[HISTORY: Adopted by the Municipal Council of the City of Taunton as Rev. Ords. 1964, §§ 12-28 and 12-30 (Ch. 14, Art. II, of the 2010 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 8-6-1974; 4-22-1975; 11-9-1982]
It is the intent of this chapter to protect the best interests of the residents, taxpayers, and the environment of the City by:
Allowing the removal of such sod, loam, soil, clay, sand, gravel or stone as may be required to be excavated for the purpose of constructing foundations for buildings or other allowable structures for which building permits have been issued, or for the purpose of constructing ways in accordance with lines and grades approved by the Municipal Council, Planning Board, or Board of Appeals, or for the purpose of constructing utilities or other engineering works for public service, and the transferal of sod, loam, soil, clay, sand, gravel, or stone from one part of a lot, tract, or parcel of land to another part of the same lot, tract, or parcel of land in the same ownership.
Regulating and/or prohibiting the removal of earth materials from all existing earth removal sites.
Regulating and/or prohibiting the removal of earth materials from the boundaries of any proposed new site or the expansion of an existing site.
Prohibiting the use of land for a sanitary landfill operation unless a special permit has been granted by the Municipal Council in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
Prohibiting the removal and/or relocation of earth materials within 200 feet of any open body of water or wetlands as defined by MGL c. 131, § 40.
Requiring that all other permits or licenses applicable to the project which is the subject of the application be first obtained prior to the public hearing before the Municipal Council.
[Amended 8-6-1974; 11-9-1982]
Pursuant to the provisions of MGL c. 40, § 21(17), the removal or relocation of all earth materials within the City is hereafter regulated or prohibited as herein provided.
[Amended 8-6-1974; 11-9-1982; 7-11-2000]
There is hereby created an Earth Removal Board to administer and enforce this chapter. The Board shall be comprised of the following City officials or their respective designees: City Engineer, Building Inspector, Supervisor of Streets, Executive Director of the Board of Health, Director of Planning and Conservation, Police Chief, and Conservation Agent. The City Engineer shall serve as Chairperson of the Board. The Director of Planning and Conservation shall serve as clerk and provide clerical support to the Board.
The Board shall have the authority to see that this chapter is properly enforced. It shall adopt rules and regulations that are not inconsistent with the intent of this chapter and shall file such rules and regulations with the office of the City Clerk. Copies of the rules and regulations along with the application form are available from the Chairperson of the Earth Removal Board and the City Clerk's office.
[Amended 8-6-1974; 11-9-1982; 8-8-2000]
Existing sites. The following provisions shall apply to existing sites:
If a site is found to be without a valid permit, the Board shall instruct the owner of record to cease all operations.
New sites or expansion of existing sites. As to new sites or as to expansion of existing sites:
The Board shall prepare an application form which shall require sufficient information to enable the Council to make a rational determination of the impact of the new site.
All applications shall be submitted to the Board together with a filing fee of $100. Applicant shall also pay for cost of publishing and mailing of notices.
After reviewing the comments of the above agencies, or if 21 days elapse without such reviews or comments having been received, and meeting with the applicant or his/her agent at the proposed site, the Board shall forward the application to the Municipal Council along with its recommendations and the reasons for said recommendations within 36 days after the date of filing the application; provided, however, that the application shall not be forwarded to the Council until the Board has received from the applicant proof that he/she has obtained all other permits and licenses necessary for the proposed operation from all other municipal boards and agencies having jurisdiction over the site. Said proof shall be forwarded to the Council along with the application. Any application submitted to the Council without such proof shall be considered incomplete, and the Council need not take any action concerning the same.
Upon receipt of a complete application from the Board, the Municipal Council shall, within 65 days, hold a public hearing on the same and cause notice of the same to be mailed by certified mail to all abutting property owners (including those across the street) of record in the Assessors' office. Notice shall also be posted in the local newspaper at least 15 days prior to the date of the hearing.
Based on the testimony at the hearing and the Board's recommendation, the Council shall, within 90 days from the date of the hearing, make a determination whether such operation is in the best interests of the City. If the determination is positive, the Council may condition the permit so as to minimize the adverse impact of the operation, and the Board shall be responsible for enforcing those conditions. If the determination is negative, the application shall be denied.
The Council shall include the following factors in its consideration to the extent that they are applicable:
Groundwater table protection;
Local aquifers protection;
Aquifer recharge areas and wetlands protection;
Floodplains and lake shore protection;
One-hundred-year stormwater runoff;
Eutrophication of lakes and rivers;
Erosion, sedimentation and siltation;
Soil characteristics (soil logs);
Ambient air quality;
Ambient noise levels;
Esthetic affects to the neighborhood;
Public street conditions and design, including bridges;
Population and housing densities;
Proximity to public and private educational and recreational activities;
Off-site disposal of stumps and boulders;
Accessory uses and activities;
Highest and best use of property;
Reclamation plan and property reuse;
Project schedule and operation hours;
Agricultural, historical, and archaeological significance;
Significant forest and field wildlife habitats for endangered species (flora and fauna);
Scope and elevation (contour) impacts to the surrounding area;
Earth removal benefits to the City; and
Operational impacts to the neighborhood and environment during site development, operation, closure and post closure.
Permitted sites; amendments. Any holder of an existing permit requesting a modification of the earth removal permit shall submit a plan showing sections completed, sections to be completed and reasons for the request. The Municipal Council shall then make a determination as to whether the amendment is a minor or major change in the approved plan. Minor changes shall be heard and decided by the Earth Removal Board without a public hearing, and major changes shall require a public hearing in front of the Municipal Council.
Changes and/or amendments to the approved earth removal permit, including but not limited to the conditions in the permit, limits of work, the reclamation plan, the time limits for completion, etc., shall require an amendment to the permit and shall follow the requirements of Subsection C above.
Expiration of the earth removal permit shall not influence the reclamation plan which shall not expire.
This chapter shall not be deemed to prohibit the removal of such sod, loam, soil, clay, sand, gravel, or stone as is required to be excavated for the purpose of constructing foundations for buildings or other allowable structures, for which building permits have been issued, or for the purpose of constructing ways in accordance with lines and grades approved by the City Engineer and the Planning Board, or for the purpose of constructing utilities or other engineering works for public service, or for the construction of septic plans approved by the Board of Health, nor shall this chapter be deemed to prohibit the transferal of sod, loam, soil, clay, sand, gravel, or stone from one part of a lot, tract, or parcel of land to another part of the same lot, tract, or parcel of land in the same ownership.
The removal and/or relocation of earth materials within 200 feet of any significant open body of water or wetlands, as defined by MGL c. 131, § 40, is prohibited. Earth removal permits presently in existence and subject to future renewal applications after the adoption of these amendments shall not be subject to this subsection.