[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Upper Allen 8-12-1974 by Ord. No. 206. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Upper Allen Township Excavation and Fill Ordinance."
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BUILDING INSPECTOR
- The Building Inspector of Upper Allen Township; or other person designated by the Board of Commissioners to perform the function of Building Inspector as herein provided.
- Any person or firm engaging in the business or act of excavating or filling.
- The cutting, grading, digging or removal of earth or natural materials in such manner as to change the natural or existing terrain.
- The placing, carrying or depositing of earth or natural materials in such manner as to change the natural or existing terrain.
- The Manager of Upper Allen Township; or other person designated by the Board of Commissioners to perform the function of Manager as herein provided.
- Any person or firm who owns land, or any interest therein, sufficient to permit excavation or fill thereon.
It shall be unlawful for any person or firm to make or cause or permit to be made any excavation or fill in the Township except in accordance with a permit issued as specified herein; provided, however, that no permit shall be required to fill or excavate:
By the federal government, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any political subdivision thereof; or
Where less than two cubic yards of earth or material are moved; or
Where grading for a building site is being made for the purpose of immediate construction of a building or improvements thereon, for which a building permit has been issued, if, in the opinion of the Building Inspector, evidenced in writing on such building permit, no hazard to property rights of the Township or adjoining land owners will be encountered or created by such excavation or fill.
An application for a permit to excavate or fill shall be made in duplicate by the contractor in writing on forms furnished by the Township, filed with the Building Inspector, who shall forthwith deliver one copy to the Manager. Said application shall set forth the following information:
The name, identity and address of the owner.
The name, identity and address of the contractor.
The description and location of the property involved.
A statement of the exact nature of the proposed excavation or fill, indicating the slope of the sides and the level of the finished surface, the type of earth or material to be moved, the method, manner and equipment to be used in the work and the disposition of material at the site.
Proposed time of commencement and completion of the work.
A statement that all owners of the land involved were notified of the intention to apply for such permit; and proof of service on such owners as the Building Inspector or Manager may require.
An agreement that if the excavation or fill be not completed in accordance with the plans and specifications therefor and the permit issued therefor, then the work may be completed by the Township, the cost thereof to be paid by the contractor.
An agreement to indemnify and save harmless Township and its agents from all liabilities, costs and expenses which may result from or be a consequence of the granting of such permit.
At the time of filing the application for a permit to excavate or fill, the applicant shall pay a filing fee in accordance with the following schedule:
When, in the opinion of the Manager, the proper investigation of an application for a permit to excavate or fill will require the services of an engineer for technical help and advice, the Manager may consult with such engineer and require him to make inspections of the work in progress. In such case, prior to the issuance of the permit, the Manager shall notify the applicant of the necessity for engineering inspection, and the applicant shall pay, prior to commencing work, reasonable engineering fees, at current rates, to be determined in advance of the issuance of the permit, but not to exceed $50 for each inspection that will be required.
Within 10 days after the filing of the application for a permit to excavate or fill, the Manager shall cause an investigation to be made, and shall either issue the permit upon such conditions expressed in the permit as he shall deem necessary to comply with all of the provisions of this chapter or deny such permit.
In investigating and taking action on applications for a permit to excavate or fill, the Manager shall consider the public health, safety and general welfare, and the effect thereof upon neighboring properties, and he shall deny such permit if, in his opinion, the excavation or fill would:
Unlawfully remove the lateral or subjacent support of any adjacent land; or
Create a dangerous topographic condition; or
Cause seepage or slides; or
Improperly divert the flow of drainage waters; or
Create a nuisance; or
In any manner endanger the health, safety or property of any other person.
The manager shall forthwith notify the applicant of the issuance or denial of the permit, and if the applicant shall be dissatisfied therewith, he may appeal to the Board of Commissioners by filing a written notice of appeal with the Township Secretary within 30 days after such notice from the Manager; and at the same time, the applicant shall deliver to the Township Secretary a list of the names and addresses of all owners of property within a radius of 300 feet from the exterior boundaries of the proposed excavation or fill.
The appeal shall be heard at the next succeeding regular or special meeting of the Board of Commissioners held more than 30 days after the filing of the appeal. The Township Secretary shall mail notice of such hearing at least 10 days prior thereto to all owners within a radius of 300 feet of the exterior boundaries of the proposed excavation or fill. The hearing on the appeal may be continued from time to time. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board of Commissioners may deny or issue a permit upon such terms and conditions as they shall deem necessary to conform to the provisions of this chapter. The action of the Board of Commissioners shall be final and conclusive; and no similar application may be filed for the same property for a period of 12 months.
In order to minimize the danger of slides on, to or from adjacent land, the Manager may specify in the permit the permissible angle of slope of the sides of the excavation or fill. No side of such excavation or fill may be made steeper at any point than the angle so specified in the permit unless supported by a substantial, permanent retaining wall of sufficient strength to permanently support such sides of the excavation or fill and constructed in accordance with a permit to do so, as herein provided. Such retaining wall shall be of concrete, brick, stone or other material not subject to rapid deterioration and shall extend the full height and length of each side of such excavation or fill which is at any point made steeper in slope than the angle specified in the permit to excavate or fill. If the applicant desires to make any side of the excavation or fill steeper than the angle specified in the permit, he shall so state in a supplemental application, and shall file therewith, in duplicate as aforesaid, detailed plans and specifications for such retaining wall. Upon the approval of such plans and specifications, the permit or supplemental permit to excavate or fill shall authorize the sides thereof to be made steeper than the angle of slope specified therein if supported by a retaining wall constructed in accordance with such plans and specifications.
Any applicant to whom a permit to excavate is granted shall comply with the following requirements:
The bottom of the excavation shall not be lower than the level specified in the permit.
If, in the opinion of the Manager, any excavation will create or aggravate a dangerous condition if left open, such excavation shall be enclosed by a fence sufficiently high, tight and strong to eliminate such dangerous condition.
Any rock, earth or other material which may be dropped or deposited on any public road or place from any vehicle transporting such materials from any such excavation shall be immediately removed in a manner and to an extent satisfactory to the Manager at the expense of the applicant.
The applicant shall agree to indemnify and save the Township and its agents harmless from all liabilities, judgments, costs and expenses which may result from or be a consequence of the granting of such permit.
The Manager may require, as a condition to the granting of any permit under this chapter, that the contractor deposit with the Township Secretary a completion bond, with such surety and in such amount as required by the Manager, not exceeding, however, the sum of $50,000, inuring to the benefit of the Township and the general public, guaranteeing that the contractor will complete the work in accordance with the permit. The Manager may also require, as a condition to the granting of any permit under this chapter, that the contractor deposit with the Township Secretary the certificate of a responsible insurance company, certifying that the contractor is insured for an amount as required by the Manager, not exceeding, however, the sum of $100,000, against any injury or damage to persons or property arising directly or indirectly from the performance of the contractor in making the excavation or fill for which such permit is issued.
Any permit granted under this chapter may be revoked by the Manager for any reason for which the issuance of a permit might be lawfully denied or for the failure of the contractor to comply with any of the terms or conditions of the permit. Revocation shall be made only after hearing before the Manager after five days' written notice to the applicant, given by personal service or deposited in the United States Mail, addressed to the applicant at the address given in the application. The action of the Manager may be appealed to the Board of Commissioners as heretofore provided. If, in the opinion of the Manager, public health, safety or welfare is endangered, the Manager may suspend any permit granted under this chapter pending the hearing for the revocation of such permit. Such revocation or suspension shall be in addition to any other penalties provided in this chapter.
In the event any excavation or fill for which a permit has been granted under this chapter is not commenced within six months from the date of such permit, or in the event the work of excavation or fill is at any time abandoned for a period of six consecutive months, such permit shall automatically terminate, without notice, and no further excavation or fill shall be made; providing, however, that the conditions and responsibilities in such permit shall remain binding upon the person or firm to whom such permit was issued, and all legal and equitable remedies shall be available against such person or firm for any breach thereof. When the amount of material excavated or filled equals the number of cubic yards authorized by the permit, no further excavation or fill may be made until a supplemental permit has been issued. An application for a supplemental permit to continue or enlarge the excavation or fill shall set forth the same information required in the original application, correcting, however, the quantity of excavation or fill, and paying the proper fee therefor.
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon summary conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $300, and in default of payment of said fine, to be imprisoned in Cumberland County Prison for a period not exceeding 30 days. Each day's violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense.