Borough of Upper Saddle River, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Upper Saddle River 5-9-1985. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Land use procedures — See Ch. 10.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 41.
Subdivision and site plan review — See Ch. 126.
Zoning — See Ch. 150.
The Council finds that the uncontrolled and unregulated excavation, filling and removal of soil has resulted and will result in conditions detrimental to the public safety, health and general welfare, deterring substantially the efforts of the Borough to promote and effectuate the general purpose of municipal planning.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
MOVE
To dig, excavate, remove, deposit, fill, grade, replace, level or otherwise alter or change the location or contour of land or to transport or supply the same. This term shall not be construed to include plowing, spading, cultivating, harrowing or disking of soil or any other operation usually and ordinarily associated with the tilling of soil for agricultural or horticultural purposes.
OWNER
Any person seized in fee simple of any lot.
REDISTRIBUTION
Any change or alteration in the grade of any property.
SOIL
Earth, sand, clay, loam, gravel, humus, rock or dirt, without regard to the presence or absence of organic matter and any debris, whether organic or construction debris, including but not limited to asphalt and concrete.
TOPSOIL
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 2-5-2015 by Ord. No. 2-15]
No person shall move any soil or change or alter the grade of any property within the Borough without first obtaining a soil removal permit.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the following operations:
A. 
The moving of 50 cubic yards or less of topsoil within a twelve-month period.
[Amended 8-18-2015 by Ord. No. 10-15]
B. 
The moving of soil in an amount not exceeding 50 cubic yards for use on the premises from which it is taken, provided that this does not involve any substantial change in the topography of the premises.
[Amended 8-18-2015 by Ord. No. 10-15]
C. 
The moving of up to 50 cubic yards of soil for use in connection with the construction or alteration of the basement or foundation of a building for which a proper building permit has been issued by the Building Department of the Borough of Upper Saddle River.
[Amended 8-18-2015 by Ord. No. 10-15]
D. 
The moving of soil for the installation of septic tanks or sanitary disposal systems for which applicable permits have been issued by the Board of Health, except for mounded systems.
[Amended 8-18-2015 by Ord. No. 10-15]
E. 
The moving of soil for the installation of underground utility lines, provided that all necessary permits have been issued.
F. 
The moving of soil for parking areas, provided that the required permits have been obtained.
G. 
The moving of soil for detention or retention basins or similar water control measures approved by the Planning Board or Board of Adjustment, provided that such soil removal is only for development containing less than two acres.
[Amended 5-8-1986 by Ord. No. 8-86]
H. 
Abandoned wells, septic systems, or cisterns may be filled in without a soil removal permit, provided that the owner of the lot or his agent completes and files a permit form with the Borough Engineer prior to commencement of the work to be performed.
[Amended 8-18-2015 by Ord. No. 10-15]
No soil removal permit shall be issued to any person other than the owner of the lot, and then only if the excavation, moving or removing of soil from, in or upon the lot is necessary for the immediate development of the property and the normal grading of the lot concerning which the application is made. No permit shall be issued for longer than one year.
[Amended 7-10-2002 by Ord. No. 13-02; 12-10-2008 by Ord. No. 18-08; 8-18-2015 by Ord. No. 10-15]
The soil removal permit shall be issued by the Borough Engineer or Planning Board in accordance with the provisions of §§ 118-7 and 118-7.2 of this chapter.
[Amended 7-10-2002 by Ord. No. 13-02; 12-10-2008 by Ord. No. 18-08; 8-18-2015 by Ord. No. 10-15]
Anyone engaged in the movement or removal of soil of 1,500 or fewer cubic yards shall make application to the Construction Official for a permit prior to commencing operations. The Construction Official shall require review and approval by the Borough Engineer, who shall be guided by the criteria and factors set forth in § 118-9 of this chapter. The issuance of a minor soil removal permit shall be by review and approval of the Borough Engineer.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 118-7.1, Intermediate soil removal permit, added 7-10-2002 by Ord. No. 13-02, was repealed 12-10-2008 by Ord. No. 18-08.
[Added 7-10-2002 by Ord. No. 13-02]
A major soil removal permit involving the movement or removal of 1,500 cubic yards or more of soil shall be required to be approved by the Planning Board after a public hearing, with notice being required to be given to all persons as set forth in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-12 and Chapter 10, Land Use Procedures, of the Borough Code. The issuance of a major soil removal permit shall be by the Planning Board.
The procedure for applying for and issuance of a soil removal permit shall be as follows:
A. 
Form of application. The applicant shall submit to the Construction Official or Planning Board, as appropriate, 10 copies of an application which shall include the following information:
[Amended 7-10-2002 by Ord. No. 13-02]
(1) 
The name and address of the owner of the land.
(2) 
The description of the lands in question, including the lot and block numbers of the land as shown on the current Tax Map of the Borough.
(3) 
The purpose or reason for moving the soil.
(4) 
The type and quantity in cubic yards of soil to be moved.
(5) 
The location to which the soil is to be moved.
(6) 
The proposed dates for commencement and completion of the work.
(7) 
A description of the equipment to be used in the excavation and moving of the soil, number and size of trucks and other vehicles to be used.
(8) 
Name and address of the person having express charge, supervision and control of the proposed excavation work.
(9) 
A listing of the route to be used by the vehicles in moving or installing the soil.
(10) 
A written statement of plans to control soil erosion with approval from Bergen County Soil Conservation District.
(11) 
Proof of liability insurance in such an amount and form as the Planning Board may require.
(12) 
A statement granting permission to Borough officials or their employees to enter the premises and make surveys and inspections as the work progresses.
B. 
Topographical map. Accompanying the application shall be a topographical map, prepared and certified by a licensed civil engineer or land surveyor, in triplicate, showing:
(1) 
Existing contours and finished grade contours.
(2) 
The quantity in cubic yards of soil involved in the work, as computed from cross sections which shall be shown on the map.
(3) 
Present and proposed surface water drainage and United States Coast and Geodetic Datum.
(4) 
Such other pertinent data as the Planning Board may hereafter by resolution require.
C. 
Permit fees and expenses.
[Amended 7-10-2002 by Ord. No. 13-02; 12-10-2008 by Ord. No. 18-08; 12-2-2010 by Ord. No. 15-10; 8-18-2015 by Ord. No. 10-15]
(1) 
The application shall be submitted to the Borough Engineer or Planning Board, as appropriate, with a fee payable to the Borough in an amount computed at the rate of $0.25 per cubic yard, $0.25 multiplied by the number of cubic yards to be moved as stated in the application and certified on the topographical map, provided that in no event shall such fee be less than $100.
(2) 
When the amount of soil to be removed or moved exceeds 500 cubic yards, the applicant shall be required to submit an additional fee for the soil removal permit of $1 per cubic yard to be moved or removed, together with an amount determined by the Borough Engineer or Planning Board to cover the cost for review of the application by professionals, provided that the fee in connection therewith shall be $1,000.
(3) 
In the event the Borough Engineer or Planning Board shall determine that the conduct of the soil movement operation requires the posting of a full- or part-time traffic safety personnel, the applicant shall be required to pay, in addition to the above fees, such additional sums as are necessary to cover the Borough's expense for such personnel.
D. 
Review of application; hearing. An application for a soil removal permit shall be reviewed and considered in the following manner:
(1) 
Within 30 days after receipt of a completed application, the Borough Engineer or Planning Board shall render a determination on an application for a minor soil removal permit.
[Amended 8-18-2015 by Ord. No. 10-15]
(2) 
A determination on an intermediate soil removal permit shall be made by the Borough Engineer or Planning Board within 30 days after the filing of a completed application; provided, however, that should the Construction Official determine to refer such application to the Planning Board, the Planning Board shall have an additional 45 days from the date of referral of such, application by the Construction Official to render its decision on the application.
[Amended 8-18-2015 by Ord. No. 10-15]
(3) 
The Planning Board shall review and render a determination for a major soil removal permit within 95 days after the submission of a completed application.
E. 
Appeal. In the event any person is aggrieved by the action of the Planning Board, such person, the applicant may, not later than 30 days after such action, appeal to the Borough Council. The Borough Council may, by majority vote, sustain, or by two-thirds vote of its entire membership, overrule, the Planning Board's recommendation.
F. 
Permit: form and conditions. The soil removal permit shall be in such form as may be prescribed by the Planning Board and shall contain any special conditions set forth in the recommendation.
[Amended 7-10-2002 by Ord. No. 13-02; 12-10-2008 by Ord. No. 18-08
A. 
In considering the application, the Planning Board or Borough Engineer shall be guided by the following factors:
(1) 
Soil erosion by water and wind.
(2) 
Surface and subsurface water drainage.
(3) 
Soil fertility.
(4) 
Lateral support slopes and grades of abutting streets and lands.
(5) 
Land values and uses.
(6) 
Preservation of trees and natural topography. In order to prevent erosion, any owner or excavator removing soil shall leave as many trees and undisturbed natural grade or topography as practicable in all areas except where excavations are made for buildings, driveways and streets. The application map made for such owner or excavator shall show the existing trees over eight inches in caliper for the consideration of the Planning Board.
(7) 
Whether the proposed work is necessary in connection with the immediate development of property.
(8) 
Traffic congestion.
(9) 
The effect that the proposed removal of soil would have on individual sanitary sewage disposal systems.
(10) 
Whether the proposed removal of soil constitutes a commercial activity.
(11) 
Any other factor which is relevant to the coordinated, adjusted and harmonious development of the Borough.
B. 
The Shade Tree Commission shall be an advisory committee to the Planning Board for recommendation prior to approval of the soil removal permit.
C. 
If, after considering the above factors, the Planning Board determines that the proposed moving or redistribution of soil will not be detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the Borough or its inhabitants, the necessary permit shall be issued. Otherwise, the Planning Board shall deny the application and shall notify the applicant. Notice of the grant or denial of the application shall be given to the applicant within 30 days after the application is filed.
D. 
The Construction Official and Planning Board, as the case may be, may refrain from considering and hearing any application for a soil removal permit wherein soil has been moved onto or within a property without prior application and approval having been granted. The approving authority may decline to consider and act upon an application until the site has been restored to its original condition or until site conditions have been stabilized to the satisfaction of the Construction Official and Borough Engineer.
Before the permit is issued, the applicant shall file with the Engineer a bond executed by the applicant as principal and a surety company licensed to do business in the State of New Jersey as surety. The amount of the bond shall be determined by the Engineer but shall not be less than $1,000, and shall be conditioned as follows:
A. 
No soil permit shall be issued unless and until the owner of the property shall have posted with the Borough of Upper Saddle River a performance bond, in form and with surety acceptable to the Borough of Upper Saddle River, in such an amount as the Upper Saddle River Planning Board shall determine, conditioned upon full and faithful performance by the owner, within the time specified in the permit, of all the proposed work in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and the terms and conditions of the soil permit issued pursuant thereto. In addition, the bond shall be conditioned upon the repair, at the expense of the owner, of any Borough street damaged by the transportation of soil in connection with the operation if, in the judgment of the Borough Engineer or Director of Department of Public Works, such repairs are deemed necessary. The term "expense" as used in this section includes the cost of supervision incurred by the Borough Engineer in connection with such repairs.
B. 
Each applicant shall post with the Borough a separate bond for the revegetation of all disturbed land areas for which a soil removal permit is required.
Soil moving or redistribution conducted in the Borough shall be performed in accordance with the following regulations:
A. 
In operations for which a permit is required:
(1) 
Operations shall be conducted so that there shall be no-sharp declivities, pits or depressions.
(2) 
Lands shall be graded to conform to the approved contour lines and grades and shall be cleared of debris.
(3) 
The top layer of soil to a depth of six inches shall not be removed from the premises but shall be set aside and respread over the premises when the remainder of the soil has been removed.
(4) 
Adequate measures shall be taken to prevent erosion or the depositing of soil on surrounding lands, streets or municipal facilities.
(5) 
Upon notice to the applicant by the Borough Engineer, all topsoil shall be respread on 75% of that portion of the premises graded according to the map submitted by the applicant, excepting temporary access roadways.
B. 
In all operations, whether or not a permit is required:
(1) 
All boulders, tree stumps and other debris shall be removed from the property.
(2) 
In dry weather the person conducting such operation shall dampen the ground where operations are conducted to prevent dust.
(3) 
No trucks used shall be loaded above the level of the sides of the truck, to prevent spillage, and all streets shall be cleaned, at the applicant's expense, each day, of any spillage or soil on such streets resulting from truck operations.
(4) 
All truckloads shall be covered with tarpaulin and, if necessary, treated by water or chemical to prevent flying dust.
(5) 
No trucks, machinery or any part of the operation shall be conducted before 8:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m. on weekdays nor at any time on Sunday or federal or state legal holidays.
(6) 
All vehicles engaged in such operations shall use as routes only those Borough streets which have been approved by the Planning Board.
(7) 
The entire area covered by the work shall be maintained and left in such manner as not to create or maintain a nuisance or condition hazardous to life and limb or to the health or general welfare of the inhabitants or the Borough of Upper Saddle River.
(8) 
All excavation, removal and other mandatory ground cover work, including restoration of property to final grades and subsequent seeding, must be completed within one year from the date of the permit.
(9) 
No more soil shall be removed than is reasonably necessary for the development and use of the land.
(10) 
No soil removal shall be allowed which shall cause drainage to adjacent property or prejudicially affect the values of adjacent properties.
(11) 
All soils that are obtained for any soil movement must be obtained from a reputable source.
[Added 8-18-2015 by Ord. No. 10-15]
(12) 
All excavations and stockpiles shall be surrounded by silt fencing and runoff protection.
[Added 8-18-2015 by Ord. No. 10-15]
C. 
All vehicles shall be required to secure approval from the Borough in connection with the street route such vehicles utilize in the transporting of soil. In addition, the Police Department shall be required to be notified as to the route vehicles transporting soil will utilize in connection with site operations.
[Added 7-10-2002 by Ord. No. 13-02]
A. 
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the Borough from taking injunctive proceedings to restrain removal of soil as described in this chapter.
B. 
Declaration of nuisance. The Mayor and Council may revoke any permit granted under this chapter if the operation causes any nuisance which can be shown to have been caused by the actions or inactions of the applicant or its agents or employees and which is prejudicial to the public health, welfare and safety.
C. 
Temporary suspension of permit. When, in the judgment of the Chief of Police or his designee, the moving and removal of soil causes a serious and continued impediment to the passage of public traffic or endangers the public health, safety or welfare, the Chief of Police or his designee is authorized to temporarily halt such operation until the danger to the public's health, safety and welfare is abated. The judgment of the Chief of Police or his designee, exercised in good faith, shall be conclusive.
D. 
Bonds. Upon the recommendation of the Borough Engineer and upon furnishing the owner with written notice, the Borough may levy upon any bonds furnished to guarantee performance of the work set forth in the soil permit or soil agreement. In the event that said bonds are insufficient to cover the costs of performing or completing said work, then the costs of said performance shall be assessed against the property and shall become a lien upon said property.
[Amended 5-8-1986 by Ord. No. 8-86; 9-8-1988 by Ord. No. 16-88]
For violation of any provision of this chapter, the maximum fine shall be in accordance with § 1-15 of this Code. Each day that a violation shall continue shall constitute a separate offense.
[Amended 8-18-2015 by Ord. No. 10-15]
A. 
This chapter shall be enforced by the Borough Engineer, the Mayor and Council, the Construction Code Official, members of the Borough Police Department or the Zoning Official.
B. 
On-site inspections of soil movement shall be restricted to the Borough Engineer, the Construction Code Official, the Zoning Official, or the Mayor and Council's designee.