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Township of Lakewood, NJ
Ocean County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[1971 Code § 6-8.1]
a. 
It is the finding of the Township Committee that unregulated and uncontrolled grading of land, filling, excavation and removal of sand, gravel or minerals, within the Township, have in many instances caused and generally tend to cause blighted areas often resulting in abandoned sand or gravel pits. These pits left in unsafe, unsanitary and obnoxious conditions by reasons of stagnant water standing therein create a breeding place for insects, dangerous conditions for children, damage to roads, depreciation of surrounding property values and smoke or dust or other air or water pollution. These conditions have made it necessary to license and regulate the operations concerning excavation, sale or removal of soil, top soil, sand, gravel or other mineral deposits from lands within the Township.
b. 
The Township Committee further determines that the cost of enforcement of the regulation and licensing including inspections, determination of ownership, engineering costs for review of surveys and establishment of grades, as well as other incidental expenses necessary in connection with the enforcement require that a substantial portion of the expenses be borne by the owners or operators of the excavations or business operated.
[1971 Code § 6-8.2]
As used in this section:
LICENSE
Shall mean permission given upon payment of the required fees after zoning conditions are met and all necessary exhibits filed, and upon approval of an application for license to operate the business of or to remove or excavate top soil, sand, gravel, soil or minerals from any lands within the Township.
SOIL
Shall mean and include dirt, stone, gravel, sand, humus, clay, loam, rock or any mixture of any two or more of the above.
TOP SOIL
Shall mean arable soil. Top soil shall contain no stones, clumps or similar objects larger than one inch in any dimension and shall have a pH value of not less than 5.8 nor more than 6.5. Top soil shall be a mealy loam obtained from a field which is comparatively free from large stones, objectionable weeds or large quantities of root growth. Top soil shall have a minimum organic content of not less than two and three-quarters (2.75%) percent by weight. The gradation of the top soil shall be within the following limits: sand 40% to 80%, silt 10% to 30%, clay 10% to 30%.
[1971 Code § 6-8.3]
No person shall excavate soil, including top soil, whether for sale or for use other than on the premises from which the soil shall be taken, except in connection with construction or alteration of a building being erected on the premises for which a building permit has been issued and the excavation and grading is incidental thereto, without first having obtained site approval and a license approved by the Township Committee. The license shall be conspicuously posted and displayed at the entrance to the premises. This provision is not intended to provide for licensing of any excavation or soil removal which is not permitted by the zoning ordinances of the Township or not permitted as an existing nonconforming use or as the result of a subsequently granted variance.
No license shall be issued for any premises that will in any manner interfere with any natural stream, alter its course or encroach on any flood plain or marshland. A license shall also not be issued where the premises substantially alter, change or interfere with any natural watershed or natural surface watercourse or detrimentally interfere or affect the natural drainage or create burdensome traffic conditions or are in any manner inimical to the public safety, health and welfare.
[1971 Code § 6-8.4]
Any person desiring to make application shall request a conference with the Township Committee for the purpose of ascertaining the feasibility of the proposal to remove soil. At such time sketches or preliminary drawings shall be made available if necessary for such purpose. Before the issuance of a license, the applicant shall make application on a form provided by the Township Clerk. The data in the application or accompanying documents shall contain the following:
a. 
The name and address of the owner or owners of the tract involved and the name and address of the applicant, if a different person is involved. The signature of the owner and contractor performing the work shall be affixed to the application.
b. 
A map of the entire premises of the owner, including the premises for which the license is sought showing the existing topographical contour lines of the land involved and abutting lands and roads, the proposed topographical contour grades which will result from the intended soil removal and the location of any streams or other bodies of water near the premises with area to be graded shown in sections of three acres and numbered consecutively indicating order of sections to be graded.
c. 
The tax block and lot number of the property involved.
d. 
A description of any processing of the soil which will be done on the premises including description of equipment and plans of such processing equipment and facilities.
e. 
The name and address of the person who will do the work of grading and removing the soil.
f. 
The number of cubic yards to be removed pursuant to the license.
g. 
Routes to and from the proposed site to be used in transporting soil removed.
h. 
Period for which the license is sought.
[1971 Code § 6-8.5]
Each application for removal of soil or top soil shall be accompanied by a deposit of $100 plus one ($1.00) dollar for each 1,000 cubic yards or part thereof, which shall be used to cover the cost of examining the application, hearings or other processing. In the event an application is denied the fee deposited shall be returned after fees incurred by the Township Engineer in the course of processing the application are deducted.
[1971 Code § 6-8.6; Ord. No. 2003-21 § 1]
The application and fee shall be filed with the Township Clerk and the application shall promptly be referred to the Township Engineer and the Department Head of the Department of Code Enforcement and Zoning for investigation, report and recommendation. The Township Engineer and the Department Head of the Department of Code Enforcement and Zoning shall make a report concerning the application to the Township Committee indicating specifically whether or not the proposed operation will result in any sharp declivities, pits or depressions, soil erosion or fertility problems, drainage or sewerage problems or dangerous or unhealthful conditions and recommend conditions or limitations, if any, regarding the following:
a. 
Areas shown on map, if any, where excavation should not be permitted because of adverse effects on abutting property or roads.
b. 
Changes, if any, in permitted contours and slopes to be accomplished by proposed removal.
c. 
Maximum area from which top soil may be stripped before replacement to permit soil removal with consideration being given to the number of cubic yards to be removed and the duration of the requested permit.
d. 
Amount of bond to be required to insure the operation of the soil removal and replacement of top soil in accordance herewith, on a form to be furnished by the Township.
e. 
Capacity of public roads to be used for ingress and egress to withstand damage from proposed operation.
f. 
Quantity and quality of top soil and the amount to be retained for recovering.
g. 
Any other recommended considerations or conditions to protect the public welfare or adjoining properties or roads and particularly noise, vibration, dust, pollution of air and water.
[1971 Code § 6-8.7; Ord. No. 2003-21 § 2]
After receiving the report, the Township Committee shall grant or deny the license, including any renewal, in the order of date of filing after giving consideration to the Engineer's and Department of Code Enforcement and Zoning reports. These reports shall be incorporated in the record by reference, the evidence produced at the hearing and the effect of such license on the public health, safety and general welfare. The following shall also be taken into consideration when granting a license:
a. 
Soil erosion by wind and water.
b. 
Drainage or sewage problems.
c. 
Soil fertility.
d. 
Lateral support slopes and grades of abutting roads and lands.
e. 
Land values and uses.
f. 
Such other factors as may bear upon or relate to the coordinated, adjusted and harmonious physical development of the Township.
If the Township Committee finds that the license, if granted, will not have an adverse effect on the above considerations, the license shall be issued. Licenses may be issued with reasonable conditions designed to meet the Engineer and Inspection Department recommendations made under subsection 31-2.4.
No license shall be issued for any premises if the issuance of the license will create road damage, dust conditions, burdensome traffic conditions or is otherwise inimical to the public safety, health or welfare.
[1971 Code § 6-8.8]
Before any work is done for which a license is required and during the period covered by a license, the applicant shall file and maintain a bond in form supplied by the Township Committee with surety acceptable and in such amount as determined by the Township Committee to insure the faithful performance of the work to be undertaken pursuant to the conditions of the license and the terms thereof.
[1971 Code § 6-8.9]
No soil shall be removed nor shall any operation be conducted so as to violate any of the following conditions after a license is granted:
a. 
The removal of any top soil is prohibited except by license. All top soil on premises shall be temporarily stored on the premises inside a fenced area during operations and after grading is completed, respread on the premises to a depth of not less than four inches.
b. 
Not more than three acres shall be excavated at one time, enclosed with a snow fence, including area used for storage of topsoil, properly leveled off, cleared of debris and graded to conform with the contour lines and grades approved by the Township Committee.
c. 
No person shall bury any old lumber, building materials, debris, cut or dead trees, stumps, brush, trash, junk or other similar waste on any premises for which a license has been issued or proposed, excepting the vegetation existing on the premises licensed, which shall be deposited in a specific area designated on the map of the entire premises and approved by the Township.
d. 
The area excavated shall be graded and covered with four inches of top soil and seeded with perennial grass not later than June 15 or October 1, whichever date is sooner. If sufficient top soil for four inches cover is not available from the premises then a cover crop as prescribed by the Township Engineer shall be spread on the premises. Thereafter the snow fence may be removed.
e. 
The removal shall be completed within a period of three months from the date of commencement of work or as otherwise provided in the license due to extended nature of operation. If adverse weather or working conditions persist, the time period involved may be extended on application to the Township Committee. The Township Engineer shall be notified in advance at least one week by the contractor of the date of commencement of and of the expected date of completion of work.
f. 
All excavation of soil or other materials for which a license is required under this chapter must be made in such manner as to fit into and be in conformity with the general established grade of the adjacent roads and the surrounding area which grade shall be established by the Township Engineer so as to not present drainage or other problems that may result from improper grade and shall not cause ponding of water or cause soil erosion detrimental to the Township properties on the surrounding lands or would render the subject property dangerous or in unsightly condition as to deteriorate the values of surrounding properties or subsequently useless for any permitted use in the zone in which the land is situated.
g. 
Soil removed shall not be deposited or in any way thrown or placed upon adjoining property or public roads.
h. 
All operations shall be conducted in strict accordance with any state law, other ordinances of the Township and the terms of the application as modified by the license as granted.
i. 
The operation shall be so conducted as not to constitute a nuisance to adjoining owners and in no event shall any sharp declivities, pits or depressions be created.
j. 
Upon completion of an operation or of excavation from an area delineated under subsection 31-2.4c, the area shall be properly leveled off, cleared of debris and graded to conform to the contours and grades as approved by the Township Committee.
k. 
No slope along the perimeter of any excavated area shall exceed one foot vertical to five feet horizontal.
l. 
Hours of operation shall be limited from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays, inclusive.
m. 
The failure to comply with the provisions of this section shall invalidate a license immediately and constitute reasons for denial of any license.
n. 
No storage, stockpiling, mixing or processing of any soil, sand, gravel, stone, mineral deposits or any one or combination of them shall be permitted on any premise within the Township not licensed under this section and no person shall construe a license to cover any other area or parcel of land other than the area, lot or parcel as described in the license.
o. 
The operation shall be so conducted as not to constitute a nuisance to adjoining property owners. The license shall not permit any child upon the licensed premises, or do anything to permit or cause the licensed premises to be or continue as an attractive nuisance to children, and in no event shall any sharp declivities, pits or depressions be created.
[1971 Code § 6-8.10; Ord. No. 2003-21 § 3]
Each operation shall be inspected by the Department of Code Enforcement and Zoning and the Township Engineer at least once each month and a written report made of the inspection. The licensee shall pay the cost of reinspection not exceeding $20 per acre. The above fee shall be required due to violations found in the course of regular inspections.
[1971 Code § 6-8.11; Ord. No. 2003-21 § 4]
After reasonable notice and an opportunity to be heard before the Township Committee, the license of any person may be revoked or suspended for a period as the Township Committee may determine for any violation of the terms hereof or the terms and conditions of any license granted hereunder. The Department of Code Enforcement and Zoning shall be charged with the enforcement of this chapter.