[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Clarence 5-26-1999 by L.L. No. 4-1999. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to promote the public health, safety and general welfare of the community and to ensure that the clearing, filling and grading of properties are conducted in conformance with the Town of Clarence Zoning, Chapter 229, and other applicable ordinances.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The removal of brush and trees over four inches in diameter measured at four feet above ground level, and includes the stripping of soil.
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Zoning Code Enforcement Officer or any person so designated by the Town Board.
- The placement of soil, masonry products or rocks on any property for the purpose of raising or elevating any portion of a property. Filling shall not include the burying of garbage, trash, tree limbs, wood products and any combustible or hazardous materials. Demolition or construction waste shall not be acceptable fill material.
- The alteration of the surface elevation of the grounds on a site.
The Enforcement Officer shall administer and implement this chapter of the Code by processing all applications and referring such applications to the Planning Board for review and recommendation. The Town Board will have final approval for said applications and cause permits to be issued for those applications approved.
No person or entity shall conduct or cause to be conducted any land operations to clear, fill or grade any property without first securing a permit from the Town Board. The permit shall be valid for a one-year period and may be extended by request of the permit holder at the pleasure of the Town Board.
The following information or exhibits are required to be submitted to the Planning and Zoning Office in order to secure a permit:
A tax map of the lot and property owners, with names and addresses, within 500 feet of the proposed fill site.
A plan showing all existing and proposed elevation contour lines at two-foot intervals, all drainage channels and culverts, amounts of fill to be placed or displaced, location of trees over four inches in diameter measured four feet from the ground and road access to the site. Any wetland areas must be clearly illustrated on the plan.
An erosion control plan and site remediation plan that includes the following items:
If topsoil is stripped and stockpiled for a clearing, filling or grading operation, the entire amount must be returned to the fill area and remediated according to this chapter. No less than eight inches of settled topsoil must cover the entire fill area.
When remediation involves revegetation, the following process must be followed at a minimum:
Apply necessary ground limestone to raise the pH factor to 6.5 (acidity measurement).
Apply 15-15-15 fertilizer or equivalent at the rate of 200 pounds per acre.
Disc area to work any limestone and fertilizer into soil to a depth of at least three inches.
Smooth area with a smoothing harrow.
Sow rye or wheat at a rate of 2 1/2 bushels per acre.
Roll firm with a ground roller or cultipacker.
Plow grain cover by June 1 of the following year, followed by planting of four pounds of timothy and eight pounds of bird's-foot trefoil, with fertilizer application 6-24-24 or equal at the rate of 200 pounds per acre.
A final field check by a geologist, soil scientist, agronomist or duly licensed engineer of the State of New York or qualified representative of the Town to certify that the land has been fully restored according to the parameters under this chapter.
Preliminary copies of any contracts to perform such clearing, filling and grading, which contract shall state that it is subject to this chapter of the Code, which shall be attached to and become part of such contract.
Documentation regarding permit status with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation prior to the issuance of a Town permit. Any New York State Department of Environmental Conservation permit required must be in effect prior to the Town issuing a permit.
Proof of liability insurance adequate to cover the intended work pursuant to the terms of the permit. The Town shall be named as an additional insured agent on the applicant's policy. The applicant shall, by separate instrument, agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Town from any claims arising out of the intended activity.
Completion date and any other information which the Planning Board deems reasonable in reviewing the application.
There will be no topsoil allowed to be removed from any fill site without a topsoil excavation permit first being secured from the Town prior to start of the removal. Any excess piles must be hydroseeded in order to prevent erosion.
Fill material shall not exceed one foot in any dimension.
Operations shall be conducted only during the daylight hours of 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The Town Board shall hold a public hearing following 10 days' notice to the public. Notification of the proposed hearing shall be given by the applicant to all abutting property owners and all other owners of property within 500 feet of the intended site.
The Planning Board may refer such application to other government agencies for their review and recommendation. The Planning Board may engage the services of an independent consultant to review the application and supporting documentation, and the fees to be paid such consultant shall be reimbursed to the Town by the applicant.
Clearing, filling and grading shall be done in such manner as not to result in an increase of surface water runoff or blockage of water flow onto any other properties and shall not result in any conditions which increase erosion or result in any unstable conditions upon the site or adjacent properties or wetlands.
The Planning Board may contract appropriate surveillance of the site on a twenty-four-hour, seven-days-per-week basis, until the activity is completed. The applicant shall be required, as a condition of the permit, to sign the permit authorizing the Town, its employees or agents to enter onto the applicant's property and to conduct the appropriate surveillance. Any and all costs for this service will be estimated by the Planning Board prior to the issuance of a permit, and the applicant will then be required to post a certified check to cover such estimate. Actual costs will be charged to the applicant. Any surplus will be refunded to the applicant.
The Planning Board may impose any other reasonable conditions on the permit, such as screening, access controls, dust controls, site security, etc., which the Planning Board believes is necessary in order to adequately maintain the site and protect neighboring properties.
Any site that is proposed for development may not be cleared until development plan approval has been granted by the Town Board and a building permit has been obtained from the Building Department.
[Amended 3-22-2000 by L.L. No. 2-2000]
The Town Board's permission to clear, fill or grade property shall not be required for the planting of landscaping, grading lawn areas, normal repairs to occupied property, correcting hazards representing an imminent threat to life or property, removal of dead wood, harvesting of firewood or lumber or for land development pursuant to, but not prior to applying for or obtaining, a building permit or an approved subdivision plan.
The applicant shall be required to post a performance bond, money or other security acceptable to the Town, in an amount to be determined by the Town Board, and in a form acceptable to the Town Attorney, to be posted with the Town Clerk to guarantee the satisfactory completion or restoration of the applicant's property and any Town roads or other public property which might be damaged as a result of the activities of the applicant in clearing, filling and grading pursuant to the terms of this section. In the event that the applicant fails or refuses to make the necessary repairs, the Town Board shall forfeit the performance bond or money security deposit in order to underwrite the expense in making such repairs.
Penalties for violation of this chapter shall be in accordance with the provisions set forth in Chapter 229, Zoning, of the Code of the Town of Clarence.
All expenses incurred by the Town in connection with making the necessary repairs, including but not limited to any administrative and legal costs relating thereto, either not covered by the performance security or in excess of the performance security, shall be assessed against the land on which said clearing, filling and grading has occurred and shall be levied and collected in the same manner as provided in the General Municipal Law for the levy and collection of real property taxes.