[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Denville as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted by Ord. No. 7-03 (Ch. 4, Sec. 4-14, of the 1978 Revised General Ordinances)]
As used in this article:
- COMMERCIAL FARM
- A farm management unit of no less than five acres producing agricultural or horticultural products worth $2,500 or more annually, which has been devoted to such activities for at least two successive years and otherwise satisfying all of the eligibility criteria for differential property taxation pursuant to the "Farmland Assessment Act of 1964," P.L. 1964, Ch. 48 (N.J.S.A. 54:4-23.1 et seq.)
- Any substance used to promote soil fertility.
No person, firm, corporation, franchise or other entity shall apply fertilizer to lawns or other open areas and/or area vegetated with grass within Denville Township which contain phosphorus exceeding 0.5% expressed as P2O5 on a dry basis. Laboratory results of samples analyzed are reported as milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg). To ensure compliance with the phosphorus limit of 0.5%, the following formula is used to convert mg/kg to a percentage: mg/kg laboratory result multiplied by 2.29 and divided by 10,000. The resulting percentage is then compared to the 0.5% limit to determine compliance.
Buffer zone. Fertilizer applications shall not be made within 10 feet of any wetland or body of water, lake, stream, pond, storm drainage system or watercourse, excluding street drainage systems.
No person, firm, corporation, franchise or entity shall engage the services of a landscaper or fertilizer applicator to apply fertilizer within Denville Township, unless such landscaper or applicator is licensed in accordance with this article.
License required. No person, firm, corporation or other entity shall engage in the business of fertilizer application within the Township unless a municipal license has been obtained from the Denville Township Division of Health as provided herein.
Licensing procedure. Applications for a commercial fertilizer applicator license shall be submitted to the Denville Township Division of Health. The application shall consist of the following:
Identification. Name, address, telephone number of applicant and any individuals authorized to represent the applicant, and New Jersey commercial pesticide application license number (if licensed).
Fertilizer formula. A copy of the formula for fertilizer mixtures meeting the limitations of § 249-2 to be applied within the Township shall be submitted along with the initial application for a license, and, thereafter, at least 30 days before fertilizer composition changes are implemented.
License fee. The license shall be effective from April 1 through March 31. A separate copy of the license will be issued for each vehicle owned or used by the applicant. The license fee shall not be prorated.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III)]
Conditions of license. Fertilizer application licenses shall be issued subject to the following conditions, which shall be specified on the license form.
Random sampling. Commercial fertilizer applicators shall permit the Township to sample any commercial fertilizer mixture to be applied within the Township at any time after issuance of the initial license. The licensee shall pay the cost of such sampling.
Possession of license. The commercial fertilizer application license or a copy thereof shall be in the possession of any party employed by the fertilizer applicator when making fertilizer applications within the Township.
Revocation or suspension of license. All licenses issued under this article shall be deemed to be granted upon the express condition that, in addition to any other sanction or penalty, the Health Officer may:
After due notice by personal service or regular or certified mail and, after a due process hearing before the Township Administrator, suspend or revoke the license of any person for violating any provision of this article.
Suspend temporarily, pending a hearing or notice thereof, any such license when deemed by the Health Officer to be immediately necessary to prevent emergent danger to the public welfare. Any such temporary suspension without a hearing shall be for a period not longer than 10 days.
During the initial growing season, newly established turf areas shall be exempt from the provisions of § 249-2A of this article for a period not to exceed three months.
Recreational (public, private and golf course) fields owners shall be exempt from the provisions of § 249-2A of this article upon a showing, through a Township-approved testing procedure, that there is a need for phosphorus in excess of the limits herein or other demonstrable necessity.
Commercial farms, as defined in this article, shall be exempt from the provisions of § 249-2A of this article.
[Amended by Ord. No. 7-07]
Any person, firm, corporation or franchise violating any of the provisions of this article shall be subject, upon conviction, to the penalties provided in Chapter 1, Article II, General Penalty, of this Code. Such penalties may be in addition to the revocation or suspension of the license, as provided in § 249-4. Each incident or violation (as measured on a daily basis) shall be considered a separate offense.
[Adopted 11-22-2011 by Ord. No. 23-11 (Ch. 29, Sec. 29-1, of the 1978 Revised General Ordinances)]
The purpose of this article is to regulate the outdoor application of fertilizer so as to reduce the overall amount of excess nutrients entering waterways, thereby helping to protect and improve surface water quality. This article does not apply to fertilizer application on commercial farms.
Elevated levels of nutrients, particularly phosphorus, in surface water bodies can result in excessive and accelerated growth of algae and aquatic plants (eutrophication). Excessive plant growth can result in diurnal variations and extremes in dissolved oxygen and pH, which, in turn, can be detrimental to aquatic life. As algae and plant materials die off, the decay process creates a further demand on dissolved oxygen levels. The presence of excessive plant matter can also restrict use of the affected water for recreation and water supply.
While healthy vegetated areas are protective of water quality by stabilizing soil and filtering precipitation, when fertilizers are applied to the land surface improperly or in excess of the need of target vegetation, nutrients can be transported by means of stormwater to nearby waterways, contributing to the problematic growth of excessive aquatic vegetation. Most soils in New Jersey contain sufficient amounts of phosphorus to support adequate root growth for established turf. Over time, it is necessary to replenish available phosphorus but generally not at the levels commonly applied. Other target vegetation, such as vegetable gardens and agricultural/horticultural plans, will have a greater need for phosphorus application, as will the repair or establishment of new lawns or cover vegetation. A soils test and fertilizer application recommendation geared to the soil and planting type is the best means to determine the amount of nutrients to apply. Timing and placement of fertilizer application is also critical to avoid transport of nutrients to waterways through stormwater runoff. Fertilizer applied immediately prior to a runoff-producing rainfall, outside the growing season or to impervious surfaces is most likely to be carried away by means of runoff without accomplishing the desired objective or supporting target vegetation growth. Therefore, the management of the type, amount and techniques for fertilizer application is necessary as one tool to protect water resources.
This article does not apply to application of fertilizer on commercial farms, but improper application of fertilizer on farms would be problematic as well. Stewardship on the part of commercial farmers is needed to address this potential source of excess nutrient load to water bodies. Commercial farmers are expected to implement best management practices in accordance with conservation management plans or resource conservation plans developed for the farm by the Natural Resource Conservation Service and approved by the Soil Conservation District Board.
For the purpose of this article, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings stated herein unless their use in the text of this article clearly demonstrates a different meaning. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words used in the plural number include the singular number, and words used in the singular number, and words used in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
- The land area, 25 feet in width, adjacent to any water body, except where lot size and configuration make this buffer distance impractical. Where the Township of Denville agrees with an owner's concern in this area, the distance may be reduced to 10 feet and only if a drop spreader (vs. rotary type) is used.
- COMMERCIAL FARM
- A farm management unit producing agricultural or horticultural products worth $2,500 or more annually.
- A fertilizer material, mixed fertilizer or any other substance containing one or more recognized plant nutrients, which is used for its plant nutrient content, which is designed for use or claimed to have value in promoting plant growth, and which is sold, offered for sale, or intended for sale.
- IMPERVIOUS SURFACE
- A surface that has been covered with a layer of material so that it is highly resistant to infiltration by water. This term shall be used to include any highway, street, sidewalk, parking lot, driveway, or other material that prevents infiltration of water into the soil.
- Any individual, corporation, company, partnership, firm, association, or political subdivision of this state subject to municipal jurisdiction.
- PHOSPHORUS FERTILIZER
- Any fertilizer that contains phosphorus, expressed as P2O5, with a guaranteed analysis of greater than zero; except that it shall not be considered to include animal (including human) or vegetable manures, agricultural liming materials, or wood ashes that have not been amended to increase their nutrient contact.
- SOILS TEST
- A technical analysis of soil conducted by an accredited soil-testing laboratory following the protocol for such a test established by Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension.
- WATER BODY
- A surface water feature, such as a lake, river, stream, creek, pond, lagoon, bay or estuary.
No person may do any of the following:
Apply fertilizer when runoff-producing rainfall is occurring or predicted and/or when soils are saturated and a potential for fertilizer movement off site exists.
Apply fertilizer to an impervious surface. Fertilizer inadvertently applied to an impervious surface must be swept or blown back into the target surface or returned to either its original or another appropriate container for reuse.
Apply fertilizer within the buffer of any water body.
Apply fertilizer more than 15 days prior to the start of or at any time after the end of the regionally recognized growing season. The Township of Denville is located in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 6A, where the growing season starts March 15 and ends October 31.
No person may do the following:
Apply phosphorus fertilizer in outdoor areas except as demonstrated to be needed for the specific soils and target vegetation in accordance with a soils test and the associated annual fertilizer recommendation issued by Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension.
Application of phosphorus fertilizer needed for:
Application for phosphorus fertilizer that delivers liquid or granular fertilizer under the soil's surface, directly to the feeder roots.
Application of phosphorus fertilizer to residential container plantings, flowerbeds, or vegetable gardens.
This article shall be enforced by the Police Department and/or the Code Enforcement Officer(s) of the Township of Denville.