Township of Wayne, NJ
Passaic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: 1988 Code §§ 84-1—84-13 adopted as amended through December 31, 2013 and further amended by Ord. No. 25-2016. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Council finds that uncontrolled and unregulated grading, excavation and filling of land has resulted in conditions dangerous or detrimental to the public health, safety and general welfare. It is therefore determined that these concerns justify the regulation of grading, excavation and filling for the protection of persons and properties within the Township of Wayne.
A. 
Short title. This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Wayne Township Grading Ordinance."
B. 
Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to provide minimum standards to safeguard persons, to protect property and to promote the public health, safety and welfare by regulating, restricting and controlling the grading, excavation or filling of land; the removal or destruction of topsoil, trees or other vegetative cover; the altering of existing drainage runoff patterns; and by regulating, restricting and controlling the design, construction, quality of materials used, location and maintenance of grading, excavations and fills.
C. 
Applicability. This Chapter shall apply to any disturbance greater than 500 square feet in area and/or greater than six inches (6") in depth, not covered by any other permit.
[Ord. No. 25-2016]
[Ord. No. 25-2016]
A. 
Definitions. When used in this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings indicated:
CUT
An excavation, the difference between a point on the original ground and a designated point of lower elevation on the final grade; the material removed in excavation.
DISTURBANCE
Any activity involving the clearing, grading, excavating, storing, filling or transporting of soil or any other activity that causes soil to be exposed to the danger of erosion. The area of lot "disturbance" shall include all portions of a lot which will be disturbed by grading activity during construction including vehicle access and stockpiling of materials.
EXCAVATION
Any act by which earth, sand, gravel, rock, asphalt, or other similar material is dug into, cut, quarried, uncovered, removed, displaced, relocated or bulldozed and shall include the conditions resulting therefrom. Normal agricultural activities are excluded.
FILL
Any act by which earth, sand, gravel, rock or other similar material is deposited, placed, pushed, dumped, pulled, transported or moved to a new location above the natural surface of the ground or on top of the stripped surface and shall include the conditions resulting therefrom; the difference in elevation between a point on the original ground and a designated point of higher elevation in the final grade; the material used to make a fill.
GRADE
The elevation of the existing ground surface at the location of any proposed excavation or fill.
GRADING
Excavation or fill, or any combination thereof, and shall include the conditions resulting from any excavation or fill.
GRADING PERMIT
Any permit required under this chapter.
LIMIT OF GRADING
The boundary line formed between those areas of a site that are to be graded and the existing natural topography of the property. The limit of grading shall be synonymous with a no-cut/no-fill line.
PERSON
An individual, corporation, company, association, society, firm, partnership, limited liability corporation or limited liability partnership.
RETAINING WALL
A structure 24 inches or greater but less than 48 inches in height composed of concrete, steel, wood or other approved building material constructed for the purpose of supporting a cut or filled embankment which would otherwise not comply with the requirements of the standards set forth in this chapter.
RUNOFF
The surface water discharge or rate of discharge of a given watershed after a fall of rain or snow that does not enter the soil but runs off the surface of the land.
SWALE
A low-lying stretch of land which gathers or carries surface water runoff and having an acceptable point of end discharge.
TOPSOIL
Surface soils and subsurface soil that presumably are fertile soil material, ordinarily rich in organic matter or humus debris. Topsoil is usually found in the uppermost soil layer called the "A-horizon."
WATERCOURSE
A permanent stream, intermittent stream, river, brook, creek, channel, ditch, swale or culvert for water, whether natural or man-made.
B. 
Word usage. Words in the singular include the plural, and words in the plural include the singular. Present tense includes the future.
[Ord. No. 25-2016]
No person shall commence or perform any disturbance greater than 500 square feet within the Township of Wayne without first having obtained a grading permit. A separate grading permit shall be required for each site. One permit may cover both an excavation and any fill made on the same site. One permit may cover a continuous parcel to be graded for a proposed major planned development, such as a residential planned unit development or a planned industrial park. All work must comply with the approved permit. Any changes or deviations would require a revised plan and revised permit.
[Ord. No. 25-2016]
A grading permit will not be required for any of the following situations:
A. 
An excavation or fill that does not exceed six inches in vertical depth at its deepest point and where the disturbance is less than 500 square feet of disturbance. Any disturbance in excess of 500 square feet or more requires a grading permit.
B. 
Agricultural, silvicultural and gardening activities.
C. 
Reseeding or sodding of lawns and installation of landscaping on preexisting lawn or landscaped areas. Topsoil replacement will be allowed under this activity.
D. 
Landscaping without changing the grade and without retaining walls.
E. 
Grading under the authorization of a properly issued building permit (including additions, pools, decks, and walls 4 feet or over in face height). However, grading under the authorization of a building permit shall follow the standards and requirements of this chapter.
F. 
Grading under the authorization of a properly issued quarrying operation permit or soil mining/soil removal operations permit.
G. 
Removal of noxious weeds without changing the grades.
H. 
Driveway replacement in the same location and at the same size as the existing driveway.
The provisions of this chapter shall not relieve any person of the duty to comply with any other and more restrictive provisions as set forth in the statutes and/or regulations of the State of New Jersey, including the rules and regulations of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for flood hazard areas, freshwater wetlands and transition areas and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture for soil erosion and sedimentation control.
[Ord. No. 25-2016]
A. 
Any person desiring to do grading or related operations in the Township of Wayne shall file a written application with the Township Engineer on forms prescribed by the Township Engineer. The application shall include the following information:
(1) 
The names of the property owner and any agent of the owner.
(2) 
Address, telephone number and email address of the property owner and of the agent.
(3) 
A letter of authorization from the owner.
(4) 
Description of the land upon which the proposed grading is to be done, by street address, lot, block, tract or similar description which will readily identify and definitely locate the proposed work.
(5) 
Statement as to the purpose for which the grading is proposed.
(6) 
Date grading is to commence and length of time required to complete grading.
(7) 
Estimated area of grading and number of cubic yards to be removed from or imported to the site.
(8) 
The name and address of the excavator, contractor or the person having charge, supervision and control of the proposed worksite.
(9) 
Site grading plan.
(10) 
Permit fee.
B. 
Site grading plan. A detailed site grading plan shall accompany every application. The detailed site grading plan shall be drawn at a scale of not less than one inch equals 50 feet. For projects involving less than 1,000 square feet of disturbance, this plan may be prepared by the property owner or the owner's agent. For projects involving limits of grading disturbance in excess of 1,000 square feet or more, the site grading plan shall be drawn and certified by a licensed professional engineer, surveyor, architect or landscape architect. The site grading plan shall meet the requirements of N.J.A.C. 13:40-7. The detailed site grading plan shall show information in accordance with the following:
(1) 
The block and lot number, date, revision number and date, graphic scale, north arrow, and the name and signature of the person who prepared the site plan.
(2) 
All lot lines, dimensions and private or public easements, and lot area.
(3) 
Location of all existing buildings with dimensions.
(4) 
Location of all accessory structures such as sheds, pools, patios, walkways and retaining walls.
(5) 
If any changes are proposed for the existing driveway, a profile of the driveway from the edge of the street pavement to the garage will be required.
(6) 
The location of any existing and proposed drainage structures and pipes, watercourses, wells and water lines, sanitary sewerage disposal fields and pipes.
(7) 
Limits of grading or the no-cut/no-fill line and Limit of Disturbance (LOD) with Maximum Allowable Disturbance (MAD) and Total Adjusted Disturbance Area (TADA) calculations shown on the plans.
(8) 
Existing and proposed contours may be required if the property has slopes over 8% as shown on the available Township topography maps.
(a) 
Existing and proposed contours at vertical intervals of two feet with sufficient details and spot elevations to show the courts, structure and capacity of all drainage facilities and the method of drainage of the adjacent or contiguous property.
(b) 
The existing and proposed spot elevations of the levels of land at the corner of a foundation of any structure and the levels of land above and below existing retaining walls as well as top and bottom of wall elevations.
(c) 
Benchmarks to which contour and spot elevations refer shall be noted, and the datum shall refer to United States Coast and Geodetic Survey datum (1929 NGVD or 1988 NAVD).
(9) 
The location of all landscaping, including trees, shrubs and ground cover, with type and size of trees. The location of all trees over eight inches or greater in diameter within and extending 20 feet into the LOD must be specifically indicated, and trees proposed to be cut down shall be specifically labeled "to be removed and replaced".
(10) 
The disposition and extent of topsoil and other soil to be removed or backfilled.
(11) 
The location and design details of any proposed walls less than four feet in height.
(12) 
Location of flood hazard areas, wetlands and transition areas as determined by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
(13) 
All applicable construction details.
A. 
The fee for a grading permit shall be as provided in Chapter 75, Fees.
B. 
Every grading permit shall expire by limitation and become null and void if the work authorized by such permit has not been commenced within six months of the date of the permit or the work authorized by such permit has not been completed within one year from the date of issue of the permit.
[New]
A. 
The permittee shall at all times during the work have the approved grading plan on site. The permittee shall display the permit card issued at all times while the work is in progress in a location that is clearly visible from the street.
B. 
The permittee shall protect any grading operation by the erection of suitable fence or barrier to limit public access.
[Ord. No. 25-2016]
A. 
Excavations and fills.
(1) 
Cut and fills shall not endanger adjoining property.
(2) 
The top or bottom edge of cut or fill slopes shall generally be set back from adjacent property lines or street right-of-way lines in order to permit the normal rounding of the edge without encroaching on the abutting property or street.
(3) 
Cut and fill slopes shall not be steeper than two horizontal to one vertical (2H:1V) unless stabilized by a retaining wall or cribbing.
(4) 
Fill shall be placed and compacted so as to minimize sliding or erosion of the soil.
(5) 
No fill shall be placed over trees, stumps or other material that could create a hazard.
(6) 
Fills shall not encroach on natural watercourses or constructed channels.
(7) 
Fills placed adjacent to natural watercourses or constructed channels shall have suitable protection against erosion during periods of flooding.
(8) 
No grading, cuts, fills or resulting slopes shall occur within public Township rights-of-way without the appropriate right-of-way permit and compliance with the standard Township details for construction within rights-of-way.
(9) 
During grading operations, necessary measures to prevent erosion and to control sediment deposition from occurring onto adjacent properties shall be exercised.
(10) 
During grading operations necessary measures for dust control shall be exercised.
(11) 
No grading permit shall be issued for the filling of land with materials other than clean soil or earth. Fill composed of or containing solid waste shall not be permitted within any property within the Township.
(12) 
Topsoil shall be placed over the top and exposed surfaces of the excavation or fill to a depth of not less than 4 inches and sufficient to conceal all materials and rocks within the fill.
(13) 
Existing on-site topsoil shall not be removed from the property. Imported topsoil shall meet the specifications contained in Chapter 134, Land Development.
(14) 
Notice to adjacent property owners. Before commencing any excavation or fill which will affect an adjoining property or structures thereon, the person making or causing the excavation or fill to be made shall give written notice to the owners of said adjoining properties or structures not less than 14 days prior to the date such excavation is to be commenced.
B. 
Drainage.
(1) 
Adequate provisions shall be made to prevent surface water from damaging the cut face of excavations or the sloping surfaces of fills.
(2) 
All lots, tracts or parcels shall be graded to provide proper drainage of surface water away from buildings and dispose of it without unwanted ponding or other ponding, except where approved such as for retention basins.
(3) 
All drainage provisions shall be of such design as to adequately handle the surface runoff and carry it to the nearest suitable outlet, such as a street, storm drain or natural watercourse. Where drainage swales are used to divert surface waters away from buildings and around properties, they shall be of such slope, shape and size as to convey the 10-year storm within its banks. All swales shall be sodded or planted in accordance with good soil erosion control practices.
(4) 
Concentration of surface water runoff shall only be permitted in swales or watercourses where it can be directed into an acceptable discharge point.
(5) 
No more than two upstream lots shall be permitted to drain into one swale. Inlets and piping within private easements shall be utilized when the number of lots draining to a single swale system exceeds 3.
(6) 
Where a swale system drains to an inlet in an area that has no overland relief, the inlet and pipe system shall be designed to convey the 25-year storm.
(7) 
Swales shall not be permitted within the usable recreational portions of side and rear yards and shall generally follow common lot lines.
(8) 
Swales shall not be permitted along the tops of retaining walls without adequate design and protection of said retaining wall.
(9) 
Existing surface drainage patterns and directions of surface flow, including onto properties of other landowners, shall be preserved and maintained. Grading shall not be done in such a way as to redirect or divert water from an existing different direction onto the property of another landowner without the expressed written consent of the affected landowner.
(10) 
Existing or established swale systems or courses shall not be blocked, narrowed, moved or redirected without the expressed written consent of all the landowners involved who depend on said swale system for their surface drainage disposal. Retaining walls, pools, sheds and like structures shall not be constructed within established swales.
C. 
Retaining walls.
(1) 
Retaining walls shall not endanger adjoining properties.
(2) 
Retaining walls must be constructed in accordance with sound engineering practice, including proper backfill material and adequate wall drainage facilities to prevent hydrostatic buildup. A building permit as provided for by other municipal regulations shall be required for walls 4 feet and higher and shall be designed and certified by a professional engineer. Tiered walls shall be designed for increased or surcharge loading of the upper tier onto the next lower tier.
(3) 
Footings, deadmen, tiebacks or geo-grids shall not extend into adjoining properties or easements without the express written consent of the affected landowner.
(4) 
No portions of any retaining wall shall be permitted within a Township right-of-way or public easement unless the Township Council approves an encroachment agreement.
D. 
Protection of trees.
(1) 
Trees that are not to be removed or destroyed as part of the grading operation shall be protected from damage to their roots, trunks and branches. Physical barriers and safeguards shall be employed as necessary to assure the protection of said trees.
(2) 
The existing natural grade at the base of a tree that is not to be removed or destroyed shall not be altered within its dripline.
(3) 
The roots of trees that are not to be removed or destroyed shall not be indiscriminately cut or torn by digging equipment for trenches, slopes or retaining walls as part of the grading operation.
(4) 
Trees eight inches or greater in caliper that are to be removed or destroyed shall be replaced pursuant to the provision of the Environmental Protection Regulations contained in the Chapter 134, Land Development.
[Ord. No. 25-2016]
A. 
Inspections.
(1) 
The proposed disturbance shown on the approved site grading plan shall be subject to inspection and final approval by the Township Engineer. Changes to or deviations from the approved plan will be considered a violation of the permit unless approved as a revised site grading plan prior to implementation of said changes.
(2) 
The permittee or his/her agent shall notify the Township Engineer in writing of the start and completion of each continuous grading operation. Notice shall be received by the Township Engineer at least 2 working days before start or completion of grading operations.
(3) 
Grading work at these stages or at any other time will be subject to spot inspection, at the discretion of the Township Engineer, to determine whether the work is being performed in compliance with this chapter.
B. 
Enforcement. In the event that the Township Engineer or his/her designee finds existing conditions not as stated in the applicant's approved grading plan, the Township Engineer or designee shall refuse to approve further work and shall require necessary corrective measures to be promptly installed. Immediately upon discovery or notification of any violation of this chapter, the Township Engineer or designee shall issue a written order to the permittee requiring compliance therewith within 10 days of the date of the written order. The Township Engineer or designee shall have the authority to issue stop-work notices, including orders to correct or remove any work or condition in order to abate any nuisance or safety hazard.
A. 
Maintenance.
(1) 
The owner of any property on which an excavation or fill has been made shall maintain in good condition and repair the excavation or fill permitted and also all retaining walls, cribbing, drainage swales and structures, fences, ground cover and any other protective devices as may be a part of the permit requirements.
(2) 
If, at any time subsequent to the completion of the grading work, the cut face or fill slope shall evidence conditions which might be detrimental to the properties above and below the grading site, the Township may direct the property owner to take necessary remedial steps in accordance with sound engineering practice to restore the grading to a safe condition and to do so in a reasonable period of time.
B. 
Liability. The issuance of a permit under the provisions of this chapter shall not relieve any person from liability for damage to either persons or property resulting from the grading, excavation or filling of land undertaken pursuant to a permit issued in accordance with this chapter, nor shall the issuance of a permit under the provisions of this chapter impose any liability upon the Township, its agents, servants and/or employees.
A. 
The Township Engineer shall enforce the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Any person who violates any provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be liable to the penalties stated in Chapter 1, Section 1-15.