Town of Brighton, NY
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Brighton 10-30-1989 by L.L. No. 5-1989. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 73.
Landscaping plan — See Ch. 207, § 207-21 (Volume II).
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 211 (Volume II).
Stormwater management — See Ch. 215 (Volume II).
A. 
It is the purpose and intent of this chapter to protect the Town of Brighton and its residents from the adverse effects of excavation and clearing caused by the modification of existing natural resources during construction, reconstruction or development on one or more parcels of land.
B. 
The adverse effects include but are not limited to the following:
(1) 
Irreversible loss in natural resources.
(2) 
Destruction of wildlife habitats.
(3) 
Endangerment of soil and slope stability.
(4) 
Reduction of the quality and aesthetics of open space.
(5) 
Endangerment of environmentally sensitive areas.
(6) 
Damage to the property of others.
(7) 
Destruction of trees.
[Added 11-14-2001 by L.L. No. 8-2001]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AGRICULTURAL OPERATIONS
The activities of cultivating the soil, producing crops, raising livestock, keeping riding animals or the growing of trees, plants and shrubs as part of a commercial nursery operation.
APPROVED GRADING, EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL PLAN
A plan approved by a subdivision of government, as required by law, that covers the areas of grading, erosion and sediment control.
COUNTY
The County of Monroe.
DEVELOPER
The actual owner or owners of the land and/or a person, firm or corporation which shall develop or use land within the Town in such a manner that it in any way affects the characteristics of the property developed or used. The term "developer" shall include but is not limited to municipal, charitable and educational corporations, institutions, associations and governmental agencies.
DRAINAGE
The gravitational movement of a liquid substance, normally water, from its place of origin via surface runoff within or outside developed channels or via subsurface underflow.
ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The Commissioner of Public Works or other agent of the Town designated by the Town Board.
EXCAVATION
The removal of sand, gravel, soil, including topsoil, or other natural deposits by stripping, digging or other means.
FARM
Property being solely used for agricultural purposes.
FILLING
The depositing of natural or artificial material that raises the existing grade of land or modifies areas with bodies of surface water.
GRADING
The alteration of the existing grade of land through excavation or filling.
STEEP SLOPES
Areas with a slope of 15% or more. A transition area or plateau at the top of the slope is usually included along with the area of slope itself where there are soil classes with moderate to severe limitations for development and recreational use.
STREAM CORRIDORS
Any stream, river, creek, ditch, channel, waterway or wash in which waters flow in definite direction or course, either continuously or intermittently. They include a distance of no less than 100 feet from the top of the stream bank landward. In those cases where the stream is also within a designated floodplain, the "stream corridor" corresponds to the one-hundred-year floodplain.
STRIPPING
The removal of overburden, topsoil, soil, vegetation or other natural material from land.
TEMPORARY COVER
A vegetative material or stable mulch.
TOPSOIL
The natural surface layer of an undisturbed soil's area, usually darker than the underlying layer, ranging in organic matter content from 2% to 50% and which may range in texture from loamy fine sand to clay.
TOWN
The Town of Brighton.
TREE
A living, perennial, woody plant, its branches, its root system, its trunk, whose trunk is greater than five inches in diameter at a height of four feet above the ground and whose full height reaches a minimum of 12 feet.
[Amended 11-14-2001 by L.L. No. 8-2001]
WETLANDS
Lands and submerged lands commonly called "swamps" or "marshes," which support aquatic or semiaquatic vegetation, plants or brush.
WOODLOT
An area of one or more acres of vegetation, the majority of which is classified as woody plants whose trunks are greater than three inches in diameter at a height of three feet above the ground and whose full height reaches a minimum of six feet.
[Amended 11-14-2001 by L.L. No. 8-2001]
The following uses are excepted from the provisions of this chapter:
A. 
Construction of a building addition, fence, deck or accessory structure for which a permit has been obtained as required by Chapter 73 of the Code of the Town of Brighton.
[Amended 11-14-2001 by L.L. No. 8-2001]
B. 
[1]Septic system construction or maintenance.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection B, excepting public or private utilities or public uses from the provisions of this chapter, was repealed 11-14-2001 by L.L. No. 8-2001. This local law also redesignated former Subsections C through K as B through J, respectively.
C. 
Groundwater drainage, as covered under Chapter 215, Stormwater Management, of Volume II of the Code of the Town of Brighton.
D. 
Any person doing business as a public utility, subject to the jurisdiction of the New York State Public Service Commission, and any duly constituted public agency authorized to provide utility services doing trimming, pruning or altering any tree which may otherwise be lawfully altered by such person, to the minimum extent necessary to enable such person to protect and repair existing utility services, except as otherwise provided in §§ 175-7D and/or 175-10B of the Code of the Town of Brighton.
[Amended 11-14-2001 by L.L. No. 8-2001]
E. 
Agricultural, farm or horticultural activities that constitute the principal use of a lot or tract of ground on more than a casual basis. This exception does not apply to trees or woodlots that are located on the property.
F. 
Real property included in any approved subdivision or approved site plan when such approval was granted by the Planning Board prior to the effective date of this chapter.
G. 
Customary and incidental routine grounds maintenance, including removal of diseased or dead trees.
H. 
Emergency repairs which are necessary for the preservation of life, health, property or natural resource values, which are undertaken under such circumstances as to make it impossible or impractical to obtain a permit. Such disturbance shall result in the minimum disturbance necessary for such preservation and shall be mitigated, which mitigation measure(s) shall continue to be subject to the requirements of this Chapter 66.
[Amended 11-14-2001 by L.L. No. 8-2001]
I. 
Lands for which a drainage permit has been issued pursuant to Chapter 215, Stormwater Management, of Volume II of the Code of the Town of Brighton.
J. 
Any use associated with site plan approval where approval by the Planning Board or Zoning Board is required and has been obtained. However, if warranted, an excavation permit may be issued separately.
[Added 1-24-1996 by L.L. No. 1-1996]
A. 
Whenever any two or more contiguous parcels of property are subject to common ownership, such two or more parcels are deemed merged and the total area thereof shall be the determinant size for the application of this chapter.
B. 
Before any excavation is commenced and before any earth, sand, gravel, rock, topsoil or other substances are removed, the developer shall obtain a permit.
[Amended 11-14-2001 by L.L. No. 8-2001]
C. 
Before any clearing or tree removal is commenced and before any trees are removed, the developer shall obtain a permit. However, notwithstanding the provisions of § 66-5D of the Code, a permit shall not be required for construction of a single-family residence on a site of one acre or less in size which is not in whole or in part located in a woodlot, so long as the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that he/she will either:
[Added 11-14-2001 by L.L. No. 8-2001[1]]
(1) 
Plant at least one new tree of a minimum two-inch diameter at a height of at least four feet above the ground for each 5,000 square feet of the parcel or parcels; or
(2) 
Will preserve at least one existing tree (as defined in § 66-2 of the Code of the Town of Brighton) for each 5,000 square feet of the parcel or parcels.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also redesignated former Subsection C Subsection as D.
D. 
In acting upon the permit application, the Town shall take into account the following considerations:
(1) 
The location and size of the excavation and/or clearing or tree(s) to be removed.
(2) 
The condition of trees with respect to disease and potential for creating hazardous conditions.
(3) 
The proximity of trees to existing or proposed structure and utility appurtenances.
(4) 
The necessity of excavation, clearing or removal for the proposed project.
(5) 
The environmental effect of the excavation, clearing or removal.
(6) 
The number, species and size(s) of tree(s) proposed to be removed and/or disturbed.
[Added 11-14-2001 by L.L. No. 8-2001[2]]
[2]
Editor's Note: This local law also renumbered former Subsection C(6) as D(7).
(7) 
Any of the considerations enumerated in this chapter.
E. 
In all instances, the above-grade materials which are cleared may not be disposed of on site, except when chipped into a mulch for landspreading or landscaping.
F. 
No excavation or clearing operations shall be made within 10 feet of any street or right-of-way unless precautions are taken to prevent material from falling upon or undermining any street or right-of-way.
[Amended 1-13-1993 by L.L. No. 2-1993; 11-14-2001 by L.L. No. 8-2001]
It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to:
A. 
Without having first obtained a permit pursuant to this chapter, destroy or remove from the soil any tree growing upon a parcel of real property which is in excess of one acre in size or commit any act which causes the destruction or cessation of life functions of any tree growing upon such real property.
B. 
Operate and use any lands or premises for sand or gravel pits or stone quarries.
C. 
Excavate, clear or strip topsoil and/or vegetation on steep slopes or engage in topsoil stripping operations, unless reviewed and approved in conjunction with Chapter 217, Article III, Approval of Site Plans, or as prescribed elsewhere in the Code.
D. 
Without having first obtained a permit pursuant to this chapter, cut down or clear substantially all of the trees and shrubs growing upon a parcel of real property which is in excess of 30,000 square feet in size.
The developer shall submit detailed plans with a report containing enough data for the Commissioner of Public Works to review the feasibility of the plans as proposed by the developer. The following data shall be included:
A. 
A detailed statement of the proposed work, including any associated work to be required of a public utility.
[Amended 11-14-2001 by L.L. No. 8-2001; 9-24-2003 by L.L. No. 16-2003]
B. 
Environmental assessment form properly filled out, pertaining to the proposed work.
C. 
A detailed site plan or sketch of the area setting forth the nature and extent of the proposed activities, said plan drawn according to scale, clearly indicating the following:
(1) 
The names and address(es) of the owner(s) of record.
(2) 
The names of all adjacent property owners.
(3) 
The location of all public and private streets and rights-of-way on or adjacent to the premises.
(4) 
An outline of existing woodlots on the site; and any separate trees.
(5) 
The location of any improvements on the property.
(6) 
The boundary of the one-hundred-year floodplain, if it exists in the area.
(7) 
The boundary of wetlands, if it exists in the area.
(8) 
Stockpiling and disposal of materials.
(9) 
Erosion control measures.
(10) 
Precautions to be taken to prevent material from falling on or undermining any street or right-of-way.
(11) 
Boundaries of any Environmental Protection Overlay District (EPOD).
[Added 1-24-1996 by L.L. No. 1-1996]
(12) 
Precautions to be taken to protect trees to be preserved.
[Added 11-14-2001 by L.L. No. 8-2001]
D. 
A grading plan.
[Amended 1-24-1996 by L.L. No. 1-1996]
Any permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall require that, upon conclusion of such activities and within a period to be specified therein, the following shall take place:
A. 
Excavations shall be filled with clean, approved nonburnable fill containing no refuse, garbage, offal or other deleterious or unwholesome material.
B. 
Dust preventative or similar material shall be used and applied to prevent dust and sand from being carried from the area during and upon completion of the work.
C. 
In the case of topsoil removal or stripping, at least six inches of topsoil shall be replaced where the topsoil is removed or stripped. The disturbed area shall be reseeded with a permanent pasture mixture or other fast-growing surface vegetation to create growth within 30 days of the original disturbance.
D. 
In the case of tree removal, replanting shall be performed according to the conditions set forth in the permit.
A. 
Application for permit. The developer shall initiate a request for a permit or the modification of a permit by filing an application with the Commissioner of Public Works. The application shall be accompanied by scale plans or drawings in the amount of six complete copies and the permit fee.
B. 
Standards governing permits.
(1) 
In granting any permit, the Commissioner of Public Works shall consider the provisions of § 66-4C and may attach such conditions as may be deemed necessary to prevent danger to public or private property or to prevent the operation from being conducted in a manner hazardous to life or property or in a manner that will create a nuisance. Such conditions may include, but are not limited to, the erection or installation of walls, plantings and vegetation, erosion and sediment control measures or devices and a specified method of performing the work.
[Amended 1-24-1996 by L.L. No. 1-1996]
(2) 
Any application for a permit pursuant to this chapter which requires removal or clearance of trees in a Woodlot Protection District shall be subject to all of the requirements of Chapter 203, Articles XIV and XVI, of the Code. Any other application for a permit under this chapter may be referred to the Tree Council for its written report on the results of its review of materials submitted by the applicant on the condition and value of any trees that may be disturbed. In each case, based upon the report of the Tree Council, the Commissioner may require the preservation and safeguarding of certain trees, require that protective measures be taken in order to prevent injury to such trees and their root systems, and/or require the planting of specific species and numbers of new trees.
[Added 11-14-2001 by L.L. No. 8-2001[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also renumbered former Subsection B(2) as B(3).
(3) 
Major modifications of the approved permit shall be submitted to the Commissioner of Public Works and reprocessed in the same manner as the original permit. Field modifications of a minor nature may be authorized by the Commissioner of Public Works, provided that the Commissioner of Public Works shall monitor and approve the change in writing.
A. 
The Commissioner of Public Works or his or her designated representative shall issue a stop-work order to any person acting in violation of this chapter.
B. 
Such order, posted at the work site, shall be sufficient notice to require such violator to immediately cease work on the site until a permit has been obtained.
[Amended 1-13-1993 by L.L. No. 2-1993; 1-24-1996 by L.L. No. 1-1996; 11-14-2001 by L.L. No. 8-2001]
A. 
Any person, firm, corporation or entity who or which shall be found to be violating, or to have violated, or to have failed to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of an offense punishable as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions. Each additional week in which such condition shall continue shall be deemed a separate violation and shall constitute a separate additional offense. However, for the purpose of conferring jurisdiction upon courts and judicial officers, generally, violations of this chapter shall be deemed misdemeanors, and for such purpose only, all the provisions of law relating to misdemeanors shall apply to such violations.
B. 
In addition to the penalties provided in § 66-10A, any person, firm or entity found in violation of § 66-5 of this chapter shall be guilty of an offense punishable by a maximum fine of up to $500 per tree, or the value of the tree, as determined by competent evidence, whichever is greater. Each tree destroyed or removed from the soil in violation of § 66-5 shall constitute a separate violation.
The approval of plans for proposed improvements shall not constitute a representation, guaranty or warranty of any kind or nature by the Town of Brighton or by an officer or employee thereof of the safety, operation, adequacy or intent of the proposed improvements and shall create no liability upon or cause for action against such public body, officer or employee for any damage that may result from construction pursuant thereto.