition. Cut slopes and spoil banks shall not be allowed to remain. The site shall be covered with topsoil and reseeded immediately upon completion of work so as to establish a firm cover of grass or other vegetation sufficient to prevent erosion.
(3) 
All surface drainage existing or established through the site shall be controlled to prevent erosion debris and other loose materials from filling any drainage course, street or private property. A stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) consistent with the requirements of Chapter 249, Stormwater Management, of the Code of the Town of Onondaga, shall be required for all land development activities, as that term is defined in said chapter.
(4) 
All excavations which, in the opinion of the Codes Enforcement Officer, constitute a safety hazard shall be adequately fenced as determined by said Officer.
E. 
The owner of any site which, on the effective date of this chapter, is not in conformance with its provisions shall comply with said provisions within 90 days after said effective date.
A. 
Applications for permits required under § 134-4 shall be made to the Town Codes Enforcement Officer. Upon receipt of the application for such permit and depending on the location and extent of the proposed work, the Codes Enforcement Officer may refer the application to the Town Board, Town Planning Board, Environmental Advisory Council, the Town legal counsel and/or engineers for recommendation. The Codes Enforcement Officer is empowered to issue such permit, subject to such conditions as he reasonably deems necessary, upon determination that said application is in compliance with the intent of this chapter.
[Amended 5-2-1983 by L.L. No. 2-1983]
B. 
Applicants shall pay a permit application fee in an amount to be determined from time to time by resolution of the Town Board.
C. 
Unless modified or waived by the Codes Enforcement Officer for good cause shown, applications shall be accompanied by the following documents, which shall be prepared by a licensed professional architect, engineer or land surveyor and shall bear his seal:
(1) 
A plan showing original topography with two-foot contours of the site, including sufficient data on adjacent properties.
(2) 
A plan showing proposed topography with either spot elevations or contours to adequately define the physical elevations of the site, including direction of drainage flow.
(3) 
Plans for siltation control.
(4) 
Plans for dust control.
(5) 
Schedule setting forth hours of operation.
(6) 
Schedule setting forth the duration of proposed work, including a specific completion date, which date shall be reasonable and commensurate with the proposed work.
(7) 
Plans for screening surrounding areas.
(8) 
Plans for fencing.
(9) 
Plans for suitable replacement of ground cover, including topsoil and reseeding, and a schedule of progress for same.
[Amended 5-2-1983 by L.L. No. 2-1983]
D. 
The Codes Enforcement Officer may require the applicant to deposit with the Town Clerk cash or other acceptable security to secure the faithful performance of and adherence to the conditions of the permit and the provisions of this chapter, including but not limited to the replacement of ground cover and reseeding. The form and amount of the security, as well as the conditions under which it may be held and retained, shall be determined by the Codes Enforcement Officer depending on the nature and scope of the work to be performed.
[Added 5-2-1983 by L.L. No. 2-1983]
A. 
Any person who modifies the topography of land in the Town without complying with the requirements of this chapter commits a violation hereof.
B. 
Any person who owns or leases land in the Town and who requests, orders, directs, employs or knowingly permits or allows another to modify the topography of such land in a manner which is not in conformance with the requirements of this chapter commits a violation hereof.
C. 
Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a maximum fine of $250 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 15 days, or both, and each day's continued violation of this chapter, after written notice thereof, shall constitute a separate offense hereunder. The imposition of such penalties shall not prevent the Town from proceeding in the manner set forth in Subsections D and/or E of this section.
[Amended 5-2-1983 by L.L. No. 2-1983][1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
D. 
If the Town Board shall find that any operation permitted hereunder is not being conducted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter or the conditions set forth in the permit, a written notice shall be served upon the holder of the permit, personally or by registered or certified mail, directing that the violations be corrected or remedied within 48 hours after the service of such notice. If such violations are not corrected or remedied within said period, the Town Board may cause written notice to be served in the same manner upon the holder of said permit requiring the holder of the permit to appear before the Town Board at a time to be specified in such notice and show cause why such permit should not be revoked or suspended. If after hearing the holder of the permit and receiving such other evidence as may be presented, the Town Board shall find that said operation is not being conducted in accordance with this chapter or the conditions set forth in the permit, the Town Board may:
[Added 5-2-1983 by L.L. No. 2-1983]
(1) 
Revoke or suspend the permit; and/or
(2) 
Cause the violations to be corrected or remedied by the Town, in which case the cost and expense incurred by the Town shall be charged against the permit holder and, in case such permit holder is the owner of the land upon which such operation is being conducted, assessed against the land and collected at the same time and in the same manner as Town taxes.
E. 
In addition to proceeding in the manner set forth in the preceding Subsection D, or in lieu thereof, the Town Board may institute a court action or proceeding against any person who violates this chapter, and against a permit holder who violates this chapter or the conditions upon which the permit was issued, for the purpose of obtaining the following:
[Added 5-2-1983 by L.L. No. 2-1983]
(1) 
An order compelling compliance with, or restraining a violation of, this chapter or the permit violations;
(2) 
An order requiring the immediate remedy and correction of any conditions caused by such violations; and/or
(3) 
Judgment for the amount of all costs and expenses incurred by the Town in remedying and correcting any such conditions, including the cost of reasonable engineering and attorney fees.