[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Onondaga 5-4-1966 by L.L. No. 1-1966. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 11-21-1994 by L.L. No. 4-1994]
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Town of Onondaga to regulate and control the use of land for sand and gravel operations to the extent allowed under Title 27 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law, to prevent excessive noise, to prevent such land from being left in a hazardous state due to pits, holes, hollows or banks, to prevent soil erosion and protect the natural vegetative cover and supply of organic material, to maintain the productivity and suitability of such land insofar as possible for agricultural purposes and building sites and to protect land values. By this chapter the Town Board seeks to promote the safety, health and general welfare of the residents of the Town of Onondaga by removing the danger to health, safety and life of its residents caused by the creation of excessive noise; excessive quantities of dust; deep excavations remaining in the ground; exposure of the bare earth to wind action and pools of water; and by possible loss of or pollution of their supply of water. At the same time, it is recognized that sand and gravel operations, as defined herein, are necessary and useful businesses and should be encouraged when not in conflict with the express purposes of this chapter. The purpose of this chapter is for the regulation of certain mining activity in the Town, and this chapter does not create an allowable use under Chapter 285, Zoning, of the Code of the Town of Onondaga.
Editor's Note: See Article 23, Title 27, of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law.
[Amended 11-21-1994 by L.L. No. 4-1994]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings hereinafter designated:
- The permanent removal of sand or gravel from the ground.
- SAND OR GRAVEL OPERATION
- The use of any land or premises for the excavation or removal of 1,000 tons or 750 cubic yards, or any lesser amount, of sand or gravel from the earth within 12 consecutive calendar months or for the crushing, screening, washing or processing of said quantities of sand or gravel in any manner thereon.
No lands or other premises shall be operated or used as a sand and gravel operation without a currently effective permit issued by the Town Board in compliance with the provisions of this chapter or unless listed as an exception in § 205-4.
Sand and gravel operations existing as of the effective date of this chapter and any structures, improvements, machinery or equipment used in connection therewith shall not continue to operate more than 90 days after the effective date of this chapter, unless within said period an acceptable application shall be made to and filed with the Town Board for a permit as herein provided.
The following uses and operations by an owner or lessee of premises or by his agent are hereby excepted from the application of this chapter:
Before any sand or gravel operation is conducted within the Town of Onondaga, other than those excepted in § 205-4 of this chapter, the owner or lessee of the premises shall obtain a written permit therefor from the Town Board. For that purpose such applicant shall file with the Town Clerk of the Town of Onondaga an application in quadruplicate for such permit, which shall set forth and include:
[Amended 12-17-1979 by L.L. No. 5-1979]
An application on the form prescribed by the Town Board containing a detailed statement of the proposed operation; a boundary outline of the total property owned, leased or under option by the applicant within which the proposed sand or gravel operation is to be conducted (Plan A); a plan of the area proposed for excavation or removal of sand or gravel showing contours at ten-foot intervals using United States Geological Survey datum before operations are commenced (Plan B); a plan illustrating the extent of operations to be performed before the expiration of the permit applied for (Plan C); and a plan showing the proposed method of rehabilitating said area, both during and upon completion of the operations, including a schedule of progress for the same (Plan D). Such plans shall be prepared by a duly licensed professional engineer or land surveyor of the State of New York, unless the Town Board, after a preliminary conference with the applicant and a review of the proposed plans, shall determine that their preparation by a duly licensed professional engineer or land surveyor in a specific case is unnecessary, shall be drawn to scale and shall show all the streets adjoining the property outlined on Plan A; the location of any buildings within the property outlined on Plan A and within 300 feet of the outside boundaries of the area outlined on Plan B; and the proposed location of any facilities for crushing, screening, washing or processing of sand or gravel. The proposed plan of rehabilitation shall consist of both a graphic portion and a written portion. The graphic portion shall include a grading plan which illustrates, by the use of contours or accompanying cross-sections, the proposed final grades to be established on the area, and a map which illustrates the proposed final condition of the area, including, but not limited to, revegetated areas, drainage features and building sites. The written portion shall set forth a description of the proposed method of rehabilitation, including, but not limited to, specifics relative to: the disposition of refuse, spoil, stock piles and personal property; the treatment of haulageways and roads within the area; drainage and water control; and grading and vegetation. The proposed plan of rehabilitation shall also set forth in both graphic and written form, as hereinbefore described, the amount and extent of rehabilitation to be performed before the expiration of the permit applied for.
A duly acknowledged consent, in writing, of the owner of the premises and mortgagee, if any, including his or their addresses.
Receipted tax bills or a photostatic copy thereof or a letter signed by the Receiver of Taxes of the Town of Onondaga or by the Commissioner of Finance of Onondaga County or by any title insurance, abstract or searching company authorized to do business in Onondaga County, certifying that all taxes and assessments against the property described in the application have been paid.
The existing groundwater level at the location proposed for the sand or gravel operation, when required by the Town Board.
After reviewing the application, the Town Board may require additional information or waive any of the foregoing requirements where deemed necessary. All applications for permits under this chapter shall be forwarded by the Town Board to the Town of Onondaga Planning Board for review and a report and recommendation. Within 30 days after the forwarding date, the Planning Board shall submit its report and recommendation to the Town Board in writing. If such Planning Board fails to report within such period of 30 days or such longer period as may have been agreed by it and the Town Board, the Town Board may act thereon without such report.
No permit authorizing operations regulated by this chapter shall be issued for the first time under this chapter until after a public hearing by the Town Board in relation thereto, at which parties in interest and citizens shall have an opportunity to be heard. Public hearings shall not be held on renewals or amendments of permits previously issued under this chapter unless the area covered by the renewal extends beyond the area of operations previously authorized or unless the operation is to be expanded during the renewal period in excess of any limitations or conditions imposed by the Town Board in the original permit. At least 20 days' notice of the time and place of such hearing shall be published in the newspaper designated for official Town notices.
Notice of hearing before the Town Board shall be mailed to the Town Enforcement Officer at least 15 days prior to date thereof. Before the hearing, the Town Enforcement Officer shall investigate the facts and circumstances relating to potential conformance with the regulations prescribed herein, and submit his report thereon, in writing, to the Town Board, which report shall, at the Board's discretion, be read at the hearing or made available for public inspection during the hearing. Nothing contained herein shall be deemed to limit the powers conferred upon the Town Board, including its power to make findings or to proceed if the Town Enforcement Officer fails to submit a report within the time as provided, or otherwise.
[Amended 12-17-1979 by L.L. No. 5-1979]
Permits may be issued or amended by the Town Board upon compliance by the applicant with the provisions of this chapter and subject to any additional conditions imposed by the Town Board. The original permit so issued shall remain in effect until July 1 of the third year following grant of the permit. Permits may be renewed thereafter for successive periods of three years upon filing an application for renewal in the form approved by the Town Board and payment of the permit fee. Renewal permits shall not be issued to applicants who are in default of the plan of rehabilitation, including the schedule of progress, approved by the Town Board. When required by the Town Board, the applicant, upon obtaining a renewal permit, shall furnish an additional bond or security in an amount approved by the Town Board as sufficient to ensure performance of the approved plan of rehabilitation.
[Amended 12-17-1979 by L.L. No. 5-1979]
Before the issuance of a permit, the Town Board shall require the applicant and the owner of record of the premises to execute and file with the Town Clerk a surety company bond conditioned upon the faithful and punctual performance of the work required to be performed by the approval plan of rehabilitation on the area covered by the permit. The amount of the bond shall be fixed by the Town Board but shall not be less than the cost of completing the approved plan of rehabilitation as estimated by the Town's engineers. In case of any default or failure to perform the work required to be performed and to furnish the materials required to be furnished by said approved plan of rehabilitation at or before the times specified in the schedule of progress approved in connection therewith or as specified in this chapter, such bond shall be forfeited upon written notice of such default or failure being mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the permittee at the address stated in the application and upon failure by the permittee to cure such default within 60 days after the mailing of such notice. The sixty-day notice of such default or failure of performance may be given at any time after such default or failure of performance, and no default or failure of performance shall be deemed waived or excused by any delay or failure to mail notice thereof or by any subsequent renewal of a permit under this chapter. If, in the case of default, the amount of the bond is not sufficient to cover the cost of rehabilitating the land affected by the sand or gravel operation, the permit holder shall be liable for such additional cost.
Said bond shall, by its terms and provisions, remain in full force and effect for a period of two years after the issuance of a certificate of completion by the Town Board or its authorized representative certifying that the provisions of the approved plan of rehabilitation have been complied with. When required by the Town Board, application for such certificate shall be accompanied by a certification prepared by a duly licensed professional engineer or land surveyor of the State of New York certifying that topsoil or strippings have been respread and that such area has been seeded in compliance with this chapter and that the other conditions of the approved plan of rehabilitation have been fulfilled.
In lieu of such bond, a cash deposit or deposit of negotiable securities may be made with the Supervisor of the Town, subject to the approvals, conditions and forfeitures specified hereinabove in the case of a bond.
In the event of a transfer of the permit as provided in § 205-7B hereof, the bonding requirement shall remain the obligation of the original permit holder or owner, unless the new permit holder or owner shall either continue the existing bond by filing a certificate with the Town Board from the surety consenting to such continuance, or file a new bond or cash deposit in such amount as may be fixed by the Town Board.
The form and terms of the bond shall be as prescribed by and subject to the approval of the Town Board. It shall name the Town of Onondaga as beneficiary, and its terms shall be such that the applicant as principal shall agree to rehabilitate the affected land in accordance with the rehabilitation plan and schedule submitted to and approved by the Town Board and in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. In addition, the bond shall provide that it shall not be canceled by the surety without at least 30 days' notice to the Town of Onondaga. If the bond is, for any reason, canceled by the surety, the permittee shall provide a valid replacement within 30 days after receiving notice thereof. Failure to provide a replacement bond or acceptable substitute within such period shall be considered a violation of the permit and may result in the immediate suspension or revocation thereof.
When the Town Board determines that the permittee has satisfactorily completed rehabilitation, it shall release the bond except as hereinafter provided. If the Town Board does not approve the rehabilitation, the permittee and the surety will be so notified. Such notification shall be given by certified mail and shall state the reasons for disapproving the rehabilitation and shall contain suggestions and recommendations for corrective action. Upon satisfactory completion of the corrective action and approval of the rehabilitation, the Town Board shall release the bond as described in this subsection. Approval of rehabilitation may be withheld for a period not to exceed two years from the Town Board's determination of compliance with the rehabilitation requirements in order to verify the success of rehabilitation. A permittee may request the Town Board to reduce the amount of the bond after completion of rehabilitation on part or all of the affected land or when reducing the area of affected land.
[Amended 12-17-1979 by L.L. No. 5-1979]
The permit fee shall be in an amount determined by resolution of the Town Board and shall be paid at the time the application is made and thereafter in the event of renewal. The Town, in addition to the permit fee, may assess the applicant with the costs of advertising the notice of hearing on such application and may make the issuance of the permit conditional upon payment of same.
All sand and gravel operations licensed hereunder shall comply with the following regulations:
Unless specifically permitted by the Town Board, no operation referred to in this chapter shall be conducted after 6:00 p.m. or before 6:00 a.m. nor at any time on any Sunday or on New Year's Day, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas, and during the hours of operation, such shall be conducted without unnecessary noise. These restrictions shall be waived in the event of a public emergency, in which event sand or gravel may be drawn from existing stockpiles or from bank or pit excavations when bank-run sand or gravel is adequate to fulfill the requirements of the emergency.
Whenever required by the Town Board as necessary for the protection of the public, barriers consisting of wire fencing of the type known as "chain link or cyclone fence," or other types of fencing, of such height as shall be specified by the Town Board as necessary for the protection of the public considering the particular circumstances of the terrain and location, substantially erected and with no opening except necessary gates for ingress and egress, shall be erected and maintained to prevent public access to the area of any operation permitted hereunder or any part thereof. All gates shall be closed and locked at all times except during the working hours of such operation when the permittee or his agent or employees shall be within.
At no time shall any sand or gravel operation permitted herein be conducted nearer to any property line or the boundary line of any street, road, avenue or highway than the distance prescribed by the Town Board in the permit granted hereunder.
All operations permitted herein shall be conducted in a safe manner, and all slopes shall be excavated and maintained at safe angles to prevent collapse of upper grade surfaces above such slopes. Final slopes shall not be inclined steeper than one foot vertical on 1 1/2 feet horizontal.
A dust preventative layer shall be spread on private access roads and other traveled roadways within every pit or excavation where required to protect the public and the countryside against windblown sand and dust.
Topsoil or strippings removed in connection with operations regulated by this chapter shall not be removed from the premises and shall be preserved for use in connection with rehabilitation; provided, however, that any excess topsoil or strippings may be removed. Excess is any topsoil or strippings in excess of that required to allow a cover of at least four inches over any area on which topsoil is required to be respread by this chapter.
Topsoil or strippings set aside and preserved for use in accordance with Subsection F of this section shall be respread upon the surface of the land from which sand and gravel have been removed. Areas which are laid out as streets, parking lots or areas to be occupied by buildings on a subdivision plot approved by the Town Planning Board may, in the discretion of the Town Board, be excepted from this requirement.
Rehabilitation of lands affected by sand or gravel operations shall be performed concurrently with such operations in accordance with the plan of rehabilitation and schedule of progress approved by the Town Board. In any event, rehabilitation shall commence within 30 days after termination of the permit without renewal, revocation of the permit or cessation of operations, whichever shall first occur, and shall be completed within two years, unless either such period shall be extended, for good cause, by the Town Board. Unless the Town Board shall determine otherwise, discontinuance of operations for a period of 12 months shall be presumed to be a cessation of operations. The permittee shall have the burden of rebutting the presumption and shall produce for this purpose such records, maps and plans as the Town Board shall require. Nominal or minimal operations performed for the purpose of avoiding the provisions of this section shall not defeat a determination by the Town Board that operations have been discontinued.
[Amended 12-17-1979 by L.L. No. 5-1979]
Access roads at all points, including but not limited to the entrance and exit thereof, shall be at least 200 feet from any existing residence or public building, except a residence situate within Plan A, as defined and set forth in § 205-5 of this chapter.
All trucks hauling materials from any operation shall be loaded in such a manner as not to spill materials on the public highways.
All materials used as fill shall be free from garbage, refuse, offal, combustible or any deleterious or unwholesome matter.
All areas on which topsoil or strippings have been respread as required hereinabove shall be prepared for and seeded with grass unless other vegetation or planting with vines or other covering is specified in an approved plan of rehabilitation.
No pit excavation shall be made unless provisions for the prevention of any accumulations of water are made, except that a settling pit may be maintained in connection with a washing process.
No removal of earth from the ground shall be so made as to undermine, weaken or deprive of support other lands in the vicinity, or to substantially obstruct, impede or change the course of or the natural movement or flow of surface water therein, or to otherwise adversely affect, any public waterway or public body of water or any waterway or body of water which is used as a part of any public drainage system.
All facilities for the crushing, screening, washing or processing of sand or gravel shall at all times be located only in the areas approved by the Town Board.
If the Town Board shall determine upon the request of an applicant for a permit that no substantial rehabilitation of the premises will become necessary as a result of the proposed operations, or on any application pertaining to an operation in existence at the time of enactment of this chapter, or whenever the applicant shall satisfy the Town Board that hardship or practical difficulty shall exist, the Town Board, in its discretion, may waive any or all of the requirements of this chapter by resolution of the Town Board, and the Town Clerk shall then issue the permit at the direction of the Town Board.
The holder of a permit to conduct a sand or gravel operation may cause the outside perimeter of the premises on which the sand or gravel operation is conducted to be posted with appropriate notices having dimensions of not less than 11 inches square containing the following language:
Such notice shall be posted not farther apart than 300 feet and shall be posted adjacent to and on both sides of each entrance into the premises on which such operation is being conducted.
No person other than those lawfully engaged in the operations thereon, or the Town Enforcement Officer, or any authorized Town representative shall enter on any premises posted as prescribed herein and for which a permit has been issued in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
Whenever a violation of this chapter occurs, any person may file a complaint in regard thereto. All such complaints must be in writing and shall be filed with the Town Enforcement Officer who shall investigate the same and report thereon to the Town Board.
Any and every violation of the provisions of this chapter by any person who knowingly permits, takes part or assists in any such violation shall be deemed to be an offense against such local law, punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. Each day's continued violation of this chapter after written notice thereof shall constitute a separate additional violation. Such fines or penalties shall be collected as like fines are now by law collected.
In addition to above-provided penalties and punishment, or in lieu thereof, the Town Board may also maintain an action or proceeding in the name of the Town in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or to restrain by injunction the violation of this chapter.
If the Town Enforcement Officer, or any authorized representative of the Town of Onondaga, finds that any sand or gravel operation permitted hereunder is not being conducted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, such facts shall thereupon be reported to the Town Board, and said Town Board may direct that an order, in writing, be served upon the holder of the permit, directing that the conditions therein specified be remedied within five days after date of service of such order. If such conditions are not corrected after the expiration of said five-day period, the Town Board may cause a notice, in writing, to be served upon the holder of said permit requiring the holder of said permit to appear before the Town Board of the Town of Onondaga at a time to be specified in such notice and show cause why such permit should not be revoked or suspended. The Town Board may, after a hearing at which testimony of witnesses may be taken and the holder of the permit shall be heard, revoke or suspend such permit if said Town Board shall find that said sand or gravel operation is not being conducted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, or for other sufficient cause. Upon the revocation or suspension of such permit, the holder of such permit shall forthwith comply with the terms of such order of revocation or suspension.
[Amended 11-21-1994 by L.L. No. 4-1994]
This chapter shall not be construed as a special exception or special use permit provision or in any way part of Chapter 285, Zoning, of the Code of the Town of Onondaga.