[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Sharon as Art. 12A of the Town Bylaws. Amendments noted where applicable.]
In order to protect the welfare of the inhabitants of the Town, the following Earth Removal Bylaw is adopted pursuant to the provisions of MGL c. 40, § 21, Paragraph 17.
The following provision shall be applicable in the Single Residence, Suburban, Rural, Housing Authority and General Residence Zoning Districts: The stripping or removal from any land of soil, loam, gravel, sand or any other earth material is permitted within these zoning districts, provided that such stripping or removal is actually necessary for the construction of a building, structure, well, tank, pool, driveway, parking area, path, other building appurtenance, sidewalk or road, in which case the amount of earth materials to be stripped and removed shall be limited to the volume of the foundation and basement of the building, structure, well, tank, pool or other building appurtenance or to the volume of the bed of the driveway, parking area, path, sidewalk or road and such other amount as shall be required for grading and sloping in connection with any of the foregoing; or is actually necessary as part of a bona fide farm, garden, nursery, lawn making, planting, recreational or cemetery activity or takes place on land in public use; and provided further that except (1) when taking place on land in public use, or (2) where the earth material to be stripped or removed from any parcel of land in any calendar year shall not exceed in the aggregate 25 cubic yards, a special use permit authorizing each such stripping or removal shall have been obtained in advance from the Select Board members, who may impose such conditions as shall safeguard the Town and the neighborhood. Each such special use permit shall require the preservation of the natural contour of the land wherever feasible, and no such special use permit shall authorize the removal of loam beyond the geographical limits of the Town. It is intended by this clause that the stripping or removal of any earth material from any parcel of land, for which a preliminary or definitive subdivision plan had been prepared, shall be allowed only in the same manner as the stripping or removal from any other land in the Town. Consequently, tentative or final approval of a subdivision plan by the Planning Board shall not be construed as authorizing the stripping or removal of any material, even though in connection with the construction of streets shown on the plan. For the purpose of this clause, the term "parcel of land" shall be construed to mean all adjoining lots or tracts in common ownership.
The following provision shall be applicable in the Industrial Zoning District: The moving of sod, loam, gravel and other earth materials from place to place within the Light Industrial Zoning Districts and the removal of soil materials other than sod and loam from the Light Industrial Districts are permitted within industrial districts, provided such moving or removal is authorized by a special use permit from the Select Board. Such permit shall be made subject to appropriate conditions, limitations and safeguards designed to protect area property owners from noise, dust or prolonged scars on the landscape, to safeguard lives and property, and to prevent unnecessary destruction of natural vegetation and original contours, and to protect the Town against costs or expenses occasioned upon the Town by such removal. Excavation and grading authorized by this section shall not exceed in depth and slope the contours as approved by the Select Board.
All applications for such special use permits shall be accompanied by exhibits and documentation deemed necessary by the Board for the proper issuance of a permit, which may include the following:
Name and address of the legal owner of the land in question.
Name and address of petitioner, if different.
Names and addresses of all owners of property within 100 feet of the land.
Plans of the land prepared by a registered engineer or land surveyor and indicating: tract boundaries, adjacent streets and roads, the limits of the proposed excavation, the location of all structures within 200 feet of said limits, original topography by five-foot contours, proposed final contours at five-foot intervals, and the location and proposed use of all structures and buildings to be used in connection with the removal operation. All such plans shall indicate a division of the land into acres.
A plan of the site indicating the depth of loam before excavation of intervals of 100 feet by means of a surveyed grid.
Statement of plans for the disposal of rock, tree stumps, and other waste materials, and for the drainage of the site and excavation during and after the removal operation.
A plan and specification, prepared by a registered engineer or land surveyor, for the final grading and restoration of the site.
Upon receipt of an application for a permit for earth removal:
The Board shall appoint a time and place for a public hearing, notice of which shall be given to the applicant and shall be published at least 14 days before such hearing in a newspaper having a circulation in the Town.
The Board shall inspect the site covered by the application.
The Conservation Commission shall be given a copy of the plans and application for review and comment at least 14 days before a public hearing.
A fee as determined by the Board shall be charged for making an application and shall reflect the cost of the Town to review such application.
A reasonable fee shall be charged for each permit issued, in accordance with a schedule published by the Board, based on the volume of gravel removal authorized by the permit. In addition, the Board has the authority to retain a qualified professional engineer or other qualified experts for the purpose of insuring that the provisions of this bylaw and the permit are complied with. Such engineers or experts may be retained at any time either before or during the term of the permit. As a condition of the issuance of an earth removal permit, the petitioner shall agree to reimburse the Town of Sharon for all such engineering and other fees and expenses or damages caused to the Town, including, without limitation, damages caused to public ways associated with the permit.
Any person, firm, or corporation willfully violating, disobeying, or refusing to comply with any of the provisions of this bylaw shall be prosecuted under the terms of MGL c. 40, § 21, Paragraph 17, and shall be subject to a fine of $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second offense, and $200 for any subsequent offense. Each day of noncompliance shall constitute a separate offense. The Board may revoke or suspend the permit of any person, firm or corporation holding a permit under this bylaw if such person, etc. violates, disobeys, or fails to comply with any of the provisions of this bylaw.