Borough of Essex Fells, NJ
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Essex Fells 5-7-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-1014. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A lot surface drainage permit shall be required for the following development activities in a residential zone:
A. 
The addition of any impervious area that is 300 square feet or greater in size, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) 
Any addition, repair or renovation to an existing structure that involves an extension of the foundation of the existing structure by 300 square feet or greater in size; or
(2) 
Construction of a swimming pool or tennis court; or sports court; or
(3) 
Construction of a closed or impervious deck, patio, or accessory structure, 300 square feet or greater in size, that impacts drainage, as determined by the Borough Engineer. Open pervious decks (decks that have open spaces between the floor boards) are exempt as long as there is no regrading or land disturbance associated with the open pervious deck construction; or
(4) 
Construction of a driveway, 300 square feet or greater in size, that impacts drainage, as determined by the Borough Engineer. The replacement of an existing driveway which does not increase the footprint of the existing driveway by more than 300 square feet is exempt; or
B. 
Land disturbance or grading, except for the purposes of turf replacement where no grading is involved, of 1,000 square feet or greater; or
C. 
Placement of more than 20 cubic yards of fill, excluding mulching; or
D. 
Land disturbance or grading within five feet of a property line that impacts drainage as determined by the Borough Engineer.
A. 
Requirement. Each land disturbance or grading activity that is required to have a lot surface drainage permit shall be submitted on the application form provided by the Building Department and shall be submitted to the Borough Building Department accompanied by three signed and sealed copies of a detailed lot surface drainage plan which shall have been prepared by a New Jersey licensed professional engineer or architect.
B. 
Lot surface drainage plan details. All applications for a lot surface drainage permit shall be accompanied by a surface drainage plan and shall be submitted to the Borough Engineering Department. The Borough Engineer shall have the discretion to waive the requirement for submission of a lot surface drainage plan when it is determined that the application can be adequately reviewed without the submission of a plan. A lot surface drainage permit shall not be issued until the surface drainage plan is approved or waived by the Borough Engineer or his designee. No development activity for which a surface drainage plan is required may begin until such a plan has been approved or waived and a surface drainage permit has been issued. The issuance of a surface drainage permit shall be a prerequisite prior to the issuance of a Borough building permit for the development activity. The surface drainage plan shall be prepared by a professional engineer or architect licensed in New Jersey and shall be drawn to a scale of not less than one inch equals 30 feet. The surface drainage plan shall depict both existing and proposed surface drainage patterns as they affect the subject property and all abutting land and shall include the following elements:
(1) 
The applicable block and lot number, date, graphic scale, north arrow, zone designation, zoning requirements and the names and addresses of the property owner, the applicant and the professional who prepared the plan.
(2) 
Location of the property boundaries, including all lot line dimensions; front, side and rear yard setback dimensions, easements, encroachments and restrictions.
(3) 
The outer limits of all areas in which any grading or filling is proposed on the subject property.
(4) 
Locations, dimensions and first floor elevation of all existing and proposed structures.
(5) 
Location of all driveways, sidewalks and other impervious structures.
(6) 
Location of all buildings on adjoining lots.
(7) 
Existing and proposed topography reflecting contour lines at one-foot intervals over the entire property. Topography and contour lines must extend beyond the lot property lines, if required by the Borough Engineer or his designee, in order to adequately show the existing and proposed lot surface drainage conditions.
(8) 
Location of all existing and proposed retaining walls with top and bottom elevations. Such elevations shall be clearly delineated at regular intervals on the plan; details of all proposed retaining walls shall be provided.
(9) 
The layout of existing public streets and public utilities within 100 feet of the proposed development activity together with their elevations.
(10) 
If any part of the property is located within the 100-year flood zone, the flood zone limits shall be shown as per the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map and NJDEP Flood Hazard Area Delineation.
(11) 
All delineated wetlands and transition areas approved through a NJDEP letter of interpretation shall be shown by metes and bounds. The NJDEP file number shall be noted on the plan. If no wetlands exist, the plan must contain a note confirming this fact.
(12) 
The location of all existing and proposed storm drainage structures, streams, watercourses, ponds, storm sewers or drainage facilities which relate to the drainage of surface waters from the subject property. The information shall include proposed methods of controlling foundation drains, sump pump discharges, and on-site stormwater, and may include grading, use of underground leaders to stormwater systems or dry wells, and other similar or related methods.
(13) 
The proposed location and size of all roof leader drains, footing drains and sump pump drains with invert elevations at house and outfall connections. All drains shall connect with the municipal storm drainage system whenever feasible. Location of existing storm sewer invert and flow direction at tie-in point shall be shown. If drains cannot be connected to the public system, other means, acceptable to the Borough Engineer or his designee, shall be provided. If dry wells are used, their location, elevations and details must be shown.
(14) 
Any proposed changes in the existing surface drainage pattern which will result from the construction proposed for the subject property including any proposed changes on abutting lands.
(15) 
All existing trees with trunks exceeding six inches in diameter measured at a point four feet above the existing ground level within the area to be disturbed as well as within 10 feet of the outer limits of any such area.
(16) 
The applicant's engineer or architect shall certify that the proposed grading, as shown on the lot surface drainage plan, can tie into existing topographic contours on adjoining lots without an adverse grading or drainage impact and that all disturbance and grading can be limited to within the property in question.
(17) 
Any other conditions or requirements as determined by the Borough Engineer or his designee.
The fees for a lot surface drainage permit application which partially cover the costs of site visits, review of the application and site inspections are as follows: permit application, $85 for the initial submission and $600 escrow for engineering review.
The following lot surface drainage guidelines and principles shall be considered in the review of any lot surface drainage plan submitted to the Borough Building Department. This review shall be conducted by the Borough Engineer or their designee:
A. 
Surface drainage plans shall be designed to control surface waters in a manner that will minimize the adverse effects of such waters upon the subject property and abutting lands.
B. 
An area of at least 10 feet in width around the foundation of any building shall be graded downward, away from the foundation, in accordance with the requirements of the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code.
C. 
Roof runoff from any roofed area shall be in accordance with the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code.
D. 
Dry wells or other infiltration facilities, if required, shall be in accordance with the provisions of the New Jersey Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual, Chapter 9.3, Standard for Dry Wells. Design of these facilities must be based on appropriate site-specific tests certified by the applicant's engineer and submitted to the Borough Engineer or his designee for approval.
E. 
No soil shall be excavated, removed, deposited or disturbed except as a result of and in accordance with the surface drainage plan approved under the terms of this chapter.
F. 
Any proposed building, structure, grading or attendant protective measures shall not impede the flow of surface water through any watercourse.
G. 
Any fill placed on the property shall be properly stabilized and, when found necessary depending upon existing slopes and soil types, supported by retaining walls or other appropriate methods as approved by the Borough Engineer or his designee.
H. 
The project shall be designed in accordance with the New Jersey Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Standards.
I. 
Whenever the Borough Engineer or his designee considers it necessary or appropriate, he may require that temporary measures be taken during the performance of any construction work to prevent adverse effects upon abutting lands.
J. 
New construction on property where a previous structure has been removed shall not have the ground surface adjacent to the new structure elevated significantly above the original ground surface. Fill excavated during the course of construction of the new structure shall not be stored nor spread upon on the property for the purpose of disposal, but must be removed from the site.
The owner of the property upon which the regulated development activity occurred, and all successors and any other person or agent in control of the property, shall maintain in good condition and promptly repair and restore all grade surfaces, structures, drains, and other elements as required under an approved surface drainage plan.
A. 
The requirements of this chapter shall be enforced by the Borough Engineer or his designee who shall inspect or require inspection of the work.
B. 
Whenever the Borough Engineer or his designee finds that work is being performed or has been performed in violation of this chapter or in a manner that may jeopardize the public health or safety, the Borough Engineer or his designee may issue a stop-work order to halt any activity that violates this chapter or jeopardizes the public health or safety and may order remedial action as appropriate.
C. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to continue work on a property after having been served with a stop-work order, except such work as the Borough Engineer or his designee directs to remove a violation or to eliminate an unhealthy or unsafe condition.
D. 
The failure of an owner of property to comply with the provisions of an issued surface drainage permit and approved lot surface drainage plan for such property, including any temporary measures to be taken during the performance of construction work, shall subject the owner to a maximum fine of $2,000 per violation. Each violation and each day of each violation shall constitute a separate and distinct violation thereof. The payment of a fine shall be in addition to performing the remedial action ordered to be undertaken by the Borough Engineer or his designee.