Borough of Spotswood, NJ
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Derived from Ch. XVI of the 1969 Revised General Ordinances of the Borough of Spotswood (adopted by the Borough Council 5-11-1970 by Ord. No. 278, as amended through 9/94). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
General penalty — See Ch. 1, Art. II.
Topsoil removal from areas intended for lawn and open space; topsoil moved during construction — See Ch. 120, § 120-506B.

§ 171-1 Findings.

The Commissioners hereby find 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.

§ 171-2 Definitions.

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.
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.

§ 171-3 Permits.

A. 
Permit required.
(1) 
No person shall excavate any soil or change or alter the grade of any property within the Borough without obtaining a permit from the Director of Public Works.
(2) 
Subsection A(1) shall not apply in the following situations:
(a) 
The excavation of soil 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.
(b) 
The excavation of soil in connection with the construction or alteration of the basement or foundation of a building.
B. 
Applications. Applications shall be made to the Department of Public Works and shall be accompanied by the following:
(1) 
A map of the premises showing the present contour lines and the proposed future contour lines resulting from the intended excavation or redistribution of soil.
(2) 
The grades resulting from the intended removal or redistribution of soil in relation to the topography of the premises. This information may be included in the map required by Subsection A.
(3) 
The proposed dates for the commencement and completion of the work.
(4) 
Name and address of the owner of the land.
(5) 
Lot and block numbers of the lands as shown on the current Tax Map of the Borough.
(6) 
Reason for removing the soil.
(7) 
Type and quantity of soil to be removed.
(8) 
Location to which soil is to be removed.
(9) 
Such other pertinent data as the Director of Public Works may deem necessary.
C. 
Consideration of application.
(1) 
In considering the application, the Director of Public Works shall be guided by the following factors:
(a) 
Soil erosion by water and wind.
(b) 
Drainage.
(c) 
Soil fertility.
(d) 
Lateral support slopes and grades of abutting streets and lands.
(e) 
Land values and uses.
(f) 
Any other factor which is relevant to the coordinated, adjusted and harmonious development of the Borough.
(2) 
If, after considering the above factors, the Director of Public Works determines that the proposed removal or redistribution of soil will not be detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the Borough or its inhabitants, he shall issue the necessary permit. Otherwise, he 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. 
Appeal. If the application is denied, the applicant may appeal the decision of the Director of Public Works to the Commissioners by filing a written notice to that effect with the Clerk within 30 days after receiving notice of the decision of the Director of Public Works. The Commissioners shall set a time and place for a hearing and shall so notify the applicant. The decision of the Commissioners rendered after a hearing shall be final.
E. 
Fee. No soil removal permit shall be issued until a fee of $25 is paid by the applicant to the Borough, together with a charge of $0.01 per cubic yard for each cubic yard of soil removed.

§ 171-4 Removal of lawn sod.

The removal of lawn sod shall be permitted on the condition that the owner or lessee of the land from which the lawn sod is removed, within two months, shall replace any soil which has been removed with the sod.

§ 171-5 Bond requirements.

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 Director of Public Works, but shall not be less than $1,000, and shall be conditioned as follows:
A. 
That the permittee will complete the work authorized by the permit in conformity with the terms of the permit and the provisions of this chapter on or before the date of completion set forth in the application.
B. 
That the applicant will repair any public street, structure or land which may be damaged as a result of the work authorized by the permit.

§ 171-6 Regulations.

Soil removal or redistribution conducted under a permit issued under this chapter shall be in accordance with the following regulations:
A. 
Operations shall be conducted so that there shall be no sharp declivities, pits or depressions.
B. 
Lands shall be graded to conform to the approved contour lines and grades and shall be cleared of debris.
C. 
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.
D. 
All the work described in this chapter shall be performed between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on any working day.
E. 
Adequate measures shall be taken to prevent erosion or the depositing of soil on surrounding lands, streets or municipal facilities.

§ 171-7 Injunctive proceedings.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the Borough from taking injunctive proceedings to restrain removal of topsoil as described in this chapter.