[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Riverhead 5-7-2002 by L.L. No. 11-2002 (Ch. 107 of the 1976 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board of Riverhead finds that rapid growth, the spread of development and increasing demands upon natural resources are encroaching upon, despoiling, polluting or eliminating many of its watercourses, tidal wetlands, freshwater wetlands, watershed lands, and other natural resources and processes associated therewith which, if preserved and maintained in an undisturbed and natural condition, constitute important physical, social, aesthetic, recreational and economic assets to existing and future residents of the Town.
It is the intent of the Town Board to protect the citizens of the Town of Riverhead by providing for the protection, preservation, proper maintenance and use of its watercourses, tidal wetlands, freshwater wetlands, watershed lands, and other natural resources in order to minimize their disturbance, prevent damage from erosion, turbidity, siltation or saltwater intrusion, prevent the loss of fish, shellfish or other beneficial marine organisms, aquatic wildlife and vegetation and the destruction of the natural habitat thereof, prevent the danger of flood and storm tide damage and pollution and to otherwise protect the quality of watercourses, tidal wetlands, freshwater wetlands, watershed lands, underground water reserves, and beaches for their conservational, economic, aesthetic, recreational values and other public uses, and, further, to protect the Town's potable fresh water supplies from the dangers of drought, overdraft, pollution and misuse or mismanagement. Therefore, the Town Board declares that regulation of the watercourses, tidal wetlands, freshwater wetlands, and watershed lands of Riverhead Town is essential to the health, safety and economic and general welfare of the people of Riverhead Town, and for their interest.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Tidal and Freshwater Wetlands Law of the Town of Riverhead."
The following terms, phrases, words and their derivatives shall have the meanings given herein:
- A. The activity of an individual farmer or other landowner in:
- (1) Grazing and watering livestock;
- (2) Making reasonable use of water resources for agricultural purposes;
- (3) Harvesting the natural products of wetlands;
- (4) The selective cutting of trees;
- (5) The clear-cutting of vegetation, other than trees, for growing agricultural products;
- (6) Constructing winter truck roads of less than five meters (approximately 16 feet) in width for removing timber cut in accordance with Subsection A(4) of this definition, where construction is limited to cutting vegetation and compacting ice and does not alter water flows;
- (7) Operating motor vehicles for agricultural purposes;
- (8) Draining for growing agricultural products;
- (9) Erecting structures, including fences, required to enhance or maintain the agricultural productivity of the land;
- (10) Using chemicals and fertilizers according to normally accepted agricultural practices, in order to grow crops for human and animal consumption or use, in or adjacent to wetlands, where authorized by other state, federal or local laws, including application of stabilized sludge as fertilizer wherein applied at agronomic loading rates in accordance with a valid 6 NYCRR Part 360 or Part 364 landspreading permit; or
- (11) Otherwise engaging in the use of wetlands for growing agricultural products such as crops, vegetables, fruits or flowers; but
- B. Does not mean:
- (1) Clear-cutting trees;
- (2) Constructing roads that require moving earth or other aggregate or that alter water flow in any way deviates from Subsection A(6) of this definition;
- (3) Filling or deposition of spoil, even for agricultural purposes;
- (4) Mining; or
- (5) Erecting structures not required to enhance or maintain the agricultural productivity of the land.
- A. As applied to the act of clearing, the act of removing trees or any part thereof, brush, or other vegetation and/or ground cover from land, whether by any means, including but not limited to digging, scraping, cutting, brush hogging, bulldozing, burning, chemical removal or by any form of mechanical actions. As used herein, the term "ground cover" shall include naturally occurring understory vegetation (e.g., low bush blueberry or huckleberry) as well as leaf litter and other organic detritus.
- B. As applied to an area of land, all land which has been altered from its natural state by the removal of trees, brush, or other vegetation and/or ground cover. As used herein, the term "natural state" shall mean and refer to the natural condition of land without substantial alteration by human activity.
[Added 4-17-2007 by L.L. No. 10-2007]
- COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
- That Comprehensive Master Plan of the Town for the development of the entire area of the municipality showing existing and proposed facilities, endorsed by the Planning Board and adopted by the Town Board.
- ECOLOGICALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
- Those areas with one or more of the following characteristics:[Added 4-17-2007 by L.L. No. 10-2007]
- A. High biological productivity and/or relatively intact natural processes. Examples include wetlands, creeks and areas within bays and harbors, and near-shore areas of widgeon grass and eelgrass.
- B. High-quality breeding or habitat value to wildlife or plants.
- C. Habitat that supports New York State protected species (endangered, threatened, rare).
- D. Areas identified in the regional or local plans as having exceptional aesthetic or scenic quality.
- Any land area susceptible to being inundated by a one-hundred-year or five-hundred-year flood event as indicated on a Flood Insurance Rate Map for the Town of Riverhead as promulgated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
- FRESHWATER WETLANDS
- Lands and waters as indicated on, but not limited to, the
Freshwater Wetlands Map for Suffolk County promulgated by the Department
of Environmental Conservation pursuant to the Freshwater Wetlands
Act and the Riverhead Freshwater Wetlands Inventory (1979), as may
be amended from time to time, which contain any or all of the following:[Amended 4-17-2007 by L.L. No. 10-2007]
- A. Lands and submerged lands commonly called "marshes," "swamps," "sloughs," "bogs," "streams" (whether natural or altered), and "flats" supporting aquatic or semiaquatic vegetation of the following types:
- (1) Wetland trees, which depend upon seasonal or permanent flooding or sufficiently waterlogged soils to give them a competitive advantage over other trees, including, among others, red maple (Acer rubrum), willows (Salix spp.), tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica), black spruce (Picea mariana), swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor), green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), black ash (Fraxinus nigra), silver maple (Acer saccharinum), American elm (Ulmus americana) and larch (Larix laricina);
- (2) Wetland shrubs, which depend upon seasonal or permanent flooding or sufficiently waterlogged soils to give them a competitive advantage over other shrubs, including, among others, alder (Alnus spp.), buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), bog rosemary (Andromeda glaucophylla), dogwoods (Cornus spp.), leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata), swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscosum), sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia), and spice bush (Lindera benzoin);
- (3) Emergent vegetation, including, among others, cattails (Typha spp.), pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata), bulrushes (Scirpus spp.), arrow arum (Peltandra virginica), arrowheads (Sagittaria spp.), reed (Phragmites australis), wildrice (Zizania aquatica), bur-reeds (Sparganium spp.), purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), swamp loosestrife (Decodon verticillatus), water plantain (Alisma plantago-aquafica) and sedges (Carex spp.);
- (4) Rooted, floating-leaved vegetation, including, among others, waterlily (Nymphaea odorata), watershield (Brasenia schreberi), and spatterdock (Nuphar spp.);
- (5) Free-floating vegetation, including, among others, duckweed (Lemna spp.), big duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza), and watermeal (Wolffia spp.);
- (6) Wet meadow vegetation, which depends upon seasonal or permanent flooding or sufficiently waterlogged soil to give it a competitive advantage over other open land vegetation, including, among others, sedges (Carex spp.), rushes (Juncus spp.), cattails (Typha spp.), rice cutgrass (Leersia oryzoides), reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea), swamp loosestrife (Decodon verticillatus) and spike rush (Eleocharis spp.);
- (7) Bog mat vegetation, including, among others, sphagnum mosses (Sphagnum spp.), bog rosemary (Andromeda glaucophylla), leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata), pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea), and cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon and V. oxycoccos);
- (8) Submergent vegetation, including, among others, pondweed (Potamogeton spp.), naiads (Najas spp.), bladderworts (Utricularia spp.), wild celery (Vallisneria americana), coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum), watermilfoils (Myriophyllum spp.), muskgrass (Chara spp.), stonewort (Nitella spp.), waterweeds (Elodea spp.), and water smartweed (Polygonum amphibium);
- B. Lands and submerged lands containing remnants of any vegetation that is not aquatic or semiaquatic that has died because of wet conditions over a sufficient long period, provided that such wet conditions do not exceed a maximum seasonal water depth of six feet, and provided further that such conditions can be expected to persist indefinitely, barring human intervention;
- INVASIVE VEGETATION
- Vegetation that possesses both of the following traits:[Added 4-17-2007 by L.L. No. 10-2007]
- LOT AREA
- The total horizontal area contained within and enclosed by the outer boundary lines of any lot; "lot area" shall not include that portion of a lot which contains a tidal or freshwater wetland as defined herein.
- Includes but is not limited to soil, sand, gravel, clay, bog, peat, mud, debris and refuse or any other material, organic or inorganic.
- NATIVE VEGETATION
- Vegetation comprised of plant species which are indigenous
to Long Island and that under ordinary circumstances have proved to
be locally noninvasive and which reasonably can be expected to naturally
occur on a site.[Added 4-17-2007 by L.L. No. 10-2007]
- NATURAL DRAINAGE SYSTEM
- Consists of those uplands and watercourses, including but
not limited to those tidal wetlands designated on the New York State
Department of Environmental Control Official Tidal Wetlands Map, freshwater
wetlands designated on the Freshwater Wetlands Map for Suffolk County
and the Riverhead Freshwater Wetlands Inventory (1979), as amended
from time to time. Such lands and waters may include but are not limited
to all uplands exhibiting 15% or greater slopes, all fresh, salt or
brackish water, swamps, bogs, marshes, streams, vernal ponds, ponds
and lakes, whether intermittently or permanently saturated or covered
by ground, surface or tidal waters.[Amended 4-17-2007 by L.L. No. 10-2007]
- Use or activity, removal, deposition or construction operations, or all of these.
- PEAK LUNAR TIDES
- Those excessively high tides or spring tides caused by lunar gravitational phenomena.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, organization or legal entity of any kind, including municipal corporations, governmental agencies or subdivisions thereof.
- Includes dig, dredge, suck, bulldoze, dragline or blast.
- TIDAL WETLANDS or WETLANDS
- Any lands delineated as tidal wetlands on the Tidal Wetlands Map of Riverhead promulgated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Such lands shall comprise the following classifications as delineated on such map:
- UNITED STATES COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY CONTOUR
- Those elevations established on contour maps of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey.
- Includes all lands at elevations above the most landward edge of the tidal marsh and/or above peak lunar tides or peak storm tides of record.
- All permanent or intermittent water bodies other than tidal
waters, including freshwater streams, marshes, swamps, bogs, vernal
ponds, ponds and lakes.[Amended 4-17-2007 by L.L. No. 10-2007]
- WATERSHED LANDS
- All land surface areas bounded peripherally by a water parting and draining ultimately to a particular watercourse. Such lands shall include all surface water catchment areas or drainage basins from which the watercourses are drawn via surface drainage.
- WETLANDS DELINEATOR
- A wetlands delineator shall have the following qualifications:
either a bachelors degree in wildlife management, fisheries management,
forestry, ecology, hydrology or a closely related field; an associates
degree in one of the above fields and two years' full-time experience
in work closely associated with wetlands protection; and any other
training and experience which assures a technical knowledge of wetlands
and their functions and benefits.[Added 11-8-2006 by L.L. No. 43-2006]
[Amended 4-17-2007 by L.L. No. 10-2007]
It shall be unlawful for any person, without obtaining a written permit issued by the Town of Riverhead, to:
Place or deposit, or permit to be placed or deposited, debris, fill or any materials, including structures, into or within 150 feet of the boundary of any freshwater wetlands, natural or altered drainage systems, or other watercourses, or within 300 feet of the boundary of any tidal water or tidal wetlands.
Dig, dredge, clear any vegetation or in any other way alter or remove any material in or within 150 feet of any freshwater wetlands, natural or altered drainage systems, or other watercourses, or within 300 feet of the boundary of any tidal water or tidal wetlands.
Plant, seed, cultivate or maintain, with the use of fertilizer or pesticide, any lands other than those exempted under § 295-5B(6), unless the occupier of the land maintains a natural buffer of at least 75 feet from any tidal water, tidal wetlands, freshwater wetlands, natural or altered drainage systems, or other watercourses.
Construct groins, docks, bulkheads, dwellings, roads, or other nonaccessory use structures in or within 150 feet of the boundary of any freshwater wetlands, natural or altered drainage systems, or other watercourses, or within 300 feet of the boundary of any tidal water or tidal wetlands.
Build, create, or install any new cesspool, septic tank, leaching field or other in-ground sewage or other waste disposal or storage system, including any pipe, conduit or other part thereof, or any aboveground or in-ground holding tank for any liquid other than water, upon, under, or within 150 feet of the boundary of freshwater wetlands, natural or altered drainage systems, or other watercourses, or within 300 feet of the boundary of any tidal water or tidal wetlands.
The acts set forth in § 295-4 are permissible if done pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit approved by the board or department vested with the authority to review, approve, approve with conditions, or deny an application for the proposed activity or use and/or related to an activity or use, i.e., application to construct bulkhead on residential lot, Building Department; deposit fill within 150 feet boundary of freshwater wetlands related to a site plan, Planning Board. To the extent the provisions of the Town Code do not identify the board or department vested with the authority to review, approve, approve with conditions, or deny the application, the Town Board shall have the authority to approve, approve with conditions or deny the application. As set forth in the provisions below, the Planning Department, acting on behalf of the board or department vested with the authority to render a decision to approve, approve with conditions, or deny the application, shall refer all applications to the Conservation Advisory Council for report and recommendation.
[Amended 9-3-2014 by L.L. No. 12-2014]
The following operations and uses are permitted in the tidal waters, tidal wetlands, freshwater wetlands, natural drainage systems, or other watercourses as a matter of right, subject to the provisions of § 295-4:
Conservation of soil, vegetation, water fish, shellfish and wildlife.
Outdoor recreation, including play and sporting areas, field trials, nature study, hiking, horseback riding, swimming, skindiving, camping, boating, waterskiing, trapping, hunting, fishing and shellfishing where otherwise legally permitted and regulated.
Operation of dams and other water-control devices, including temporary alteration or diversion of water levels or circulation for emergency, maintenance or aquaculture purposes.
Boat anchorage or mooring.
Uses accessory to residential or other permitted primary uses of adjoining lands or waters, provided that they are consistent with the intent and objectives of this chapter.
Agricultural activities are exempt in accordance with NYS Environmental Conservation Law Article 24, Title 5, and Title 7, § 24-0701.
Portions of any single lot or subdivision within tidal waters, tidal wetlands, freshwater wetlands, natural drainage systems, or other watercourses may not be used in calculating the area and yard requirements for the zoning district in which the remainder of the lot or subdivision is situated.
The valuation placed on lands within tidal waters, tidal wetlands, freshwater wetlands, natural drainage systems, or other watercourses for purposes of real estate taxation shall take into account and be limited by the limitation on future use of such land, provided that the landowner grants to the Town a permanent scenic or conservation easement to run with the land. Such easement shall not necessarily include public access, but shall give to the Town all development and management rights upon the land subject to the easement. The value of such easement shall be a legal income tax deduction subject to Internal Revenue Code, B, Statutes and Rulings, § 170, Charitable, etc., Contributions and Gifts.
All applications for a permit to do any of the acts regulated or permitted by §§ 295-4 and 295-5 shall present an original and three copies of the completed application, together with other required information outlined in this chapter, to the Planning Department and an application fee of $100. All applications and copies thereof must be accompanied by or include the following information:
[Amended 11-8-2006 by L.L. No. 43-2006; 4-17-2007 by L.L. No. 10-2007; 9-3-2014 by L.L. No. 12-2014]
The name and address of the applicant and the applicant's agent, if any, and whether the applicant is the owner, lessee, licensee, etc. If the applicant is not the owner, the written consent of the owner, duly acknowledged, must be attached.
The purpose of the proposed removal or deposition operations, use or activity.
The amount of material proposed to be removed or deposited or the type of use.
A description of the area in which such removal, deposition or use is proposed. The description shall be by bearing distance and based upon the Lambert Projection. North and east coordinates of the starting point shall be given.
The depth to which removal or deposition operations are proposed and the angle of repose of all slopes, including deposited materials and sides of channels or excavations resulting from removal operations.
The manner in which material will be removed or deposited, structure installed or use carried out.
In the case of an application for a permit to clear native vegetation under § 295-4, the application must contain:
The location of all existing and proposed buildings, structures, utility lines, sewers, water and storm drains, easements, roads, trails, rights-of-way and utilities on the property or within 150 feet of the boundary of a freshwater wetland or 300 feet within a boundary of a tidal wetland.
The location of all existing and proposed impervious surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks, etc., on the property.
The location and types of all existing and proposed vegetation and shrub masses, as well as all trees with a diameter of six inches or more within the property. This section should include a detailed description of the clearing proposed and diagrams of native vegetation cover on the property before and after the proposed clearing.
The location of all ecologically sensitive areas, including critical wildlife habitat and a listing of wildlife species that utilize the habitat.
The locations of bluff line or primary dune crest, if applicable.
The flood zone designation according to FEMA, if applicable.
The permit application shall be accompanied by:
A survey and topographical map, with contours shown at two-foot intervals and the area of removal, deposition, use or construction indicated.
All maps shall be certified by a registered land surveyor or professional engineer, both licensed in the State of New York.
The survey and topographical map shall show the boundary of relevant wetlands. The soundings, depth or height of the proposed removal and deposition area will also be indicated on the survey. The vertical control for elevation and soundings shall be based upon United States Coast and Geodetic Survey datum.
If the site in question is affected by tidal waters, the floodplain elevations will be indicated on the submitted topographic map.
The names and addresses of all owners of lands contiguous to lands and waters where proposed operations will take place.
A listing of the predominant tidal or freshwater wetland plant species on site.
A performance bond or other security representing no more than 5% of the estimated cost of the proposed operation as designated by the Town Board.
This chapter does not obviate the necessity for the applicant to obtain the assent of or a permit required by any other agency before proceeding with operations under an approved Town Board permit. Approvals or permits which may be required by the Town Board, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Suffolk County Department of Health Services, State Water Resources Commission, Army Corps of Engineers or others are solely the responsibility of the applicant. No operations shall be initiated by the applicant until such other permits as may be required are issued.
All applications for building permits, proposed subdivision maps or any development within 150 feet of the boundary of freshwater wetlands, natural or altered drainage systems, or other watercourses, or within 300 feet of the boundary of any tidal water or tidal wetlands, shall be reviewed by the Town Conservation Advisory Council. The Council shall file its report with the Town Board as provided in § 295-7B.
[Amended 4-17-2007 by L.L. No. 10-2007]
The Director of the Planning Department shall retain the original permit application for his/her files and distribute one copy each to the board or department vested with the authority to make a decision to approve, approve with conditions or deny the application, the Conservation Advisory Council, and any other board, department or agency deemed interested or involved in the application.
[Amended 4-17-2007 by L.L. No. 10-2007; 9-3-2014 by L.L. No. 12-2014]
The Conservation Advisory Council shall commence review within 30 days of referral from the Planning Department. The Conservation Advisory Council shall issue a report and recommendation to approve, approve with conditions or deny the application within 60 days from the initial referral to the Conservation Advisory Council. In the event that an application is determined to be incomplete and/or additional information is requested by the Conservation Advisory Council, the Conservation Advisory Council shall advise the applicant within 30 days from the date of referral and grant applicant 30 days to provide the information and/or supplement the application. The sixty-day time period to issue a report and recommendation shall not apply where an environmental impact statement is to be prepared by the applicant, in which case said sixty-day period shall not commence until a final environmental impact statement has been accepted by the lead agency exercising jurisdiction over the project.
[Amended 9-3-2014 by L.L. No. 12-2014]
The Conservation Advisory Council shall deliver a copy of the report and recommendation to the Planning Department, and, in turn, the Planning Department shall deliver a copy to the board or department vested with authority to approve, approve with conditions, or deny the application and mail a copy to the applicant within five days of receipt of the Conservation Advisory Council's report and recommendation. The Town Board, Planning Board, or Building Department, as the case may be, may approve, modify or reject the recommendation of the Conservation Advisory Council within 15 days of receipt of the report and recommendation. Such fifteen-day period shall commence upon the lapse of three days from mailing of a copy of the decision of the Conservation Advisory Council to the applicant or service upon the board or department, whichever shall be later. In the event that the board or department seeks to modify or reject the recommendation of the Conservation Advisory Council, the board or department shall publish its decision, including its findings of fact and conclusions, in the official newspaper of the Town, except an application within the jurisdiction of the Town Board shall require that the Town Board hold a public hearing upon reasonable notice published in the official newspaper of the Town prior to modification or rejection of the Conservation Advisory Council's recommendation. The Town Board shall, after the required public hearing, then render a decision to deny, approve or approve with conditions the permit application. In rendering a decision of approval, approval with conditions or denial of a permit, the Town Board shall state, in writing, its findings of fact and conclusions. The decision shall be transmitted to the Town Clerk, who will advise the applicant of such decision by transmitting a copy of the permit application to the applicant, together with the decision and conditions, if any, imposed by the Town Board.
[Amended 9-3-2014 by L.L. No. 12-2014]
All decisions regarding a permit application shall be judicially reviewable.
[Amended 9-3-2014 by L.L. No. 12-2014]
Based upon the proceedings and decision of the court in the event a taking is declared, the Town may, within the time specified by the court, elect to:
Institute condemnation proceedings to acquire the applicant's land in fee by purchase at the fair market value.
Approve the permit application with lesser restrictions or conditions.
Invalidate all conditions and the application of this chapter to the plaintiff's land and grant a permit without conditions.
The permit holder or his agent shall keep posted, in a conspicuous place on the work site, the permit card and shall keep the same posted until the completion of the work.
[Amended 11-8-2006 by L.L. No. 43-2006]
Operations conducted under the permit shall be open to inspection at any time by any agency or agent of Riverhead Town.
The boundaries of the wetlands must be clearly indicated in the field for the purposes of inspection by any agency or agent of Riverhead Town.
[Added 4-17-2007 by L.L. No. 10-2007]
The Conservation Advisory Council shall use the following criteria when evaluating an application for a permit under § 295-7 to clear native vegetation, unless the applicant demonstrates that the proposed clearing:
[Amended 9-3-2014 by L.L. No. 12-2014]
Will not result in net loss of wetland functions and values;
Will not adversely affect the conservation of fish or wildlife or their habitats, or adversely affect recreational fisheries or their habitats;
Will not adversely impact protected species or their habitat;
Incorporates into the design alternatives and modifications to avoid or mitigate impacts to native vegetation;
Complies fully with the preservation and restoration priorities of Chapter 287 of the Riverhead Town Code;
Includes all reasonable mitigation measures to ensure that native vegetation and/or its benefits will not be adversely affected; and
Stormwater runoff shall not be diverted so as to impact existing or natural altered drainage systems, create flooding, cause erosion or cause the need for additional drainage facilities on other private or public real property.
Nothing shall preclude the Town from requiring reasonable measures to avoid, minimize or mitigate adverse impacts to native vegetation created by the proposed use or activity as it deems necessary to implement the intent of this chapter.
The permit applicant, upon approval of a permit, shall file with the Town Clerk a performance bond, if required, in an amount and with sureties and in a form approved by the Town Board. The bond and sureties shall be conditioned upon compliance with all provisions of this chapter and conditions imposed upon permit approval.
The applicant shall certify that he has public liability insurance against any liability which might result from proposed operations or use covering any and all damage which might occur within three years of completion of such operations. The amount of liability insurance coverage shall be a minimum of $500,000 for all accidents resulting in bodily injury or death and $100,000 for property damage.
The applicant shall also submit to the Town Clerk an affidavit which indemnifies and saves harmless the Town or any agency or agent thereof from any claims arising out of or connected with operations under the permit and from all acts, omissions, commissions or negligence on the part of the applicant, his agents or employees.
In the case of removal, deposition, placement of structures and other operations or uses permitted within tidal waters, tidal wetlands, freshwater wetlands, natural drainage systems or other watercourses, the Town Board shall reserve the right to require payments to the Town in an amount and in such manner as the Town Board shall direct.
The Town Board shall reserve the right to require a permit or license for any operations or uses permitted in the tidal waters, tidal wetlands, freshwater wetlands, natural drainage systems, or other watercourses.
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by any Code Enforcement Official or police officers of the Town of Riverhead, who shall be authorized to issue appearance tickets to violators at the site of the violation.
[Amended 11-8-2006 by L.L. No. 43-2006]
A violation of this chapter is hereby declared to be an offense punishable by a fine not exceeding $5,000 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both. Each day's continued violation of this chapter will constitute a separate additional violation.
[Amended 11-8-2006 by L.L. No. 43-2006]
Nothing herein will prevent the proper local authorities of the Town from taking such other lawful actions or proceedings as may be necessary to restrain, correct or abate any violation of this chapter.
Any person, firm, corporation or entity violating the provisions of this chapter shall become liable to the Town for any expense or loss or damage occasioned the Town by reason of such violation.
In addition to any penalties, fines, forfeitures or injunctions that may be imposed pursuant to this § 295-10, an applicant who files an application for a permit pursuant to § 295-7, after a violation of this chapter has occurred, shall pay an application fee of $300 in addition to the application fee of $100 provided for in § 295-6.
[Amended 11-8-2006 by L.L. No. 43-2006]
Any structures, dwellings, construction or operations existing within tidal waters, tidal wetlands, freshwater wetlands, natural drainage systems, or other watercourses shall be exempt from this chapter and permitted to continue, provided that:
No new construction, structures, dwellings or operations will be permitted after the effective date of this chapter, except by permit as provided herein.
Where damage or hazardous conditions exist, the landowner may be required by the Town Board to repair such damage or remedy such hazardous conditions as the Town Board may direct.
Notwithstanding anything in this chapter to the contrary, no permit in accordance with § 295-4 shall be required for:
The placement, restoration or rehabilitation, in place and in kind, of a documented existing coastal erosion structure, dock, piling or dolphin which has been damaged or destroyed, provided that a building permit is first obtained for such repair, replacement, restoration, or rehabilitation, and provided further that application for such building permit has been made within one year of the occurrence of the damage or destruction necessitating the proposed work, and providing the materials to be used, method of installation and disposal of material removed are approved in writing by the Building Department.
Minor maintenance, in place and in kind, to any documented existing coastal erosion structure or dock, provided that each of the following conditions are satisfied:
The maintenance work proposed does not exceed an aggregate of 25% of the total existing dock or linear footage of bulkhead;
The materials to be used, method of installation and disposal of material removed are approved in writing by the Building Department;
A building permit is first obtained incorporating such reasonable conditions as may be necessary; and
No minor maintenance building permits totaling an aggregate of more than 25% have been issued within the prior three years.
[Added 11-8-2006 by L.L. No. 43-2006]
The Town of Riverhead Freshwater Wetlands Inventory may be amended from time to time either by Town Board initiative or at the request of the property owner or his/her authorized agent. The procedures and criteria for amending the Town of Riverhead Freshwater Wetlands Inventory are set forth below.
Amendment through Town Board initiative. The Town may undertake amendments to its Freshwater Wetlands Inventory (1979) on its own initiative when the Town Board receives verifiable information and adopts a resolution indicating that:
New wetlands exist within the Town which were inadvertently excluded from the Town's Freshwater Wetlands Inventory; or
Technical adjustments to the boundaries of existing mapped wetlands are required due to significant changes in the nature of the wetland; or
It is appropriate to delete wetland areas shown on the Freshwater Wetlands Inventory that no longer meet the statutory definition of a "wetland."
Amendment requested by property owner. Amendment to the Town's Freshwater Wetlands Inventory may be requested by a property owner or by an authorized agent requester thereof by submitting a formal request in writing to the Riverhead Town Clerk. The Riverhead Town Clerk shall supply a form for such requests. Said form request shall include the following information:
Name, address and telephone number of property owner and agent (if any).
A photocopied Tax Map identifying the area to be investigated.
A copy of the deed to property.
A copy of the current tax bill for the subject property.
A list of the names and addresses of all adjoining property owners.
An indication as to whether the requester wishes to be present for the field visit or for a field review of flagged boundary.
An authorization and hold harmless agreement authorizing the Town of Riverhead to enter upon the subject property.
A completed short environmental assessment form.
The procedure for amending the Freshwater Wetlands Inventory by local law is as follows:
Upon receipt of a request pursuant to Subsection A, the Town shall notify the owner of the property upon which the reputed wetland exists (or no longer exists) of the request. The notification to the property owner shall include a copy of the Town Board's request for permission to enter upon the property to examine the reputed wetland area.
Upon receipt of permission as set forth in Subsection C(1) above or a request pursuant to Subsection B above, the Town Board shall engage a qualified wetlands delineator who shall examine the wetland(s) proposed to be included on the Town's Freshwater Wetlands Inventory who shall prepare a report indicating his or her findings with respect to the reputed wetland and a determination as to whether the area examined meets the definition of a "freshwater wetland" as set forth in this chapter.
Should the report and findings of the wetlands delineator reveal that an amendment to the Freshwater Wetlands Inventory is appropriate, the Town Board shall cause a survey to be prepared showing the wetland(s) proposed to be included in or deleted from the Freshwater Wetlands Inventory. The survey shall contain all required survey data and indicate topography with two-foot contour intervals as well as the location of other mapped wetlands existing on the subject property and any structures (including drainage or other infrastructure) existing on the property.
Upon completion of the wetland survey, the Town Board shall cause a public hearing to be held to consider the proposed Freshwater Wetlands Inventory Map amendment. Written notice of the public hearing together with a brief description of the action proposed to be taken and a copy of the survey shall be published in the official newspaper of the Town and mailed by certified mail to all adjoining property owners and the Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Freshwater Wetlands at least 10 days prior to the scheduled hearing date.
Adoption of amendments to Freshwater Wetlands Inventory.
Following the public hearing and review of the information supplied in the request, the investigation, report and findings of the wetlands delineator, the survey, the testimony given at the public hearing, and any other relevant information, the Town Board may adopt a local law amending the Freshwater Wetlands Inventory Map of the Town.
Notice of the adoption of the local law amending the Freshwater Wetlands Inventory shall be published as required by law and shall be delivered to the owner of the property on which the subject wetland is located on and the Department of Environmental Conservation by certified mail. The local law shall also be filed with the Secretary of State of the State of New York as required by law.