[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Piermont 3-20-1990 by L.L. No. 2-1990. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Piermont finds that it is necessary to prevent the indiscriminate disturbance and clearing of land so as to preserve the physical and aesthetic character of the Village, to ensure erosion control, to promote minimal adverse disturbance to existing vegetation, to minimize the need for additional storm-drainage facilities, to retain trees and other vegetation for wind protection, to reduce air pollution and to preserve and to enhance wildlife and wildlife habitats. In order to achieve such objectives, this chapter is adopted.
This chapter seeks to promote the public health, safety and general welfare and to minimize public and private losses due to indiscriminate land disturbance by the adoption of provisions designed to:
Regulate activities which are dangerous to health, safety and property due to water and erosion hazards and landslides resulting from indiscriminate land disturbance.
Control the alteration of natural stream channels and natural protective barriers which are essential to the accommodation of stormwater runoff.
Control filling, grading, excavation operations and other disturbances which may increase erosion.
Regulate the construction of barriers which will unnaturally divert water to other lands.
No land clearing, grading, filling, excavation or other operations resulting in land disturbance shall be permitted in the Village of Piermont except upon the issuance of a land-disturbance permit by the Planning Board. Additionally, the use of motorized equipment to cut trees or to clear land or which disturbs land shall require a land-disturbance permit from the Planning Board.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- LAND DISTURBANCE
- Land shall be deemed to be in a disturbed state if it is moved, filled or traveled over by construction equipment.
This chapter shall not prohibit the ordinary maintenance of property, including the removal of dead or diseased trees, trimming, pruning of hedges, shrubs and trees or the removal of healthy trees and vegetation in a manner consistent with acceptable horticultural and forestry principles.
Any person who permits or causes land disturbance in violation of this chapter shall be liable to restore the property so as to eliminate or mitigate the adverse result of such land disturbance. Any person who permitted or caused land disturbance during the moratorium adopted on February 20, 1990, or subsequent to the adoption of this chapter shall be required to comply with the remediation requirements and procedures of this chapter.
When a violation of this chapter is reported to the Planning Board, it shall schedule a public hearing, on 10 days' notice to the property owner and abutting landowners, for the purpose of instituting a mandatory SEQR proceeding and site plan review to assess the impact of the action taken with respect to the premises which has been disturbed. As part of the SEQR and site plan review, there shall be mandatory referrals for advisory opinions to the Rockland County Cooperative Extension Department and Soil Conservation Service. For purpose of the enforcement of this chapter, land disturbance without a permit, whether committed subsequent to the enactment of this chapter or during the moratorium, shall constitute, prima facie, an environmental hazard, and the burden of proof shall be upon the property owner to demonstrate that an environmental hazard does not exist.
Other land disturbances which result in a hazardous condition shall subject the property owner to the remediation provisions of this chapter. The burden of proof shall be upon the Planning Board to ascertain that a hazardous condition exists. In the event that a hazardous condition is found to exist, the Planning Board, after a public hearing, shall impose appropriate conditions upon the applicant to remedy the hazardous condition. All costs incurred by the Planning Board, including but not limited to engineers', surveyors', attorneys' fees and any other legal, billing and collection costs, shall be borne by the property owner. If any of the remediations are performed by the Village or its agents, all the costs it incurs in effecting such remediation and any other costs, including but not limited to labor, equipment, materials, contractual expenses and insurance or any other consequential costs incurred on or off the owner's property, shall be borne by the property owner. If such owner shall fail to pay the costs and expenses incurred by the Village within 10 days after being notified of the costs thereof by certified mail, the Village Clerk shall file with the assessing authority of the Village, immediately preceding the time for making the annual assessment roll, a certificate of such actual cost and expenses with a statement as to the property upon which such cost and expenses were incurred. The Assessor, in the preparation of the next assessment roll of the general Village taxes, shall assess such amount upon such property, and the same shall be levied, collected and enforced in the same manner, by the same proceedings, at the same time, under the same penalties and having the same lien upon the property assessed as the general Village tax and as a part thereof. This section shall not bind any person permitting or causing land disturbance prior to the adoption of this chapter, if it is determined by the Planning Board that no environmental hazard exists.