Township of Montville, NJ
Morris County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Montville 11-22-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-50; amended in its entirety 8-12-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-21. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
General penalty — See Ch. 1, Art. III.
Fee schedule — See Ch. 169.
Land use — See Ch. 230.

§ 308-1 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, unless from the context a different meaning clearly appears, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
The Approving Authority shall be the Township Planning Board, unless the soil moving is part of an application brought before the Zoning Board of Adjustment when, under those circumstances, the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall be the Approving Authority.
Includes individuals, firms, associations, partnerships and corporations.
One or more contiguous parcels of land in single ownership. Parcels shall not be deemed to be contiguous if separated by a road, railroad, right-of-way, brook, stream or other natural division.
Includes both surface (or top) soil and subsoil, excluding landscaping mulch and sub base gravel used for roadways.
The removal from or import of soil to any premises within the Township.
All soil beneath the top layer of soil, be it sand, gravel, clay, stone, rock, stone aggregate, dirt or a combination of one or more of the foregoing, or otherwise.
The Township of Montville, Morris County, New Jersey.

§ 308-2 Permit required for soil movement.

No person shall import or export soil on any premises in the Township of Montville nor shall any person remove or cause the removal of any soil from any premises in the Township for use on other premises, whether such removal is for sale, gift or otherwise, unless a permit therefor is first secured from the Township as hereinafter provided. In addition, no soil shall be moved in excess of an amount necessary to reasonably develop a property for a use permitted by the Land Use Ordinance[1] of the Township of Montville.
Editor's Note: See Ch. 230, Land Use.

§ 308-3 Application for permit; topographic map; environmental impact statement.

No application for soil movement on the premises for sale or otherwise shall be considered unless and until the owner of the premises shall first file with the Township Engineer, or the Approving Authority, an application requesting such permission, together with a topographical map of the original ground and all improvements which shall be installed upon completion of the soil movement operation. Said map shall show the premises and the present and proposed topography of the same in relation to the location and elevation of all abutting streets and adjoining properties. The map shall show existing structures, watercourses, soil types and quantities of soil to be moved. This map must be approved by the Township Engineer or the Approving Authority prior to commencement of the soil movement operation.

§ 308-4 Fee; criteria for issuance of permit; bond.

Applications for soil movement of more than one truck load (limited to 20 cubic yards), but less than 500 cubic yards and not related to a development application to the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment, shall be submitted to the Township Engineer. Upon receipt of the application and map the Township Engineer shall review the same and within 15 days make a determination if the application is complete. Applications deemed incomplete shall be returned to the applicant with a written report stating the reason(s) for the determination. Applications deemed complete shall be considered for approval by the Township Engineer. Applications denied by the Township Engineer can be appealed to the Planning Board by the applicant.
All applications for soil movement greater than 500 cubic yards but not exceeding an amount to reasonably develop the property shall be submitted to the Approving Authority. Upon receipt of the application and map the Approving Authority Board Engineer shall review the same, inspect the site and within 15 days make a determination if the application is complete. Applications deemed incomplete shall be returned to the applicant with a written report stating the reason(s) for the determination. For applications deemed complete, the Planning Board or Zoning Board Secretary shall establish a hearing date for the application, not less than 60 days after date of completeness determination.
Any application before the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment that requires soil movement, regardless of the cubic yards imported or exported, must submit a soil movement application and plan illustrating general location of disturbance, if known, and indicating amount of soil to be imported or exported, to the Approving Authority. The proposed transportation route of trucks shall be indicated in either written or map form.
Notice of all applications which are heard by the Approving Authority shall be given by the applicant at least 10 days prior to the hearing in the following manner:
Public notice shall be given by publication in the official newspaper.
Notice shall be given to all owners of real property within 200 feet in all directions of the property which is the object of the hearing by mailing a copy thereof by certified mail to the property owner at the address shown on the current tax duplicate.
Following approval, notice shall be given, at the discretion of the Approving Authority as a condition of the resolution, to all neighboring municipalities through which vehicles involved in the soil removal are expected to travel.
In granting permits hereunder, the Approving Authority or Township Engineer shall have the power to impose terms and conditions in the public interest, including the fixing of time limit and if the time required or asked to complete the soil movement operation is so extended as to indicate the establishment of a soil movement use which would negatively impact the zone plan or surrounding properties, the permit shall not be granted.
An application fee shall accompany all applications to move more than one truck load (limited to 20 cubic yards), but less than 500 cubic yards of soil in the amount of $1 per cubic yard, with a minimum application fee of $50. For applications to move 500 cubic yards or more of soil and prior to consideration by the Approving Authority, the applicant shall deposit with the Approving Authority an application fee of $500 and an initial escrow deposit of $1,000 to cover professional review fees. After approval by the Approving Authority and prior to the issuance of a soil removal permit, the applicant shall deposit with the Township Engineer a fee of $0.10 per cubic yard with a minimum fee of $100.
The applicant shall file with the Township a restoration bond conditioned upon full compliance with all of the terms and conditions of approval, including the provisions of this chapter. The purpose of the restoration bond is for possible road damage during the soil movement operation. The amount of such bond shall be fixed by the Approving Authority or Engineer, as the case may be, and the same shall be in the form of cash or a surety bond in a form and with surety acceptable to the Township Attorney. Where a surety bond is given, the Approving Authority or Engineer, as the case may be, shall have the right to demand a cash bond equal to 10% of the total amount, it being understood that in the event of fault the cash deposit shall be resorted to first by the Township in pursuing its remedies.
A soil movement permit shall be obtained pursuant to the terms of this chapter in the case of any "c" variance application, subdivision or site plan in connection with which the subdivider or developer proposes or is required by the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment to move soil in excess of 500 cubic yards and has determined the necessary extent thereof, which shall not be in excess of an amount to reasonably develop the property. The findings of the application for development, and the Board's action, shall be conditioned upon the timely grant of the soil movement permit by the Approving Authority.
The Approving Authority may, in its discretion and consistent with the purposes herein stated, require the completion of all soil movement or sections thereof by a subdivider prior to the erection of any dwellings or structures on the premises.
Permits shall expire one year from the date of issuance unless extended by the Approving Authority.

§ 308-5 Conduct of operations.

If permission to move soil shall be granted, the owner or person in charge shall so conduct the operation that there shall be no sharp declivities, pits or depressions and in such manner that the area shall be properly leveled off, cleared of debris and graded to conform to the contour lines and grade as approved by the Approving Authority or the Township Engineer, as the case may be.

§ 308-6 Retention of topsoil; compliance with federal standards.

When a soil movement permit has been granted, during soil movement operations, the permittee shall not remove from the premises the top layer or arable soil for a depth of four inches, but such top layer shall be set aside for retention on the premises. Upon termination of the soil movement, said top layer of soil shall be respread over the premises pursuant to levels and contour lines approved by the Township Engineer. Approval from the Township Engineer is required prior to removal of any excess topsoil. Every effort should be made to keep the remaining top layer of arable soil within the Township of Montville.
All soil movement must be done in strict compliance with and under control and supervision of the Township Engineer in conjunction with the Morris County Soil Conservation District, concerning drainage, grading, seeding, fertilizing, etc., of the entire area affected by said soil removal.

§ 308-7 Enforcement of provisions.

The Township Engineer shall, from time to time, upon his own initiative and whenever directed by the Approving Authority, inspect the premises for which permits have been granted to ensure compliance with the terms of the permit and of this chapter. He shall immediately enforce all violations. Violations pertaining to soil movement operations involving public roads shall be reported to the Police Department.
This chapter shall be enforced by the Township Engineer and Police Department, as the case may be, which shall prosecute any violations brought to their attention or of which they become aware during the course of normal duties.
The Township Engineer shall have the authority to require a pre-soil movement conference with the applicant monthly reports on the quantity of soil moved.

§ 308-8 Exception.

Anything herein to the contrary notwithstanding, no soil movement permit shall be required in connection with the removal of excess soil resulting from the construction or alteration of a building, structure or off-street loading or parking areas on such premises or driveways, and excavation or soil import activity or grading incidental thereto where a building permit has been issued, except for the movement of soil of 500 cubic yards or more.
No soil movement permit shall be required in connection with the movement of soil up to the amount of one truck load, not to exceed 20 cubic yards in volume, for landscaping and yard maintenance purposes.

§ 308-9 Compliance required.

From and after the effective date of this chapter, no soil shall be excavated, moved, imported or otherwise disturbed at any premises in the Township of Montville other than in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

§ 308-10 Violations and penalties.

Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment in the County Jail for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both, or by a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, in the discretion of the Judge before whom such conviction shall be had. Each and every violation of and nonconformance with this chapter, or each day that any provision of chapter shall have been violated, shall be construed as a separate and distinct violation thereof.

§ 308-11 Soil movement regulations.

No excavation shall be made beyond the approved building envelope, unless approved by the Township Engineer.
No excavation shall be made greater than 10 feet below the established grade of the nearest public street or highway unless the sidewalls remain at an incline of at least two horizontal feet to one vertical foot, or as required by the Township Engineer for slope stability and safety.
Any excavation or pit which, because of proximity to adjacent property, public ways or places or for any other valid reason, is deemed hazardous to life or limb, shall be fenced in the manner hereinafter provided. Fencing requirements may be fixed by the Approving Authority at the time a permit is originally granted hereunder, and where so fixed the installation shall be made in accordance with the standards and conditions hereinafter set forth. Alternatively, such requirement may be fixed after the project has been commenced, as provided below.
When the Approving Authority has determined by resolution that an excavation or pit is hazardous and presents a danger to life and limb, it shall order the owner of the premises to fence same by the erection of a chain link or cyclone fence not less than six feet high. Said fence shall be secured in a manner and to an extent which will reasonably assure that it will provide protection to persons who have occasion to be near the excavation or pit area. The resolution shall specify the reasons for ordering the fence installed and shall specifically designate the area to be fenced and the time for completion thereof. A certified copy of the resolution shall forthwith be served upon the owner of the premises, and within 10 days after receipt thereof such owner may file with the Approving Authority a request for a hearing if he feels that the order is unreasonable or based upon facts which do not warrant its issuance within the meaning and purpose of this chapter.
After such hearing, if the Approving Authority confirms that the fence must be installed, the owner shall proceed to install same within the period specified by said governing body in its original order to such modification thereof as may be determined to be reasonable under the circumstances.
Dust-down or similar dust layer shall be spread on access roads and other traveled areas used in connection with every excavation in order to protect the public and the surrounding area against windblown sand and dust.
No excavation of earth from the ground shall be so made as to undermine, weaken or deprive of support other lands in the vicinity.
No import of soils or removal of earth from the ground shall be made so as to expose to possible pollution, by water intrusion or otherwise, any underground water used as a public water supply.
No excavation heretofore or hereafter made shall be below two feet above the maximum groundwater level at the site.
No soil movement shall take place before 7:30 a.m. nor after 4:30. p.m., nor otherwise than on Monday through Saturday, except in governmental emergencies.
The Approving Authority may deny any application for a permit hereunder if it shall find that the proposed excavation will violate any of the provisions of this section, and may revoke or suspend any permit issued hereunder if it shall find that the movement of earth thereunder violates any such provision.
Certified laboratory reports must be provided for imported soils demonstrating compliance with NJDEP Residential District Contact Soil Cleanup Criteria, as described in NJAC 7:26.D (Site Remediation Program Remediation Standards) and NJAC &:26.E (Technical Requirements for Site Remediation).