[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of South Hadley as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 11-20-2019 STM by Art. 6]
The purpose of this bylaw is to regulate earth removal incidental to construction activities in the Town of South Hadley.
In pursuit of this purpose, the objectives of this bylaw include the following:
To permit reasonable removal of earth for agriculture, residential, business, and industrial uses, while also protecting the value of the land within the Town and without imposing undue risk to the general public.
To limit earth removal from any agricultural, commercial, residential or commercial development to a reasonable and essential amount which is incidental to the primary principal end use.
To require that earth removal operations are conducted in a manner that will cause the least stress and harm to the Town's natural resources.
To prevent detriment to adjacent neighborhoods and abutting parcels from earth removal activities.
To prevent cumulative damage to landscape, aquifer, topography, and related valuable and nonrenewable natural resources, while not unreasonably interfering with necessary, desirable, or creative land uses.
This bylaw is adopted pursuant to the authority granted under MGL c. 40, § 21, Clause 17, and shall be effective Town-wide.
- AGRICULTURAL EXCAVATION
- The process of removing earth or other materials that are necessary and incidental to prepare a site for specific agricultural use.
- The South Hadley Planning Board.
- All material normally and naturally composing part of the earth's surface and immediate subsurface, excluding water, including but not limited to, soil, clay, gravel, hard pan, loam, rock, peat and sand.
- EARTH REMOVAL PERMIT
- A written permit issued by the Board pursuant to this bylaw allowing earth removal subject to conditions.
- Meeting all of the following criteria:
- A. Is minor in significance to the primary use of a premises;
- B. Is commonly established as customarily associated with the primary use of a premises;
- C. Is necessary to carry out the primary use of the premises; and
- D. Is minor in its net effect to that of the principal use, based on the amount of material to be removed and the time period over which it is to be removed.
- One lot or all abutting lots or parcels which are, or are proposed to be, in the same ownership or use, together with all buildings and structures thereon.
- The severance of any earth from its natural location, whether or not such earth is moved from the lot to another location on the same lot or off the lot, by any means, including, but not limited to, stripping, excavating, mining or blasting.
- After an earth removal activity is completed, returning the land contours to a safe and usable condition, restoring drainage patters, and planting appropriate vegetation.
This bylaw shall be in addition to any other permits or approvals required by the Town of South Hadley. Nothing in this bylaw shall prevent the application of the South Hadley Zoning Bylaws.
This bylaw shall not apply to properly permitted sand and gravel operations lawfully in existence on the effective date of this bylaw. Entities operating pursuant to an earth removal special permit under the South Hadley Zoning Bylaw as of the effective date hereof and seeking renewal of an earth removal special permit then in existence shall not be subject to this bylaw.
No person, firm, corporation, or other entity shall excavate and/or remove any earth from any lot in the Town of South Hadley, unless such activity is authorized by an earth removal permit issued by the Board.
No earth removal permit shall be required for the following activities under this bylaw, provided the activities do not constitute a nuisance or danger to the public and conform to accepted engineering or agricultural practices:
The Commissioner of Public Works and his/her agents and employees may perform earth removal activities in the performance of their public duties on any public way and on Town property.
Earth removal incidental to the permitted construction of foundations of buildings, walks, driveways, septic systems or swimming pools, and incidental to the installation of utilities, provided that the quantity of earth subject to removal does not exceed that displaced by the portions of construction and installation below finished grade.
Construction of a structure on the premises for which a building permit has been issued, or incidental to the grading and development of contiguous property, and provided that such removal, excavation or addition is limited to the area within a distance not more than 100 feet from the building or improvements authorized under said permit.
Earth removal incidental to an approved definitive subdivision plan, or an approved business or industrial development plan, in which the amount of earth subject to removal does not exceed 5,000 cubic yards in one calendar year, if the earth is transported off the lot. The 5,000 cubic yards shall not include earth removal which is incidental to the construction of foundations, walks, driveways, septic systems or swimming pools.
Earth removal incidental to landscaping, and/or clearing, and in which the amount of earth subject to removal does not exceed 100 cubic yards per acre of land in one calendar year, if the earth is transported off the lot, and does not exceed 100 cubic yards per acre of land in one calendar year, if the earth is transported within the lot.
The foregoing conditional exemptions shall be subject to inspection, determination, and enforcement by the Building Commissioner.
The Building Commissioner shall issue a cease and desist order in any case in which the Building Commissioner determines that:
The earth removal activity would not be necessary and incidental to an identified lawful principal use, a lawful structure, an approved subdivision road, or lawful utility installation; or
The earth removal activity would be excessive in scope or nature to the foregoing end use or structure; or
Would create unsafe conditions on or off the property; or
Would be a detriment or nuisance to nearby landowners or to the Town in general by reason of noise, dust, vibration, or other objectionable conditions.
A statement may be required from a certified professional to verify the source and content of fill material if the earth removal permit is issued for the placement of fill. The analysis of the content of the fill material may be required so as to detect the presence and quantity of hazardous or substandard materials. This analysis shall be conducted by a certified professional hired by the Board at the expense of the applicant.
An application for an earth removal permit shall be in writing. The application shall contain an accurate description of the portion of land on which the excavation will take place, shall state fully the purpose of the excavation, shall include payment of fees established by the Board, and shall include plans drawn by a registered surveyor or engineer. The application shall contain the following information:
The precise location of the proposed excavation as part of the total land area of the subject property;
The legal name and address of each owner of the property for which the permit is requested;
The name and address of the applicant and the address which shall be sufficient for any notice required under the bylaw;
The property lines, names and addresses of all abutters, including those across any way, from the most recent tax list as certified by the Board of Assessors;
Existing contours at two-foot intervals in the area from which material is to be excavated and in surrounding areas, together with the contours at two-foot intervals below which no excavation shall take place;
Natural features, such as wetlands, the 100-year floodplain, ground cover, surface water and groundwater. Water table elevation shall be determined by test pits and soil borings satisfactory to the Board. A log of soil borings shall be included, taken to the depth of the proposed excavation, congruent with the size and geological makeup of the site;
A topographical map showing drainage facilities, final grades, and proposed vegetation and trees;
Dust, erosion, and sediment control plans for the site and trucks removing earth;
The amount and cost of proposed restoration materials, and the source from which the applicant intends to obtain them;
Estimated quantity of material to be removed and topsoil to be replaced and the method to be used, verified by a registered surveyor or professional engineer;
The proposed form of bond and the name and address of the bond issuer;
An estimate of the number of truck trips, location of truck routes, and hours of truck traffic;
Designation on the required plan of any and all proposed phases and the number of cubic yards to be excavated in each, not to exceed 10 acres or 10 cubic yards, whichever is less;
Restoration, reuse and/or revegetation plan; and
Any other information which the Board may require.
An earth removal permit shall be granted only by an affirmative vote of a majority of the Board. Following receipt of an application for a permit for removal of earth from any land and determination by the Board or its designated agent that the application is complete, the Board shall appoint a time and place for a public hearing, not later than 45 days after the receipt of the completed application, notice of which shall be given to the applicant. The Board's decision shall be issued within 45 days of the close of the hearing.
An earth removal permit shall be issued for a period of one year. The Board may, in its discretion, grant an extension of an earth removal permit for six months beyond the initial period, but no such extension shall be issued unless the applicant has conformed to all requirements of the original earth removal permit.
The Board shall require as a condition to the granting of the earth removal permit that the applicant furnish a performance bond, or other security, satisfactory to the Board. The minimum amount of any financial security shall be sufficient to cover the estimated cost of reclamation, plus reasonable contingency. The security shall not be released until a Board-approved surveyor or engineer has filed with the Board an as-built plan and has also certified that the restoration has been completed in compliance with the earth removal permit and the plans.
The Board or its designee shall enforce this bylaw and may pursue all available remedies for violations or take any other action relative thereto.
In accordance with MGL c. 40, § 21, Clause 17, penalties for violation of this bylaw shall be: $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second offense, and $200 for each subsequent offense. Each day in which a violation occurs shall constitute a separate offense.
The Board may revoke any earth removal permit which it has issued for good cause, provided that it shall in writing offer to the permit holder an opportunity for a hearing within seven days after the revocation.
The invalidity of any section or provision of this bylaw shall not invalidate any other section or provision or phrase thereof.