[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Scarsdale 4-24-2001 by L.L. No. 12-2001. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Environmental quality review — See Ch. 152.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 167.
Freshwater wetlands — See Ch. 171.
Removal of topsoil — See Ch. 277.
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 302, Diversion of Watercourses, adopted 5-28-1957, as amended.
The purpose of this chapter is to regulate the construction of drains, culverts, pipes, ditches, sluices and other channels for the passage of water, to regulate the filling, diverting or other altering of existing streams and watercourses and to remedy those conditions which constitute a flood hazard, in order to protect the properties within the village from floods, freshets and high waters. Secondly, this chapter is designed to support the United States Environmental Protection Agency Clean Water Act of 1972 and the Water Quality Act of 1987 as it relates to urban runoff, water quality, stormwater discharges, point and non-point source pollution.
The following words and terms used in this chapter shall have the meanings indicated:
- The natural or artificial flow, intensity or quality of flow of waters or drainage.
- A sudden overflow of a stream resulting from a heavy rain or a thaw.
- Any dams, diversions, construction of any kind, deposits of debris, fill, sand, stone or other material of any kind.
- Any natural or artificial, intermittent, seasonal or permanent and public or private water body or watercourse. A water body is intermittently, seasonally or permanently inundated with water and contains a discernible shoreline and includes ponds and lakes. A watercourse includes rivulets, brooks, creeks, streams, rivers and other waterways flowing in a definite channel with bed and banks and usually in a particular direction.
No person, firm or corporation shall do any of the following without first securing a written permit approval from the Planning Board and complying with the provisions of this chapter:
Fill, divert or alter from its natural course any stream or watercourse in the village or divert any portion of the water normally flowing therein.
Construct or place any ditch, pipe, culvert or artificial watercourse of any kind or nature which shall collect and direct the flow of natural surface waters or drainage from paved surfaces, structures, roads or improvements, directly into any watercourse.
With respect to a permit application under § 302-3 of this chapter, the Village Engineer shall submit a report for the consideration of the Planning Board. The report of the Village Engineer shall include whether the proposed action:
Will interfere with or overload any existing or planned drainage facilities of the village;
Will endanger any road, street or highway within the limits of the village;
Will produce or enlarge areas from which water will not drain;
Will endanger public or private properties in the vicinity of the proposed filling or diversion; and
Will be detrimental to the welfare of the Village.
Any such permit shall be subject to such reasonable conditions as the Planning Board shall impose.
A decision of the Planning Board made pursuant to this chapter shall be final.
Any applicant aggrieved by an action of the Planning Board in disapproving a permit application for an activity requiring a permit under § 302-3 of this chapter may request the Planning Board to make formal findings of fact relative to such disapproval. Such request shall be filed with the Village Clerk and the Planning Board shall make such findings of fact within 60 days after the request is filed. The Planning Board shall provide the applicant with an opportunity to answer the findings by the submission of formal proof and shall reconsider the application on the basis of such answer.
If the application is disapproved after such reconsideration, the applicant may bring a proceeding to review in the manner provided by Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules in a court of record on the ground that such action is illegal, in whole or in part. Such proceeding must be commenced within 30 days after the filing in the office of the Village Clerk of the decision after reconsideration.
No person, firm or corporation shall, by deliberate action or negligence, obstruct any stream or watercourse in the village so as to block or significantly impede its flow.
Notice to correct.
Whenever, in the opinion of the Village Engineer, or his/her designee, an obstruction or other alteration of the flow through, across or to any watercourse causes the inundation of real property, buildings or other premises; constitutes an undue burden upon the drainage system; hampers the proper present or future course of development of the drainage system; or constitutes, or in the reasonably foreseeable future threatens to constitute, a danger or hazard to the well-being, safety or general welfare of the residents of the village or any property located therein, the Village Engineer shall serve a notice to correct upon the owner, owner's representative, the violator(s) or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in the property on which the obstruction or other alteration of the flow is situated or caused.
Said notice may be served either personally or by certified mail sent to the last known address of the owner, the owner's representatives or any other person having a vested interest in the same.
The notice shall contain a statement describing the obstruction or other alteration and an order requiring the same to be removed or corrected.
The notice shall provide for the removal or correction of the obstruction or other alteration within 14 days after receipt of the notice.
Failure of the responsible party, property owner or violator, to remove or correct the obstruction or alteration within 14 days, as prescribed in said notice, may result in the issuance of a Village of Scarsdale Justice Court appearance summons.
Removal by village.
In the event that the person or entity upon whom the notice was served pursuant to Subsection A of this section fails or refuses to remove or correct the obstruction or other alteration, the village may enter the property to remove the obstruction or other alteration.
The costs and expenses incurred by the village in connection with the actual removal or correction of said obstruction or other alteration shall be billed to the property owner and if not paid within 30 days the Village shall file a lien assessed against the landowner's tax bill on which the obstruction or other alteration is located.
In an emergency situation, as determined and declared by the Village Engineer, where there is an immediate or determined threat to life, safety, health and general welfare of the residents of the village due to an obstruction or other alteration of a watercourse, the village may enter private property to perform the required work to attempt to remedy the deficiency without first providing the notice required by Subsection A of this section. Under such circumstance the village shall bill the cost and expenses of such required work to the property owner in the same manner as provided for in Subsection B of this section. If the village has entered private property pursuant to any paragraph of this section, the village shall not be liable for any damages that may occur arising out of the correction or removal of the obstruction or alteration of a watercourse, unless caused by its gross negligence.
Notwithstanding the penalties provided for any provision of this chapter, the village may enforce compliance to any such provision by injunction to restrain the violation thereof and/or to compel compliance with the requirements of this chapter.
Any person committing an offense against any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be guilty of a violation of the Code of the Village of Scarsdale subject to a fine not exceeding $250. The continuation of an offense against the provisions of this chapter shall constitute, for each day the offense is continued, a separate and distinct offense hereunder.