[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee (now Township Council) of the Township of Byram as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 10-2-1974 as Ch. XVIII of the Revised General Ordinances of 1974]
This article shall be known as the "Lake Dredging Ordinance of the Township of Byram."
The Township Council of the Township of Byram finds and determines that unregulated and uncontrolled lake dredging may result in conditions detrimental to the public safety, health and general welfare, substantially hampering and deterring the efforts of the Township to protect the aquatic ecosystems under its jurisdiction.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Includes the activity of removing soil, sand, mud, silt, leaves and any other materials except solid rock from a lake bottom where such removal is to be conducted primarily to improve the quality of water, to inhibit the growth of weeds or algae, to increase the depth of a lake or to extract mineral resources. "Dredging" includes the stockpiling, storage and disposal of spoils.
- Any naturally or artificially created lake, pond or other body of water, excluding, however, streams, brooks and rivers, except to the extent that they may be damned and included within a lake so created. The term "lake" does not include commercially fabricated swimming pools.
No person shall dredge a lake without first having obtained a permit approved by the Township Council.
The extraction of mineral resources for sale or use elsewhere is specifically prohibited, except that this shall not prohibit the sale of spoil which is incidental to an approved dredging operation.
Before the issuance of a permit, the applicant shall make application on a form available from the Township Clerk, and the data on the application or accompanying documents shall disclose or provide the following:
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. The signed consent of the owner shall be required if the applicant is not the owner.
The name and address of the contractor who will conduct the dredging, if different from the owner or applicant.
The lot and block number of the premises to be dredged, the name of the lake and a sketch plat of the lake and surrounding area showing the following: the area or areas to be dredged, showing the acreage of each, and the existing and proposed areas to be used for collection, transfer or stockpiling of spoils and the proposed location of banks, berms, walls or other devices intended to contain the dredged spoil during operation.
A description of the number, type and size of the equipment to be used for dredging.
The description of the methods and procedures to be used in removing, storing and the ultimate disposal of the spoils.
A professionally prepared statement of the anticipated short-term and long-term environmental impact resulting from the proposed activity.
This shall include:
A description of the current physical and chemical aquatic environment, together with a quantitative description of the planktonic and benthic flora and fauna.
A description of wetlands surrounding the lake, including natural habitats, disturbed areas and biotic populations.
A description of the proposed spoils disposal area, including habitats, biotic populations, location of surface waters and groundwaters, probable surface runoff and/or leachate flow patterns and any impact on existing aesthetic values.
All descriptions shall be based upon not less than spring, summer and fall baseline data developed by the Township; a general statement concerning the impact of the proposed project shall be prepared by the applicant and shall be considered sufficient for the purposes of this section. The required statement shall include a professionally prepared description based upon general local knowledge. At such time when baseline data has been developed, any statements describing the environmental impact of a project shall adhere to the previously outlined format listed in this section.
The period for which the permit is sought.
[Amended 2-4-2008 by Ord. No. 2-2008]
Each application shall be accompanied by a fee as set forth in Chapter A287, Fees. This fee is imposed to defray the cost and expenses incurred in processing the application for a dredging permit and in providing for supervision of dredging activities.
[Amended 11-19-1990 by Ord. No. 14-1990]
In addition to the application fee required by § 160-7 above, the applicant shall deposit with the Township Clerk a fee as hereinafter provided and execute an escrow agreement to defray the cost to the Township of all necessary and reasonable costs incurred for technical and professional review of the application and accompanying data by the Township Engineer. Said escrow agreement shall be in a form approved by the Township Council. The amount of such deposit shall be an estimate of the anticipated cost of such review based on the hourly rate paid to the Township Engineer. In the event that the actual cost exceeds the deposit, the applicant shall be responsible for the difference between the actual amount and the deposit. If the actual cost is less than the deposit, the applicant shall receive a refund of the difference. After the application has been filed and the fee and deposit paid, the application and accompanying data shall be referred to the Township Engineer, who shall review the methods and procedures to be used to determine whether they are in fact feasible and also to determine whether the proposed methods of dredging, storage and eventual disposal of spoils will be conducted in a manner which will protect the public health and avoid the creation of nuisances, particularly, to the extent reasonably possible, noise, traffic congestion and air pollution. The Engineer's report, which will include reasonable conditions regarding the permit to be issued, shall be made to the Township Council within 30 days of the date when the matter is referred.
After receiving the report, the Council shall fix a time and place for public hearing thereon not less than two weeks or more than 30 days after receiving the report and, at said time and place, shall give the applicant and any objectors an opportunity to be heard. The applicant shall notify the owners of property within 500 feet of the upland boundaries of the area to be licensed, personally or by certified mail. Notice of the time, place and purpose of the hearing shall be published by the applicant in the official newspaper not less than seven days prior to the hearing, and proof of publication shall be submitted at the time of the hearing. After everyone has been given an opportunity to be heard, the Township Council shall grant or deny the permit, giving consideration to the following factors:
The applicant has shown that the primary reason for dredging is to improve the depth or quality of the water or to facilitate weed and algae control.
The methods to be used in dredging and disposing of spoils will not create an undue hazard to the public health, the natural environment and the aesthetic, recreational and commercial aspects of the community, and all efforts will be made to control noise, traffic congestion and air pollution and siltation in the course of the removal, stockpiling and disposing of spoils. Furthermore, the method of disposal shall not contravene any public or private rights without the written permission of the owner.
The Engineer's report.
If a permit is approved, it shall be issued on the basis of the applicant's proposed conditions or such modifications thereof as are reasonably necessary to meet the recommendations of the Engineer or objectors where such recommendations or objections are found valid and remediable. The approval shall be completed. Upon application, the Council may grant one extension of the specified completion time.
Before any work is done for which a permit is required and during the period covered by a permit, the applicant shall file and maintain a bond in form and with surety acceptable to the Council in such amount as in the opinion of the Council shall be sufficient to ensure the faithful performance of the work to be undertaken pursuant to the conditions of the permit and the terms of this article.
No permitted dredging operation shall be conducted so as to violate any of the following conditions:
Hours of removal shall be limited to 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., prevailing time, Mondays through Fridays, and there shall be no removal of any kind on Saturdays, Sundays or legal holidays.
The spoil, when removed, shall not be transported until it has been drained sufficiently so as to prevent leakage of debris on roads which may be affected.
While spoils are being stockpiled and until they are drained and stabilized, controls shall be exercised to avoid the creation of nuisances and noxious fumes.
Operations, control and disposal of spoils shall be subject to inspection by the Township officials designated by the Township Council. Reasonable cost of reinspections required because of a violation of the terms of the permit or the chapter shall be paid by the permittee.
After reasonable notice and an opportunity to be heard before the Council, the permit of any person may be revoked or suspended for such period as the Council may determine, for any violation of the terms of this article or the terms and conditions of any permit granted hereunder.