[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Franklin Lakes 2-14-1990 by Ord. No. 893 as Ch. XVII of the 1988 Code; amended in its entirety 3-19-2013 by Ord. No. 1562. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
No person, firm or corporation shall do, cause or allow any of the following actions to occur on any land in the Borough, unless and until a soil permit shall first have been issued by the Borough Engineer:
The addition, removal or movement of more than 100 cubic yards of soil from or on any lot or a change in its contour of greater than six inches.
The moving of any soil on a lot where the activity results in a change in the lot contours which result in a change in the drainage characteristics of the lot to the extent that there is increased or decreased runoff to any abutting properties or private or public roads.
No owner of any land in the Borough shall permit any of the actions described in § 404-1 to occur upon his property until the owner of the land has first obtained a soil moving permit.
[Amended 11-20-2018 by Ord. No. 1762]
Any person, firm or corporation desiring to engage in any activities for which a permit is required shall, before commencing work, file a written application on a form furnished by the Borough for a permit therefor, with the Code Enforcement Department, which application shall contain the following data:
Present contour lines and contour grades of the lots and lands.
Proposed contour lines and proposed contour grades resulting from the addition, removal or moving of soil on the lots and lands and in relation to the adjoining properties.
Grades of all abutting streets, lots and lands to the extent they are required by the Code Enforcement Department.
Where soil is to be removed and stored on lands within the Borough, the applicant shall indicate the precise location where the soil shall be stored, the present contour lines and contour grades of the property on which this soil shall be stored, and the total cubic yards intended to be stored and the length of time of storage, and any and all plans for soil erosion control when requested by the Code Enforcement Department.
The Code Enforcement Department may waive or omit any of the requirements set forth herein.
Work under a soil removal permit must be completed within one year of the issuance of the soil removal permit. Prior to the expiration of the permit or an extension of the permit, the applicant can apply to the Code Enforcement Department for a one-year extension to the soil removal permit.
No fill other than soil shall be permitted without the express authorization of the Borough Engineer. Stone, boulders, debris, stumps or similar materials are not permitted without the Borough Engineer's authorization. Where soil is being imported into the Borough, the applicant shall provide to the Engineer a certification that the soil is free from any toxic waste, radioactive materials or other materials that would present health hazards or are prohibited from discharge into the soil by the Department of Environmental Protection. The applicant shall further state the precise location from which the soil is being imported and, where required by the Engineer, shall provide any requested analysis of the soil.
If activities which would require a soil moving permit are part of a development application before the Planning Board or Board of Adjustment, then the Planning Board or Board of Adjustment shall review the activities as part of its development application process, in accordance with the requirements of this chapter.
In considering and reviewing the application and in issuing or denying the permit, the Borough Engineer shall be guided by the general purpose of municipal planning and shall take into consideration the following factors:
Soil erosion by water and wind.
Surface water drainage.
Lateral support of abutting streets, lots and lands.
Public health and safety.
Land values and uses.
Such other factors as may bear upon or relate to the coordinated, adjusted and harmonious physical development of the Borough.
Streams, ponds, lakes and watercourses.
Preservation and removal of trees.
The applicant shall be required to comply with the requirements of Borough Code § 300-150 pertaining to tree preservation and removal. In addition to the requirements of said section, for new construction only, if trees are removed from the area because of installation of a septic tank or field, then replacement trees shall be required in accordance with Subsection D of § 300-150, unless otherwise permitted by Subsection B(2) of § 300-150. For purposes of this section, "new construction" shall mean the construction of a new home or an addition to an existing home.
[Amended 4-19-2016 by Ord. No. 1670]
Before any permit shall be issued, the applicant shall file with the Mayor and Council of the Borough any performance bond required by the Borough Engineer, with satisfactory surety, the amount to be set by the Borough Engineer. The bond shall be conditioned upon full and faithful performance by the principal, within the time specified in the application, of all the proposed work as set forth in the application and such additional work which may be found necessary by the Borough Engineer.
The bond shall be conditioned upon the repair, at the expense of the owner or applicant, of any street or streets, curbs, or property damaged as a result of soil movement or construction conducted on the property identified in the application. The extent of the repairs required shall be determined in the sole reasonable judgment of the Borough Engineer.
The term "expense," as used in this section, shall include the cost of supervision incurred by the Borough Engineer in connection with such repairs.
The applicant, when submitting said bond, shall provide the name of a contact and an address. The applicant, upon completion of the work, shall submit a request for refund or release of the bond to the Borough Engineer. Once the Borough Engineer approves the work, the bond shall be released.
In the event that after a period of more than 24 months a request for the release of the bond has not been received by the Borough, and the Borough Engineer has determined that all of the work has been completed, the Borough shall provide a notice to the applicant at the address provided advising the applicant that the bond can be released upon receipt of an appropriate request.
In the event there is no response from the applicant within 30 days after the Borough has mailed a notice to the applicant as described above to the address provided, the Borough shall transfer any monies held in escrow to the Borough to be utilized for repairs and the paving of streets.
The owner of the premises or the person in charge of the moving of soil, when permission has been duly granted, shall not take away the top layer of arable soil for a depth of six inches, but such top layer of arable soil to a depth of six inches shall be set aside for retention on the premises and shall be respread over the premises when the rest of the soil has been removed, pursuant to levels and contour lines approved by the Engineer.
[Amended 3-15-2016 by Ord. No. 1658]
In the moving of soil, when permission has been duly granted, the owner or person in charge shall so conduct the operations that there shall be no sharp declivities, pits or depressions and in such a manner that, upon completion, the area shall be properly leveled off, cleared of debris and graded and seeded to conform with the contour lines and grades as approved by the Borough Engineer.
All streets within the Borough shall be thoroughly cleaned each day of any spillage or soil on such traveled ways resulting from soil movement, project-related erosion and/or truck operations, at the applicant's expense. "Clean" shall be defined as broom clean. Cleaning operations shall be completed prior to 5:00 p.m. on each day. Street cleaning operations shall not consist of washing, brooming or blowing soil into gutters, roadside ditches or swales, inlets or inlet filters, and any such washing, brooming or blowing shall be deemed a violation of this chapter.
Track-driven earthmoving equipment shall not be unloaded onto or driven upon any street on which a bituminous intermediate course or a bituminous surface course has been placed. The use of timber mats is required when such equipment is driven over the subject courses. If such track-driven equipment traverses bituminous pavement and leaves marks thereon, the Borough Engineer shall require the applicant to remove and replace the area of pavement so damaged, or in his or her discretion to deposit funds equal in value to the estimated cost of such replacement with the Borough to cover future pavement repairs.
The entire area covered by the work shall be maintained and left in such a manner, on a daily basis, so as not to create or maintain a nuisance or condition hazardous to life and limb or to the health or general welfare of the public.
All excavations left overnight shall be fully encircled with protective fencing, properly embedded or braced to the satisfaction of the Borough Engineer.
No operation governed by this chapter shall be permitted on Sunday or before 6:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m.
When a permit for the moving of soil has been granted, the person, firm or corporation receiving such permit shall keep records as are necessary to show the quantities of soil moved, removed or added to land. The records shall be so maintained as to permit inspection and audit by the Borough Engineer.
The Construction Official, Borough Engineer and Tree Specialist shall have at all times the right to inspect any property where a permit has been issued under the provisions of this chapter. In order to facilitate this right of inspection, the owners of the property shall cause sufficient grade and boundary stakes to be put in place while work is going on or about to commence. The Construction Official, Borough Engineer and Tree Specialist shall also have the right to inspect the property at any time for the purpose of laying out roads, drainage or for any other purpose deemed in the best interest of the Borough.
[Amended 7-21-2015 by Ord. No. 1643]
Fees. The applicant shall pay a fee to the Borough, which shall include tree preservation and removal review and inspection, as follows:
[Amended 11-20-2018 by Ord. No. 1762]
Escrows. In addition to the fees referenced in Subsection A above, an applicant seeking approval for soil movement shall deposit with the Borough as an escrow, pursuant to § 300-42.1 of the Code of the Borough of Franklin Lakes and N.J.S.A. 40:55B-53, the following amounts:
Additional escrows. In the event that the escrow is insufficient to cover the cost of the services provided by the engineering professional, the applicant shall be required to post an additional amount as established by the Borough, and the certificate of occupancy and all other Borough approvals shall not be issued until said additional amounts have been deposited into escrow.
Legal escrows. Where appropriate, the Board Secretary, prior to accepting an application, may require an additional escrow of $500 to cover anticipated legal fees. The Board may, by resolution, establish specific circumstances under which this additional escrow is required. This escrow shall be handled in accordance with § 300-42.1 of the Code of the Borough of Franklin Lakes and N.J.S.A. 40:55B-53.
At any and all times when soil is being removed or deposited upon a site in the Borough, the soil moving permit shall be in the possession of the person in charge of the operation on the site. In the event the soil moving permit is not in possession of the person and on the site, a summons may be issued, and all work shall cease immediately.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any parcel of land or portion thereof, the boundary lines of which can be ascertained by reference to the maps and records, or either, in the office of the Tax Assessor of the Borough or the office of the Bergen County Clerk.
- To dig; to excavate; to remove; to grade, regrade, level or otherwise alter or change the location or contour; to transport; to supply. This term shall not be construed to include plowing, spading, cultivating, harrowing or discing of soil or any other operation usually and ordinarily associated with the tilling of soil for agricultural or horticultural purposes.
- Any individual, firm, association, partnership or corporation, or any group of two or more of them, or anyone acting on behalf of the person.
- Any earth, topsoil, sand, clay, loam, gravel, humus, rock or dirt, without regard to the presence or absence therein of organic matter.
[Added 3-15-2016 by Ord. No. 1658]
The Borough Engineer shall be the enforcement agent for all soil erosion and sediment control measures not under Bergen County Soil Conservation District jurisdiction and for all soil movement measures not within the scope of the State Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Standards. All engineering fees incurred for enforcement and inspection shall be paid from the applicant's escrow account in accordance with § 404-12.
[Added 3-15-2016 by Ord. No. 1658]
Any person who shall violate this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, pay a fine not exceeding $1,000 or be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both. Each day that a violation exists shall constitute a separate offense.
The Mayor and Council, Planning Board or Board of Adjustment, in its discretion, may order any person who shall violates this chapter to restore the property, as nearly as is reasonably possible, to its condition immediately prior to the violation at that person's sole cost and expense. The applicant shall present a plan of restoration and/or revegetation for approval by the Mayor and Council, Planning Board or Board of Adjustment within a timeframe established by that board. Failure to present an acceptable plan of restoration and/or revegetation within the time period established by the Mayor and Council, Planning Board or Board of Adjustment shall constitute a violation of this chapter.