City of Lower Burrell, PA
Westmoreland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Lower Burrell as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction code — See Ch. 140.
Floodplain management — See Ch. 170.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 252.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 260.
Zoning — See Ch. 300.
[Adopted 10-13-1980 by Ord. No. 8-1980]

§ 154-1 Findings of fact.

Council finds and determines that certain drains, ditches, drainage ditches, culverts, sewers, natural watercourses and other watercourses, depressions and conduits for the drainage of water within the City have become obstructed, enclosed, impeded, diverted or the location, direction, size or capacity thereof has been varied. Council further finds and determines that the acts just described have or will result in the backing, stagnation and overflow of water, thereby endangering the health and safety of the residents of this community and property situated therein and creating great risk of flood and the spread of disease and noxious odors.

§ 154-2 Acts prohibited.

For the reasons set forth in § 154-1, no person shall, except as provided in § 154-3, obstruct, impede, divert, enclose or vary the location, direction, size or capacity of any drain, ditch, drainage ditch, culvert, sewer, natural watercourse or other watercourse, depression or conduit for the drainage of water situated within the City. No person, who at any time has done any of such acts on land owned or occupied by him, shall fail, neglect or refuse to remove any obstruction, impedance, diversion, enclosure or variance in the location, direction, size or capacity of any drain, ditch, drainage ditch, culvert, sewer, natural watercourse or other watercourse, depression or conduit for the drainage of water after having been notified to do so as provided in § 154-4.

§ 154-3 Exceptions.

No person shall be deemed guilty of a violation of this article who shall act pursuant to any permit expressly authorizing such action and issued by a duly authorized official of the City, or who shall act pursuant to plans, specifications and profiles approved by the City Engineer.

§ 154-4 Notice of violations.

The Building Inspector or any police officer of the City, upon the advice of the City Engineer, shall serve upon any person who has committed any act prohibited by § 154-2, a notice that such person has violated the provisions of this article. The notice shall set forth in detail the manner of the violation and shall be sufficiently served if it is mailed by certified mail to the usual place of residence or the usual place of business of the offender, or if a corporation, to its usual place of business. The offender shall be allowed 10 days from the day on which such notice is placed in the mail to take all necessary measures to cease the violation and in all respects to restore circumstances as they existed prior to the violation.

§ 154-5 Permit to be obtained.

Any person who wishes to divert, obstruct, drain or otherwise vary the location, direction, size or capacity of any drainage ditch, depression or other conduit for the drainage of water or sewage situated within any dedicated street within the City shall first obtain a permit from the Building Inspector to do so.

§ 154-6 Conditions of permit issuance; fee. [1]

Each applicant for a permit required by § 154-5 shall submit to the City Engineer plans and specifications fully disclosing and outlining the manner in which the applicant proposes to divert, obstruct, drain or otherwise vary the location, direction, size or capacity of such drainage ditch, depression or other conduit. The City Engineer shall direct the Building Inspector to issue a permit only if the applicant's proposed action will not create such danger of flooding, backing or stagnation as will constitute a substantial risk to the health or safety of persons residing in the area surrounding or served by such drainage ditch, depression or other conduit or endanger the property situated in the area; and, further, unless an alternate method of drainage satisfactory to the City Engineer and of at least substantially equal capacity is provided by such plans and specifications, only if the proposed action will not materially reduce the drainage capacity of such drainage ditch, depression or other conduits. At the direction of the City Engineer and upon payment of the applicant of a fee in an amount established from time to time by resolution of City Council and posting of the cash or bond required by § 154-7, the Building Inspector shall issue a permit to take the proposed action, as approved by the City Engineer.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 154-7 Cash or bond to be posted.

The applicant shall post with the Clerk either cash money or a bond approved by the City Solicitor and executed by the applicant as principal and by a compensated surety company as surety in an amount, estimated by the City Engineer, equal to the actual cost of carrying out the action proposed to be taken by the applicant, in accordance with such plans and profiles as approved by the City Engineer. The estimate of cost of the City Engineer shall be conclusive. The cash or bond shall be returned to the applicant by the Clerk upon receipt from the City Engineer of a certificate stating that such action has been taken in accordance with such plans and profiles.

§ 154-8 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this article for which no other penalty is provided, shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $50 for the first offense, and for all subsequent offenses not more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 30 days.
B. 
Any person, firm or corporation who shall fail, within the time prescribed by § 154-4, to remove the violation and to restore the status quo in accordance with the notice served, shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $50 for the first offense and for all subsequent offenses not more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 30 days. Each day that a violation continues shall be constituted a separate offense.
[Adopted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]

§ 154-9 Control required.

A. 
No erosion and/or sedimentation by wind or water shall be permitted which will carry substances into the air, waters of the commonwealth, neighboring properties or public rights-of-way.
B. 
In addition to local and/or county regulations to control erosion and sedimentation, all development in Lower Burrell shall meet the requirements of the Pennsylvania Clean Stream Law, as amended,[1] and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Erosion Control Requirements, adopted September 21, 1972, or as revised. In general, the regulations require that every earthmoving activity within the commonwealth develop, implement and maintain a plan for the control of erosion resulting from the activity. The plan should consider the control of erosion and sedimentation during the activity and proper restoration so that erosion and sedimentation does not occur after the earthmoving has been completed. The plan should consider all factors that relate to the causes of erosion and sedimentation and should be designed to control the factors.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. § 691.1 et seq.
C. 
All developers shall submit a proposed erosion and sedimentation control plan to the Planning Commission at the preliminary review stage, with an approved plan or permit from DEP when required to accompany final plan submission.

§ 154-10 Removal of topsoil.

No soil, loam, sand or gravel shall be removed from any parcel of land in any district not in public use without prior approval of the Zoning Officer; however:
A. 
Nothing herein shall prevent either the construction of a building for which an unexpired permit has been issued or the landscaping of the lot or lots upon which a building has been erected.
B. 
If a building is being constructed or altered, material excavated in connection with such construction may be sold.
C. 
Natural production uses, such as the excavation and sale of sand and gravel, clay, shale or other natural mineral deposits, or the operation of a stone quarry, may be permitted on approval of the Zoning Officer. This approval shall be based on the satisfaction of the Zoning Officer that performance standards and the intent of this chapter will be met (see Chapter 300, § 300-168).
D. 
A permit from the Zoning Officer shall be required for mineral extraction or for any major excavating, grading or filling when the operation involves a land area exceeding one acre, moving a volume of earth exceeding 16,000 cubic yards, or a change in ground elevation exceeding 20 feet. Such permit shall be issued only after review by the Commission (see Chapter 300, § 300-168). Evidence shall be submitted as to control of the operation in such a manner as to offer a reasonable protection to the neighborhood against possible detrimental effects, taking into consideration the physical relationship to surrounding properties and access to the site, including any nearby residential streets that must be traversed in conveying material to or from the site. Upon completion of the operation, any exposed surface of the land shall be graded to eliminate excessive slopes and shall be topsoiled, planted and seeded.

§ 154-11 General standards.

A. 
Permit required. Regulations require that certain earthmoving activities may not be undertaken until a permit from the Department of Environmental Protection has been obtained. This requirement allows the DEP to review the erosion and sedimentation control plan and approve it prior to any earth moving. In general, every earth mover or developer is required to obtain a permit except:
(1) 
Those activities involving plowing or tilling for agricultural purposes.
(2) 
Those activities for which a plan has been developed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
(3) 
Where the activity requires a permit under the Dam Safety and Encroachment Act,[1] the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act, the Clean Streams Law,[2] or Chapters 91 through 101 of the Department's rules and regulations, concerning water pollution.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 32 P.S. § 693.1 et seq.
[2]
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. § 691.1 et seq.
(4) 
Where an activity affects less than 25 acres. The DEP can reduce the twenty-five-acre limitation as set forth by regulation.
B. 
No changes shall be made in the contour of the land; no grading, excavating, removal or destruction of the topsoil, trees or other vegetative cover of the land shall be commenced until such time that a plan as per local and Commonwealth regulations for minimizing erosion and sedimentation has been processed with and reviewed by the Zoning Officer.
C. 
No subdivision or land development plan shall be approved unless:
(1) 
There has been a plan approved by the Zoning Officer that provides for minimizing erosion and sedimentation consistent with this section, and an improvement bond or other acceptable securities are deposited with the City in the form of an escrow guarantee which will ensure installation and completion of the required improvements; or
(2) 
There has been a determination by DEP and the Planning Commission that a plan for minimizing erosion and sedimentation is not necessary.
D. 
Measures used to control erosion and reduce sedimentation shall, as a minimum, meet the standards and specifications of the Westmoreland County Conservation District, Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law, Title 25, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The Zoning Officer shall ensure compliance with the appropriate specifications, copies of which are available at the Westmoreland County Soil and Water Conservation Service Office or the Municipal Building.

§ 154-12 Performance principles.

The following measures are effective in minimizing erosion and sedimentation and shall be included where applicable in the erosion control plan:
A. 
Stripping of vegetation, regrading or other development shall be done in such a way that will minimize erosion.
B. 
Development plans shall preserve salient natural features, keep cut-fill operations to a minimum, and ensure conformity with topography so as to create the least erosion potential and adequately handle the volume and velocity of surface water runoff.
C. 
Whenever feasible, natural vegetation shall be retained, protected and supplemented.
D. 
The disturbed land area and the duration of exposure shall be kept to a practical minimum.
E. 
Disturbed soils shall be stabilized as quickly as practical.
F. 
Temporary vegetation and/or mulching shall be used to protect exposed critical areas during development.
G. 
The permanent (final) vegetation and structural erosion control and drainage measures shall be installed as soon as practical in the development.
H. 
Provisions shall be made to effectively accommodate the increased runoff caused by changed soil and surface conditions during and after development. Where necessary, the rate of surface water runoff will be structurally retarded.
I. 
Sediment in the runoff water shall be trapped until the disturbed land area is stabilized, by the use of debris basins, sediment basins, silt traps or similar measures required locally or by DEP.

§ 154-13 Grading for drainage.

In order to provide more suitable sites for building and other uses, to improve surface drainage and to control erosion and sedimentation, the following requirements shall be met:
A. 
All lots, tracts or parcels and land within a development shall be graded to provide proper drainage away from buildings and to drain and dispose of surface water without ponding, except where approved by the City Engineer.
B. 
All drainage provisions shall be of such design as to adequately handle the surface runoff and carry it to the nearest suitable outlet such as a curbed street, storm drain or natural watercourse. Where drainage swales are used to divert surface waters away from buildings, they shall be sodded or planted as required and shall be of such slope, shape and size as to conform with the requirements of the City.
C. 
Concentration of surface water runoff shall only be permitted in swales or watercourses.
D. 
Excavations and fills.
(1) 
Cut-and-fill slopes shall not be steeper than a two-to-one ratio unless stabilized by a retaining wall or cribbing, or unless authorized by the City Engineer after considering the special physiographic conditions of a particular site.
(2) 
Adequate provisions shall be made to prevent surface water from damaging the cut face of excavations of the sloping surfaces of fills.
(3) 
Cut-and-fills shall not endanger adjoining property.
(4) 
Fill shall be placed and compacted as to minimize sliding or erosion of the soil.
(5) 
Fills placed adjacent to natural watercourses or constructed channels shall have suitable protection against erosion during periods of flooding.
(6) 
Fills shall not encroach on natural watercourses or constructed channels.
(7) 
Grading will not be done in such a way as to divert water onto the property of another landowner without the express consent of such landowner and the City Engineer.
(8) 
During grading operations, necessary measures for dust control will be exercised.
(9) 
Grading equipment will not be allowed to cross live streams. Provisions will be made for the installation of culverts or bridges.

§ 154-14 Responsibilities; maintenance.

A. 
Whenever sedimentation is caused by stripping vegetation, regrading or other development, it shall be the responsibility of the person, corporation or other entity causing such sedimentation to remove it from all adjoining surfaces, drainage systems, and watercourses and to repair any damage at his own expense as quickly as possible.
B. 
Maintenance of all drainage facilities and watercourses within any subdivision or land development is the responsibility of the developer until they are accepted by the City or some other official agency, after which they become the responsibility of the accepting agency.
C. 
It is the responsibility of any person, corporation or other entity doing any act on or across a communal stream, watercourse or swale or upon the floodplain or right-of-way during the pendency of the activity and to return it to its original or equal condition after such activity is completed.
D. 
Maintenance of drainage facilities or watercourses originating and completely on private property is the responsibility of the owner to their point of open discharge at the property line or at a communal watercourse with the property.
E. 
No person, corporation or other entity shall block, impede the flow of, alter, construct any structure, or deposit any material or thing, or commit any act which will affect normal or flood flow in any communal stream or watercourse without having obtained prior approval from the City or Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, whichever is applicable.
F. 
Where a subdivision is traversed by a watercourse, there shall be provided a drainage easement or right-of-way conforming substantially with the line of such watercourse, and of such width as will be adequate to preserve natural drainage.
G. 
Each person, corporation or other entity which makes any surface changes shall be required to:
(1) 
Collect on-site surface runoff and dispose of it to the point of discharge into the common natural watercourse of the drainage area.
(2) 
Handle existing and potential off-site runoff through his development by designing to adequately handle storm runoff from a fully developed area upstream.
(3) 
Pay his proportionate share of the total cost of off-site improvements to the common natural watercourse, based on a fully developed drainage area.
(4) 
Provide and install at his expense, in accordance with City and Pennsylvania State Department of Environmental Protection requirements, all on-site drainage and erosion control improvements, temporary and permanent.

§ 154-15 Compliance.

A. 
The Planning Commission, in its consideration of all preliminary plans of subdivision and land development, shall condition its approval upon the execution of erosion and sediment control measures as contained in this article.
B. 
The installation and design of the required erosion and sediment control measures shall be in accordance with standards and specifications as noted in § 154-11C. Stream channel construction in watersheds with drainage areas in excess of 100 acres, or in those cases where downstream hazards exist, shall conform to criteria established by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
C. 
Final plans for minimizing erosion and sedimentation, as approved, will be incorporated into the agreement and bond requirements as required under § 154-11C.
D. 
The approval of plans and specifications for the control of erosion and sedimentation shall be concurrent with the approval of the final plats of subdivision or land development, and become a part thereof.
E. 
At the time that application is made for a building permit, a review shall be conducted by the Zoning Officer to insure conformance with the plan as approved. During construction, further consultative technical assistance will be furnished, if necessary, by the Zoning Officer, the Westmoreland County Soil and Water Conservation District and/or DEP. During this development phase, the Zoning Officer shall inspect the development site and enforce compliance with the approved plans.
F. 
Permission for clearing and grading prior to recording of plats may be obtained under temporary easements or other conditions satisfactory to the City.
G. 
In the event the developer proceeds to clear and grade prior to recording plats without satisfying conditions specified in this article, the Planning Commission may revoke the approval of the preliminary plan.

§ 154-16 Violations and penalties.

Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 30 days.