Village of Ridgewood, NJ
Bergen County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Council of the Village of Ridgewood 8-27-1974 by Ord. No. 1541 as Ch. 26 of the 1974 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fees — See Ch. 145.
Land use and development — See Ch. 190.
The purpose of this chapter shall be to prevent the continuation of the unregulated and uncontrolled relocation, filling, excavation and removal of soil resulting in serious and irreparable damage to the public welfare by reason of consequent soil erosion by water and wind, inadequate and improper surface water drainage, the decrease or destruction of the fertility of soil, the removal of lateral support of abutting streets, lands and premises, the creation of dust storms and places for the breeding of mosquitoes, the creation of dangerous depressions or pits rendering land unfit or unsuitable to its most appropriate uses, with a consequent deterioration in property values and the preservation of trees, natural herbage and woody plants, and to effectuate the general purpose of sound municipal planning.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have meanings respectively ascribed to them by this section:
DEVELOPER
Any person who directly or indirectly or through an agent or independent contractor engages or intends to engage in land subdivision or in the construction of two or more dwelling houses or business or industrial buildings in any subdivision for the purpose of sale to or occupancy by any other person.
EXCAVATOR
Any person who, within any period of 12 consecutive months, shall move soil in or upon more than 10,000 square feet of land area situate in the Village.
MAJOR SOIL PERMIT
Any soil permit other than a ministerial or minor permit for the moving of soil within any period of 12 consecutive months. Upon review of any soil permit, the Planning Board may classify the application as one for a "major soil permit" and require the applicant to meet the provisions of this chapter applicable thereto.
MINISTERIAL PERMIT
A permit for the moving of more than 100 and less than 501 cubic yards of soil within any period of 12 consecutive months.
MINOR SOIL PERMIT
A permit for the moving of 501 to 2,000 cubic yards of soil within any period of 12 consecutive months.
OWNER
Any person having title to any lot or having such other interest or stake therein as will permit exercise of effective possession thereof or dominion thereover, including such dominion as may be exercised by a lessee.
SOIL
Any earth, sand, clay, loam, gravel, humus, rock or dirt, without regard to the presence or absence therein of organic matter.
TO MOVE
To dig, to excavate, to remove, to deposit, to place, to fill, to grade, to regrade, to level or otherwise to alter or change the location or contours of land, to transport and to supply. Nevertheless, nothing in this definition shall be construed to apply to the digging, excavating or moving of 100 cubic yards or less of soil or of soil which may be made necessary in connection with the construction or alteration of any building or structure on any lot pursuant to validly issued building permits, or to normal grading incidental thereto or in connection with other work to be performed under the authority of any validly issued permit under any other ordinance of the Village, or to the plowing, spading, cultivating, harrowing or discing of soil or other operations usually and ordinarily associated with the tilling of soil for horticultural purposes, all of which shall be exempted from the provisions of this chapter.
TOPSOIL
Any soil that in its natural state constitutes the top layer of earth and is composed of 2% or more, by weight, of organic matter and has the ability to support vegetation.
[Amended 3-12-2003 by Ord. No. 2818]
No owner, developer or excavator of any lot in the Village shall cause, allow, permit or suffer any soil in and upon any lot in the Village to be moved unless and until there has been obtained therefor a soil permit in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. The issuance of a soil permit involving the construction or alteration of a retaining wall shall not relieve any person of the requirement to also obtain a retaining wall permit in accordance with the provisions of § 190-97J.
[Amended 10-13-1992 by Ord. No. 2375]
The fee to accompany an application for a ministerial soil permit shall be as set forth in Chapter 145, Fees. The fee to accompany an application for a minor soil permit and the fee to accompany an application for a major soil permit shall be as set forth in Chapter 145, Fees. For the purpose of computing the fee, but only for such purpose, the statements set forth in the application of the number of cubic yards to be moved shall be deemed prima facie correct. No part of the fee filed with a ministerial or minor soil permit application shall be refundable, but in the case of a major soil permit application, if a permit is refused, the amount of the fee in excess of $100 shall be refunded.
Applications for ministerial soil permits shall be filed with the Village Engineer and shall be accompanied by the fee prescribed in § 246-4. Applications shall be made, in duplicate, on forms prescribed by the Village and supplied by the Village Engineer. In addition to any other requirements which the Village, acting through the Village Engineer, may require on data pertinent to the application, the application shall show the following:
A. 
The identity and location of the applicant.
B. 
The lot and block number of the lot or lots involved.
C. 
The identity and location of the owner of the lands.
D. 
The purpose or reason for the moving of the soil.
E. 
The estimated quantity in cubic yards of soil to be moved.
F. 
The proposed date of completion of the work.
G. 
A statement as to how the moving of the soil will affect all trees with a diameter of six inches or more.
The Village Engineer shall, if satisfied that the application for a ministerial soil permit meets the purposes of § 246-1, issue a permit therefor and shall forward duplicates thereof to the Village Clerk, the Planning Board of the Village and to the Director of the Department of Building and Inspections of the Village.
Applications for minor soil permits shall be filed with the Village Engineer and shall be accompanied by the fee prescribed in § 246-4. Application shall be made, in duplicate, on forms prescribed by the Village and supplied by the Village Engineer. In addition to any other requirements which the Village, acting through the Village Engineer, may require on data pertinent to the application, the application shall show the following:
A. 
The identity and location of the applicant.
B. 
The lot and block number of the lot or lots involved.
C. 
The identity and location of the owner of the lands.
D. 
The purpose or reason for the moving of the soil.
E. 
The estimated quantity in cubic yards of soil to be moved.
F. 
The proposed date of completion of the work.
G. 
A statement as to how the moving of the soil will affect all trees with a diameter of six inches or more.
The Village Engineer shall forward all applications for minor soil permits to the Planning Board of the Village for its approval, and upon approval thereof by the Board, the Village Engineer shall, and he is hereby authorized to, issue a permit therefor and shall forward duplicates thereof to the Village Clerk, the Planning Board of the Village and to the Superintendent of Buildings of the Village.
Applications for major soil permits shall be filed with the Village Engineer and shall be accompanied by the fee prescribed in § 246-4 and shall be made, in duplicate, on forms prescribed by the Village and supplied by the Village Engineer and, in addition to the information required under § 246-5, shall be accompanied by a topographical map, in duplicate, of the lot or lots in question, which map shall be prepared and certified by a licensed professional engineer of the state or a licensed land surveyor, shall be at a scale of 100 feet to the inch and shall show the following:
A. 
The present grades on a one-hundred-foot grid layout.
B. 
The proposed grades at said points when the work has been completed.
C. 
The grades of all streets and lots within 100 feet of the lot or lots involved.
D. 
The proposed slopes and lateral supports involved in the moving of the soil.
E. 
The present and proposed surface water drainage.
F. 
Any easements or restrictions which might affect the lot or lots involved.
G. 
The names and addresses of all property owners owning land within 200 feet of the extreme limits of the lot or lots involved, as their names and addresses appear on the Village tax records.
A. 
Every major soil permit application shall be referred by the Village Engineer to the Planning Board of the Village for its consideration and recommendations to the Council of the Village as to whether or not a major soil permit should be granted.
B. 
No such recommendation shall be made by the Planning Board to the governing body until there shall have been held by the Planning Board a public hearing on the application. Every applicant for a major soil permit shall give all property owners within 200 feet of the extreme limit of the lot or lots involved, as their names appear on the Village tax records, at least 10 days' written notice of the public hearing to be held on such application. The notice shall be delivered in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the option of the applicant, and shall state the time, date and place of the hearing as fixed by the Secretary of the Planning Board, a brief description of the property and a statement that a copy of the application and of the map filed in conjunction therewith is on file in the office of the Village Engineer for public inspection. No date for public hearing shall be set by the Secretary of the Planning Board sooner than 20 days from the date of filing of the application for a major soil permit. In addition to the foregoing notification requirements, the Secretary of the Planning Board shall also cause notice of the public hearing to be published in the official newspaper of the Village at least 10 days prior to the hearing.
A. 
At the public hearing on an application for a major soil permit, the applicant shall produce proofs of service upon all property owners as required under this chapter by a sworn affidavit and the Secretary of the Planning Board shall file proof of the publication of the newspaper notice required by § 246-10.
B. 
The Planning Board shall, at the public hearing, and thereafter in its deliberations on whether or not a major soil permit shall issue, hear proofs and determine whether the issuance of such a permit will comply with the purposes of this chapter and can be granted without impairment to the intent and purpose of the zone plan, Chapter 190, Land Use and Development, and the Master Plan of the Village.
[Amended 10-13-1992 by Ord. No. 2375]
C. 
The recommendation of the Planning Board, after public hearing, shall be forwarded to the governing body of the Village within 45 days from the date of such hearing and, in any event, within 90 days from the date of filing of the application for a major soil permit or such further time as the applicant may agree to, in writing, for action by the Council. Failure of the Planning Board to act within such time or times shall be deemed a refusal to recommend the issuance of such a permit.
[Amended 10-13-1992 by Ord. No. 2375]
At the second regular meeting of the Village Council after receipt of the recommendation of the Planning Board with respect to whether or not a major soil permit should issue, or sooner if the Council shall decide to act sooner, the governing body may grant or deny the requested major soil permit with or without modifying conditions. Failure of the Council to act within the time limit above set forth shall be deemed a denial of the requested permit. In making its determination, the Council shall satisfy itself that the purposes of this chapter are complied with and that any permit, if issued, will not impair the intent or purpose of the zone plan, Chapter 190, Land Use and Development, or the Master Plan of the Village. In addition, the Council shall, before granting any permit, take into account the effect of the grant upon the sources of water supply available to the Department of Water Supply and upon any sewage collection and disposal system servicing the Village.
If the Village Council shall grant a major soil permit, the Clerk of the Village shall forthwith issue such a permit to the applicant in accordance with the decision of the Council, which permit shall be in such form as may be prescribed by the Council and which permit shall contain any special conditions, terms or restrictions imposed by the Council in the grant thereof. Duplicates thereof shall be forwarded by the Clerk to the Village Engineer, the Secretary of the Planning Board and the Director of the Department of Building and Inspections of the Village. If a major soil permit application shall be denied by the Council, the Clerk of the Village shall refund any excess fee to the applicant in accordance with § 246-4.
Anything in § 246-13 to the contrary notwithstanding, no major soil permit shall be issued unless and until the applicant therefor shall have posted with the Village a cash deposit or a performance bond in form and with surety satisfactory to the Village Engineer and to the Village Attorney, in such amount as the governing body shall determine. The deposit or bond shall be conditioned upon full and faithful performance by the applicant, as principal, within the time specified in the application, of all the proposed work in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and of the soil permit to be issued pursuant thereto. Such cash deposit shall not be returned nor shall such bond be deemed canceled or released until the requirements of § 246-17 have been met.
Every holder of a major soil permit shall file with the Village Engineer a topographic map, in duplicate, prepared and certified by a licensed professional engineer, licensed by the state, or a licensed land surveyor, licensed by the state, showing the contours of the lot or lots involved at a point when approximately 1/3 of the soil has been moved and again at a point when approximately 2/3 of the soil has been moved if the Village Engineer shall, by notice in writing, require it. Failure to comply with the notice shall entitle the Village Engineer to terminate all work and suspend the permit forthwith, and the same shall not be reinstated until full compliance with this section has been met to the satisfaction of the Village Engineer.
Every holder of a major soil permit shall, upon completion of the work for which the permit was issued, forthwith file with the Village Engineer a written notice of the fact of such completion and the date thereof and a topographical map, in duplicate, prepared and certified by a licensed professional engineer licensed by the state or a licensed land surveyor licensed by the state, which shall show the identity and location of the applicant, a metes and bounds description of the lot or lots involved, the identity and location of the owner of the lot or lots involved and the final grades of the lot or lots involved following the completion of the moving of all soil and replacing of all topsoil. Such map shall be drawn to a scale of 100 feet to the inch and shall show the final grades on a one-hundred-foot grid layout.
No performance bond or cash deposit posted pursuant to § 246-14 shall be canceled or released until all the conditions set forth in the original permit have been met to the satisfaction of the Village Engineer. The Village Engineer shall notify the governing body of the Village within 31 days from the date of filing of the documents required by § 246-16 and of his approval or disapproval of such documents or of the work done or of the state of the lot or lots involved. The governing body of the Village shall take into account the recommendations or objections of the Village Engineer in granting or refusing to grant a release of any performance bond or cash deposit.
No holder of any soil permit, whether major, minor or ministerial, shall move topsoil in or upon any lot or lots unless provisions are made for storage of the topsoil within the boundary lines of such lot or lots, as set forth in the application for the permit. All topsoil so stored shall be uniformly replaced over the entire area or surface of the lot or lots involved on or before the completion date set forth in the permit so that the final grade or grades of the replaced topsoil shall be in accordance with the proposed final grades upon which the permit was issued. No topsoil shall be removed to any point beyond the boundary lines of the lot or lots involved unless and until topsoil shall first have been placed uniformly to a depth of not less than six inches, measured from the proposed final grades upon which the permit was issued, over the entire surface or area of the lot or lots involved, but this requirement shall not apply to those areas of any lot that shall be or shall have been, since the date of issuance of any permit, permanently covered by a building, structure, street, pavement, curb, sidewalk, driveway or by any permitted or approved body of water or waterway. Anything in this section hereinabove notwithstanding, no holder of any soil permit shall remove from the lot or lots involved more topsoil than that comprising the surplus or excess remaining after the replacement of the topsoil as aforesaid.
No holder of a soil permit, whether major, minor or ministerial, shall at any time in the course of the work permitted thereby dig or excavate more than six inches below the proposed final grades upon which the permit was issued without consent, in writing, from the Village Engineer.
No holder of any soil permit, whether major, minor or ministerial, shall deposit soil upon, fill in or raise the grade of any lot or lots involved without first making provision for use in the work of such soil or other materials as will not result in deviation from the proposed final grades or the uniformity thereof by reason of abnormal shrinkage, compaction or settlement, the collection and storage upon the lot involved of the original topsoil so that such topsoil shall not be buried beneath soil or other material of inferior quality, the uniform replacement of the topsoil so stored over the entire area or surface of the fill soil on the lot involved so that the final grades of the replaced topsoil shall be in accordance with the proposed final grades, and the trees on such premises six inches in diameter or more and designated by the permit to be saved from destruction are adequately provide for by wells, embankments or other works designed to save them from dying. In the event that the storage of topsoil on the lot involved is found by the Village Engineer not to be practicable, then the holder of any soil permit, whether major, minor or ministerial, shall provide for the uniform placement over the entire area or surface of the fill soil or other material placed upon such lot of a layer of topsoil not inferior in quality to that of the original topsoil, to a depth of not less than six inches measured from the proposed final grades, excepting only therefrom those portions of the lot involved as shall be or shall have become permanently covered by a building, structure, street, pavement, curb, sidewalk, driveway or by any permitted and approved body of water or waterway.
When any soil is removed from the lot involved to any other lot, whether within or without the boundaries of the Village, the holder of any soil permit, whether major, minor or ministerial, shall use only such streets of the Village as shall be designated for that purpose by the Village Engineer and shall keep such streets free from dirt resulting from such soil removal work.
For the purposes of administering and enforcing this chapter, the Village Engineer and his agents, employees and representatives shall have the right to enter into and upon any lands in or upon which soil moving or removal operations are being conducted to examine and inspect the same and to assure full compliance with all the terms, conditions and restrictions under which any permit may have been issued.