Township of Canton, PA
Washington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 9-101 Name.

[Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § I]
This Part shall hereafter be known and cited as the "Subdivision Ordinance of Canton Township 2012."[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Codified as enacted by Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § I.

§ 9-102 Purpose.

[Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § II]
The purpose of the this Part is to provide minimum standards to safeguard persons and property, to protect and to promote the public welfare, by preventing excess erosion, hazardous rock formations and soil slippage, sediment production and other soil and water management problems, and by regulating and controlling the design, construction quality of materials, use, location and maintenance of grading excavation and fill.

§ 9-103 Scope.

[Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § III]
1. 
A grading permit must be obtained from the Township for new grading, excavations and fills; changes, additions or alterations made to existing excavation or fills shall conform to the provisions of these regulations. A separate grading permit shall be required for each site. One permit may cover the grading, excavation and any fills made on the same site.
2. 
Only one permit is required for a continuous parcel to be graded for a proposed major planned development, such as residential planned unit development or a planned industrial park, well locations and gas installations (as permitted by state oil and gas act and any other related acts or ordinances) when adequate standards or requirements for grading the parcel are approved by the Township.
3. 
Earth moving and grading activities shall be subject to the requirements of State Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Regulations, the Township Zoning Ordinance [Chapter 27], the Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22], and the Township Floodplain Ordinance [Chapter 8] whether or not it is regulated by this Part. The aforesaid proposed activities shall also be reviewed by the Washington County Soil and Conservation District as required thereof.

§ 9-104 Definitions.

[Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § IV]
For the purposes of this Part, the following definitions shall apply:
EARTH MATERIAL
Any rock, natural soil or fill, and/or combination thereof.
EXCAVATION
The mechanical removal of earth material.
FILLING
The deposition of earth material.
GRADING
Any excavating or filling or combination thereof.
INERT MATERIAL
Bricks, concrete, asphalt, or other vitrified or masonry building material.
NON-APPROVED FILL
Any fill other than earth material or inert material.
PERSON
Any person, persons, partnership, business or corporation.

§ 9-105 Exceptions.

[Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § V]
1. 
A grading permit will not be required for the following situations:
A. 
When grading is limited to mining, quarrying or stockpiling of coal, rock, sand, aggregate or clay that satisfy requirements of regulations of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
B. 
When grading is limited to solid waste disposal areas or sanitary landfills operated in accordance with the requirements, rules and ordinances adopted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
C. 
When soil excavated under the authorization of a building permit issued by the governing body is temporarily stockpiled on the same site as excavation; provided, however, that if the material from such excavation is thereafter to be used for fill purposes for which a grading permit is required, such permit must be obtained prior to such use in accordance with the requirements of this Part.
D. 
Earth disturbances for the purpose of normal agricultural operations, gardening and topsoil preparation for planting of grass or other vegetative ground cover.
E. 
Earth disturbance necessary for the construction or repair of public utilities and/or roads by public agencies, and/or Public Utility Commission regulated utility companies.
F. 
Minor earth disturbance (less than 50 cubic yards) for residential construction such as driveways, above-ground pool, fishponds, porches, decks or small outbuildings where all of the following conditions are met:
(1) 
Project does not result in a retaining wall over four feet in height.
(2) 
Project does not result in placed fill or other obstructions in a wetland.
(3) 
Project does not obstruct vision (sight distance) of motorists.
(4) 
Project is sufficient distance (not closer than five feet) from contiguous property that neighbor's access to their property for maintenance is not impeded or their safety reduced. Note that this provision does not remove the requirement of certain construction projects (structures, decks, pools, porches, etc.) from the proper zoning setbacks.
(5) 
The excavation/grading project does not re-direct surface water onto adjacent property.

§ 9-106 Hazardous Conditions.

[Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § VI]
1. 
Whenever the Board of Supervisors, upon the recommendation of its engineer, determines that any existing excavation, embankment or fill has become a hazard, the owner of the property upon which the excavation, embankment or fill is located, or other person or agent in control of said property, upon receipt of notice in writing from the engineer shall with the reasonable period specified therein repair, reconstruct or remove such excavation, embankment or fill so as to eliminate the hazard.
2. 
If, after such notification, the property owner has not made the necessary repairs within the time adopted, then the Board of Supervisors may direct government employees to make the required repairs and the cost thereof shall be borne by the property owner by a lien filed as provided by law.

§ 9-107 Unlawful Acts.

[Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § VII]
1. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to undertake any earth moving activity or stripping of vegetated ground cover without first securing a permit, as required, pursuant to this Part.
2. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to use any non-approved fill material in the construction of a fill. Such non-approved fill includes, but is not limited to, trees, stumps, refuse, scrap building materials, toxic or hazardous waste, vehicles, roofing, etc.

§ 9-108 Effect on Other Permits.

[Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § VIII]
Whenever any proposed activity requires building and/or driveway permit, no such building or driveway permit shall be issued unless the permit required hereunder has been issued. The plans and applications required herein may be combined, when applicable, with plans and applications materials submitted for building and/or driveway permits.

§ 9-109 Applications.

[Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § IX]
1. 
Every applicant for a grading permit shall file a written application therefor with the Zoning Officer in a form prescribed by the Township. Such application shall:
A. 
Describe the land on which the proposed work is to be done by lot, block, tract or street address, or similar description which will readily identify and definitely locate the proposed work area.
B. 
Any application for a grading permit shall be accompanied by a plan showing the following:
(1) 
A topographic survey plan of the site, at a suitable scale of no less than one inch equals 50 feet and contour interval of no more than two feet zero inches, prepared by a registered professional land surveyor or registered professional engineer, including a boundary line survey, the location and description of vegetative cover, the general location of all major trees and any other pertinent existing natural or man-made features. Interpolated contours from USGS maps or any other similar source are not acceptable.
(2) 
(a) 
A grading plan of the same scale describing all changes to the site including final contours, structures, paving, waste disposal systems and wells. This improvement and grading information may be combined on the topographic survey when all information can be clearly and legibly shown.
(b) 
This grading plan shall show the following:
1) 
Existing and proposed right-of-ways and easements.
2) 
One-hundred-year floodplain limit and elevation.
3) 
Karst features.
4) 
The limits of major trees and trees to be removed.
5) 
Portions of the property steeper than 25% slope.
6) 
Wetlands (if any).
7) 
Existing and proposed stormwater management facilities. If new stormwater management facilities are proposed, the engineering calculations used to design those facilities shall also be provided.
8) 
The design location and grading associated with any proposed on lot sewage disposal system.
9) 
The area reserved for providing a replacement on lot sewage disposal system (if required).
10) 
Landscape buffers or screens.
11) 
Any upstream watershed draining onto the property, with a clear description of how stormwater runoff from the upstream watershed will be accommodated.
(3) 
A written description of soil erosion and sedimentation control measures in accordance with § 44 of Chapter 102, Title 25, Rules and Regulations, Part I, Commonwealth of PA Department of Environmental Protection, Subpart C, Protection of Natural Resources, Article II, Waster Resources, Chapter 102, "Erosion Control," which shall be in conformity with the standards and specifications of the Canton Township ordinances.
2. 
To be adequate, a geological report shall include a detailed description of the geological conditions of the site; shall include conclusions and recommendations that will demonstrate the relationship of the geological conditions to the proposed development, including hazardous conditions, water resources, mineral resources and environmental impact if required by any federal, state and/or local agency. A soil conservation report may include existing site description as to topography, drainage, cover and soils; major resource problems as to soil limitations, erosion and sediment potential and surface runoff changes; and recommendations to minimize soil limitations, erosion and sediment, and surface water disposal problems.
3. 
The Zoning Officer may obtain information and reports from governmental agencies, and scientific and/or engineering journals, if available, and professional engineers and/or professional geologists, if necessary.
4. 
In no case shall the Zoning Officer require more than minimum adequate standards, as recommended by governmental agencies, professional engineers or engineering geologists, and other requirements specified in this Part, for issuing a grading permit.

§ 9-110 Permit Fees.

[Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § X]
Township may charge a fee for issuance of a grading permit. Such fees will be set periodically by resolution by the Supervisors at a public meeting. Fee(s) will be based on costs of engineering review, inspection costs, legal review, advertising costs, public hearing costs and administrative costs. Township will require placement of fee(s) in escrow with the Township. Amounts collected in excess of actual costs will be refunded. Costs about the escrowed funds may be billed by the Township.

§ 9-111 Completion and Performance Guarantee.

[Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § XI]
Before issuance of a grading permit, the applicant shall post a bond, corporate surety or other approved security in the amount of 10% of the estimated cost in excess of $5,000 of the grading work and erosion control facilities, as determined by the Board of Supervisors, to guarantee said work and facilities will be completed in a satisfactory manner and meet the requirements of this Part. No bond shall be required if another bond or other approved security is posted for construction and/or site improvements. When all requirements of this permit have been met and the work has been completed in a satisfactory manner, the full amount of security shall be returned to the person posting said security.

§ 9-112 Approval of Permits.

[Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § XII]
1. 
The Township shall review and approve grading permit applications and plans on the form provided by the Township for that purpose. No grading permit, building permit, or driveway permit shall be issued by the Township until such time as a grading application and plans have been found to be acceptable to the Township. Furthermore, no certificate of occupancy permit shall be issued by the Township until such time as the Township determines that all earth disturbances has been completed in general conformity with the approved grading plan.
2. 
In all cases, the permittee shall be required to undertake all earth moving and grading activities in accordance with this Part and the approved grading plan, whether or not inspection by the Township is provided and whether or not a certificate of occupancy is issued.

§ 9-113 Regulations for Permit Holders and Others.

[Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § XIII]
1. 
The permittee is responsible for any property damage or personal injury caused by activity authorized by the permit.
2. 
No person, firm or corporation shall modify, fill, excavate, pave, or grade land in any manner as to endanger of damage public or private property, or to cause physical damage or personal injury. All precautions will be taken to prevent any damage to adjoining streets, sidewalks, building, and other structures which could be caused by settling, cracking, erosion or sediment.
3. 
The installation and maintenance of erosion and sedimentation control measures shall be accomplished in accordance with standards and specifications established by the Washington County Conservation District.

§ 9-114 Expiration of Permit.

[Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § XIV]
Every grading permit shall expire by limitation and become null and void if the work authorized by such permit has not been commenced within one year or is not completed within three years from the date of issue; provided that the governing body, acting upon the recommendation of the Zoning Officer, may, if the permit holder presents satisfactory evidence that unusual difficulties have prevented work being started or completed within the specified time limits, grant a reasonable extension of time; and, provided further, that the application extension of time is made before the date of expiration of the permit. Any physical changes in the site such as surface water drainage, soil and bedrock dislocations, alteration of groundwater discharge or any other natural or man-made modification which would cause doubt to be cast upon the feasibility of the contents of the original permit approval, must be reported to the Zoning Officer in the intervening period between approval of permit and completion of the project.

§ 9-115 Denial of Permit; Appeal.

[Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § XV]
1. 
When the requirements of this Part for obtaining a permit have been met, the Zoning Officer and Township Engineer shall approve the proposed plan and grant a grading permit to the applicant. Approved work may then start. However, when, in the opinion of the Zoning Officer/Township Engineer, work proposed by the applicant is likely to endanger any property or person, or any street or alley, or create hazardous conditions, the grading permit shall be denied. In determining whether the proposed work is likely to endanger property or streets or alleys, or create hazardous conditions, the Zoning Officer/Township Engineer shall give due consideration to: possible saturation by rains, earth movements, run-off surface waters and subsurface conditions such as the stratification and faulting or rock, aquifers, springs and the nature and type of the soil or rock.
2. 
The Board of Supervisors shall consider within 15 days appeals from the provisions of these regulations or from the denial by the Zoning Officer/Township Engineer, and the Board of Supervisors within 15 days shall consider alternate methods, standards, or materials proposed by the developer, when, in his opinion, strict compliance with the provisions of these regulations is unnecessary. Any applicant or permit holder shall have the right to appeal to any court or competent jurisdiction from any decision of the governing body.

§ 9-116 Grading Inspection and Supervision.

[Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § XVI]
1. 
The permittee or his agent shall notify the Zoning Officer in writing of the start and completion of each continuous grading operation. Notice shall be received by the Zoning Officer at this office at least two working days before start or completion of grading operations.
2. 
Grading work at these stages or at any other time will be subject to spot inspections at the discretion of the Zoning Officer/Township Engineer to determine that the work is being performed in compliance with these regulations and the approved plans and specifications. The results of any compaction testing required by the permit shall be made available upon request. All costs of inspections shall be borne by the permittee.
3. 
In special cases, when grading occurs in areas of landslide-prone soil as recognized by the soil survey or better, the Zoning Officer/Township Engineer may require special precautions for the grader. The results of all soil test and core borings made relating to the site graded shall be submitted to the Zoning Officer/Township Engineer.

§ 9-117 Standards for Excavation.

[Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § XVII]
1. 
Maximum slope steepness of a cut should normally be two horizontal to one vertical for minimizing erosion and landslide hazard. However, soils which have a low probability of being landslide prone shall be permitted to have a slope not steeper than two horizontal to one vertical.
2. 
Cut slopes which are steeper than those specified above may be allowed under a grading permit, provided one or both of the following is satisfied:
A. 
The material in which the excavation is made is sufficiently stable to sustain a slope steeper than the slope specified above for recognized soil conditions on the site. A written statement, signed and sealed by a professional engineer, stating that the steeper slope will have sufficient stability and that risk of creating a hazard will be slight, must be submitted to the Zoning Officer.
B. 
A retaining wall or other approved support, designed by a professional engineer and approved by the Township Engineer is provided to support the face of excavation.
C. 
The top or bottom edge of slopes shall generally be set back three feet from adjacent property lines or street right-of-way lines in order to permit the normal rounding of the edge without encroaching on the abutting property or street and to provide access to the slope for repairs and maintenance.

§ 9-118 Standards for Fills.

[Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § XIII]
1. 
No fill should be placed over trees, stumps or other material which could create a hazard.
2. 
All fills should be compacted to provide stability of fill material and to prevent undesirable settlement or slippage. Compaction testing may be required. Compaction test results shall be made accessible to Township Engineer if requested.
3. 
Clean soil or earth should be placed over the top and exposed surfaces of the fill to a depth sufficient to conceal all materials used in the fill other than clean soil or earth. If the filing operation is intermittent, the top and exposed surfaces of the fill should be so covered at the completion of each lift.
4. 
The top or bottom edge of slopes should generally be set back three feet from adjacent property lines or street right-of-way lines in order to permit the normal rounding of the edge without encroaching on the abutting property or street and to provide access to the slope for repairs and maintenance.
5. 
Maximum slope steepness in fill areas should not exceed two horizontal to one vertical.
6. 
Fill slopes which are steeper than those specified above may be allowed under a grading permit, provided one or both of the following are satisfied:
A. 
A written statement, signed and sealed by a professional engineer is provided stating that the steeper slopes will be sufficiently stable and will not create a safety hazard.
B. 
A retaining wall designed by a professional engineer is provided and approved by the Township Engineer.

§ 9-119 Property Owner Responsibilities.

[Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § XIX]
1. 
The owner of any property on which an excavation or fill have been made shall maintain in good condition and repair the excavation or fill permitted, and also all retaining walls, cribbing, drainage structures, fences, ground cover and any other protective devices as may be a part of the permit requirements.
2. 
If, at any time subsequent to the completion of the grading work, the cut face or fill slope shall evidence signs of deterioration, erosion or other evidence which might be detrimental to the properties above and below the grading site, the Board of Supervisors, upon the recommendation of the Zoning Office and Township Engineer, may direct the property owner to take necessary remedial steps which may include the submission of revised plans and specification in accordance with sound engineering practice, to restore the grading to a safe condition, and to do so in a reasonable period of time.

§ 9-120 Liability.

[Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § XX]
Neither the issuance of a permit under the provisions of this Part, nor the compliance with the provisions hereto or with any condition imposed by the building official hereunder, shall relieve any person from any responsibility for damage to persons or property resulting therefrom, or as otherwise imposed by law, nor impose any liability upon the Township for damages to persons or property.

§ 9-121 Remedies.

[Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § XXI]
In the case of any paving, filling, stripping, grading or regarding; any disturbing, modifying, blocking, or diverting the overland or subsurface flow of stormwater; or any construction, erection, and installation of any dam, ditch, culvert, drainpipe, bridge, or any other structure or obstruction affecting the drainage of any premises, in violation of this Part, or any regulations made pursuant hereto, the proper Township authorities, in addition to other remedies provided by law, may institute any appropriate action or proceedings against the permittee and/or owner to prevent such unlawful activities; to restrain, correct or abate such violations; to prevent the use of the applicable premises; to prevent any illegal act, conduct of business or use in or about such premises. In addition, upon the failure of any permit holder to complete the control measures specified in approved application, the Township may, after revoking such permit, proceed to complete such measures itself, and recover the cost thereof from the permittee and/or owner.

§ 9-122 Enforcement and Penalties.

[Ord. 6-2012, 7/12/2012, § XXII]
1. 
Right of Entry. Upon presentation of proper credentials, duly authorized representatives of the Township may enter at reasonable times upon any property within the Township to inspect the condition of the stormwater structures and/or facilities in regard to any aspect regulated by this Part.
2. 
Notification. In the event that a person fails to comply with the requirements of this Part, or fails to conform to the requirements of any permit issued hereunder, the Township shall provide written notification of the violation. Such notification shall set forth the nature of the violation(s) and establish a time limit for correction of these violation(s). Failure to comply within the time specified shall subject such person to the penalty provision of this Part. All such penalties shall be deemed cumulative. In addition, the Township may pursue any and all other remedies. It shall be the responsibility of the owner of the real property on which any regulated activity is proposed to occur, is occurring, or has occurred, to comply with the terms and conditions of this Part.
3. 
Enforcement. The Board of Supervisors is hereby authorized and directed to enforce all of the provisions of this Part. All inspections regarding compliance with the stormwater management site plan shall be the responsibility of the Township Engineer or other qualified persons designated by the Township.
A. 
A set of design plans approved by the Township shall be on file at the site throughout the duration of the construction activity. Periodic inspections may be made by the Township or designee during construction.
B. 
Adherence to Approved Plan. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to undertake any activity under this Part on any property except as provided for in the approved stormwater management site plan and pursuant to the requirements of this Part. It shall be unlawful to alter or remove any control structure required by the stormwater management site plan pursuant to this Part or to allow the property to remain in a condition which does not conform to the approved stormwater management site plan.
C. 
At the completion of the project, and as a prerequisite for the release of the performance guarantee, the owner or his representatives shall:
(1) 
Provide certification of completion from an engineer, architect, surveyor or other qualified person verifying that all permanent facilities have been constructed according to the plans and specifications and approved revisions thereto.
(2) 
Provide a set of as-built drawings.
D. 
After receipt of the certification by the Township, a final inspection shall be conducted by the governing body or its designee to certify compliance with this Part.
E. 
Prior to revocation or suspension of a permit, the Board of Supervisors will schedule a hearing to discuss the non-compliance if there is no immediate danger to life, public health or property.
F. 
Suspension and Revocation of Permits.
(1) 
Any permit issued under this Part may be suspended or revoked by the Board of Supervisors for:
(a) 
Noncompliance with or failure to implement any provision of the permit.
(b) 
A violation of any provision of this Part or any other applicable law, ordinance, rule or regulation relating to the project.
(c) 
The creation of any condition or the commission of any act during construction or development which constitutes or creates a hazard of nuisance, pollution or which endangers the life or property of others.
(2) 
A suspended permit shall be reinstated by the Board of Supervisors when:
(a) 
The Township Engineer or his designee has inspected and approved the corrosions to the stormwater management and erosion and sediment pollution control measure(s) or the elimination of the hazard or nuisance.
(b) 
The Board of Supervisors is satisfied that the violation of the ordinance, law, or rule and regulation has been corrected.
(c) 
A permit revoked by the Board of Supervisors cannot be reinstated. The applicant may apply for new permit under the procedures outlined in this Part.
G. 
Occupancy Permit. An occupancy permit shall not be issued unless the certification of compliance has been secured. The occupancy permit shall be required for each lot owner, and/or developer for all subdivisions and land development in the Township.
4. 
Public Nuisance.
A. 
The violation of any provision of this Part is hereby deemed a public nuisance.
B. 
Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation.
5. 
Penalties.
A. 
Any person found to be in violation of this Part shall be guilty of a summary offense and shall upon conviction be sentenced to pay a fine not to exceed $1,000 per violation and may also be sentenced to incarceration to the extent allowed by law for punishment upon conviction of a summary offense. Each day that a violation continues may be a separate offense. The Canton Township Zoning Officer shall have jurisdiction for the enforcement of this Part. Each separate offense shall arise for each day or portion thereof in which a violation was found to exist or for each section of this Part, which is found to have been violated. The Canton Township Solicitor may assume charge of the prosecution of any action brought before a district justice without the consent of the District Attorney pursuant to 53 P.S. § 66601(c.1)(2), as amended.
B. 
In addition, any person found to be in violation of this Part shall be subject to any and all enforcement provisions contained within the Storm Water Management Act, 32 P.S. § 680.15. This Part may be enforced by Canton Township through an action in equity brought in the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County.
C. 
In addition, the Township, through its Solicitor, may institute injunctive, mandamus or any other appropriate action or proceeding at law or in equity for the enforcement of this Part. Any court of competent jurisdiction shall have the right to issue restraining orders, temporary or permanent injunctions, mandamus or other appropriate forms of remedy or relief.