[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Morris 6-9-1960 by Ord. No. 11-60; amended in its entirety 9-18-1996 by Ord. No. 21-96 (Ch. 77 of the 1969 Code). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Includes any lot, parcel or tract of land in the Township of Morris shown on the Tax Map of said Township or designated on any other legally approved, filed map as a single unit of land, all parts of which are in the same ownership.
- Any soil other than topsoil.
- The surface soil and soil material to a depth of six inches' tillage, its equivalent in cultivated soil or the original or present A horizon plus B horizon if in the top six inches, as defined by the National Cooperative Soil Survey of the United States Department of Agriculture, before its removal or displacement for any purposes whatsoever during the course of land development or improvement. Topsoil shall be capable of supporting vegetation indigenous to the area.
Topsoil. No person shall excavate or otherwise remove topsoil for sale or for use other than on the premises from which the topsoil shall be taken without first having procured a permit therefor from the Township Committee.
Excluded from the requirements for a subsoil removal permit is the removal of the subsoil from the excavation for a foundation for a single-family home or addition thereto and the incidental related grading.
The Township Committee shall not consider any application for soil removal from the premises for sale or otherwise unless and until the owner of the premises shall first file with the Township Committee an application requesting such permission along with identification of the disposal site for the soil, together with a map of the premises showing the existing and proposed contour lines resulting from such intended removal of soil, a description of the volume of topsoil and/or subsoil to be removed and the total surface area to be disturbed. The map shall also include the soil erosion control measures proposed. No such permission for soil removal shall be issued until such map has been filed and until the proposed contour lines and grades have been approved by the Township Committee of the Township of Morris.
Any approval to remove soil granted is subject to the terms and conditions of a soil erosion control permit granted by the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Upon written request for a hearing made by the applicant to the Township Committee, an opportunity to be heard shall be granted within 45 days thereafter, and the Township Committee, in considering and reviewing the application and in arriving at the decision, shall take into consideration and be guided by the public health, safety and general welfare, and particular consideration shall be given to the following factors:
If, after examining the application and the map provided for in § 423-3 of this chapter, and after the hearing in the event a hearing is requested by the applicant, the Township Committee shall be of the opinion that the proposed soil removal will not create conditions inimical to the public health, welfare and safety and will not result in the creation of any sharp declivities, pits or depressions, soil erosion or fertility problems, depressed land values, nor create any drainage or sewerage problems or other conditions of danger, permission to remove the soil shall be granted.
If permission to remove the soil shall be granted, the owner or person in charge shall so conduct the operations that there shall be no sharp declivities, pits or depressions and in such a manner that the area shall be properly leveled off, cleared of debris and graded to conform to the contour lines and grades as approved by the Township Committee of the Township of Morris.
The owner of the premises or the person in charge of the removal of soil, when permission has been duly granted, shall retain the topsoil for a depth of six inches, which shall be set aside for retention on the premises and shall be respread over the premises when the rest of the soil has been removed, pursuant to level and contour lines approved by the Township Committee of the Township of Morris. All areas disturbed by such removal of soil shall be fertilized and seeded after construction to ensure a healthy growth of vegetation.
Before any permit or permission for soil removal shall be granted or issued, the owner or applicant shall file with the office of the Township Clerk a bond or cash guaranty, in form and with surety acceptable to the Township of Morris, in such amount as in the opinion of the Township Committee of the Township of Morris shall be sufficient to ensure the faithful performance of the work to be undertaken pursuant to the permission granted by the Township Committee pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
The amount shall be sufficient to guarantee repairs to any roads damaged by the removal, any soil erosion control measures required and topsoiling, fertilizing and seeding the area disturbed.
Such guaranty shall remain in effect until all work is complete and the new vegetation has become established.
No excavation shall be made and no soil shall be removed under the provisions of this chapter unless a permit therefor shall have been first obtained as provided herein, and no excavation shall be made and no soil shall be removed except in conformity with the provisions of this chapter.
Enforcement of the provisions of this chapter can be by the Building Department, Engineering Department, Police Department and/or Zoning Department.
Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be punishable as provided in § 1-3, General penalty, of this Code, in the discretion of the Judge of the Municipal Court before whom such conviction shall be had. Each day that any provision of this chapter shall have been violated and each and every violation and nonconformance with this chapter shall be construed as a separate and distinct violation thereof.