City of Oneonta, NY
Otsego County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Derived from Chapter 36 of the 1975 Compilation, as amended through 1996. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 86.
Housing Code — See Ch. 158.
Sewers — See Ch. 236.
Street openings and excavations — See Ch. 254, Art. I.
Zoning — See Ch. 300.

§ 118-1 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context or subject matter otherwise requires, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
EXCAVATION
Includes removal, stripping or disturbance of soil, earth, sand, rock, gravel or other similar substance from the ground.
FILLING
Includes the placing of any soil, earth, sand, rock, gravel or other similar substance on the ground.
GRADING
Includes any operation involving either excavation and/or filling.
GROUND
Includes, but shall not be limited to, land below mean high-water line of the banks and beds of any river.

§ 118-2 Regulations.

A. 
No excavation, grading or filling shall be commenced in the city, except as hereinafter provided, and then only in full compliance with the requirements, standards and conditions contained herein.
B. 
The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed as permitting the applicant to carry on any commercial operation or business, or use any premises or buildings or structures thereon for any purpose not permitted by other provisions of this chapter or Chapter 300, Zoning, of the Code of the City of Oneonta. For the purposes of this section, an excavation shall not be considered a commercial operation or business if the excavation is incidental to and necessary for the establishment or operation of a use permitted in the applicable zoning district.
C. 
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all excavations, grading or filling operations which are being worked at the time this chapter goes into effect as provided in § 118-4, and except that any existing operation shall be completed within one year from the date of the ordinance from which this chapter is derived, provided that written notice of intention to continue such operation for said time was filed with the City Engineer within 30 days after the effective date of the ordinance from which this chapter is derived. No existing operation shall be extended in area or any new operation commenced after such date without first securing a permit therefor as hereinafter provided, and such operation shall be subject to all of the provisions of this chapter.

§ 118-3 Permit required.

Except as provided in § 118-4 hereof, a permit shall be required for every excavation, grading or filling as defined herein.

§ 118-4 Permit exceptions.

No permit shall be required for the following classes of excavation, grading or filling operations:
A. 
Building permit. Under provisions of a duly issued building permit.
B. 
Incidental excavations, grading or filling. Excavation and removal of excavated material and filling shall be permitted in any zone, provided that such operation is clearly incidental to the improvement of the property, consists of less than 500 cubic yards of material, and the area is graded and covered by revegetation or other suitable means.
C. 
Excavation of streets and drains. Necessary grading, removal or excavation of topsoil or other materials shall be permitted within the limits of the right-of-way or slope rights of any existing street, or for the purpose of constructing streets and other related improvements within the area of new subdivisions when made in accordance with subdivision plans approved by the City of Oneonta Planning Commission, which subdivision plans shall establish the elevations and grades of said streets and/or the location of said improvements and for which a street construction permit or a drain connection permit has been issued.
D. 
Other construction work. Construction work relating to drains, utilities or sanitary sewerage systems for which a street opening and/or other necessary permit has been issued by the Board of Public Service.
E. 
Farming. The provisions of this section shall not be construed as prohibiting or limiting the lawful use of land for farming, nurseries or gardening, or similar agricultural or horticultural use in any zoning district where and as permitted by Chapter 300, Zoning, of the Code of the City of Oneonta.

§ 118-5 Prohibited excavations.

No excavation, grading or filling shall be permitted which would interfere with the natural drainage of the general area surrounding the site. All existing watercourses shall be preserved, except that such watercourses may be relocated or piped, provided that there will not thereby be created any interference with the riparian and drainage rights or easements of other property owners, and provided further that no drainage shall be made onto public land or connected with public facilities without the express approval of the Common Council or other appropriate agency.

§ 118-6 Application procedure.

A. 
Application and plan, performance bond; fee. Application for such permit shall be made by the property owner or his authorized agent and shall be made to the City Clerk on forms provided by him. An application form in duplicate shall be accompanied by a detailed statement of proposed work and the purpose thereof and why the excavation, grading and/or filling is clearly incidental to the improvement of the property. An application shall be accompanied by the following:
(1) 
Two sets of maps and plans with specifications showing proposed excavation, grading or filling. Such plans shall be prepared by and shall bear the seal of a licensed engineer, except when engineering design for excavation or construction is unnecessary to assure compliance with the standards established by this regulation; in which event, such plans may be prepared by a licensed surveyor. All such plans shall be drawn to a scale of not less than one inch equals 100 feet and shall show the following:
(a) 
Full name and address of owner of property.
(b) 
Description of property by street address and Tax Assessor designation.
(c) 
The location of the premises and its geographic relation to neighboring properties, showing all buildings and roads within 100 feet of the boundaries of the plot on which the excavation, grading or filling is proposed.
(d) 
The portion of the property that is to be excavated, graded or filled with excavated material.
(e) 
The estimated maximum quantity of material to be excavated, graded or filled, and the estimated part thereof that will be used for grading or filling.
(f) 
When available, the location and depth of any well situated within 50 feet of the proposed excavation and/or filling.
(g) 
When available, the location of any sewerage disposal system or underground utility line, any part of which is within 50 feet of the proposed excavation, grading or filling area, and the location of any gas transmission pipe line operated at a maximum service pressure in excess of 200 pounds per square inch gauge, any part of which is within 100 feet of the proposed excavation, grading or filling area.
(h) 
Existing topography of the premises at a contour interval of not more than two feet and the proposed final contours of existing and final elevations at intervals of not more than 50 feet.
(i) 
The location and present status of any previously permitted excavation operations on the property.
(j) 
The details of an drainage system proposed to be installed and maintained by the applicant, designed to provide for proper surface drainage of the land, both during the performance of the work applied for and after the completion thereof.
(k) 
If the proposed excavation and/or filling is for the purpose of constructing a lake or pond, the details of the proposed dam or other structures and the embankments intended to impound the water, together with the details and location of the proposed discharge through a valved outlet for drainage purposes, and the proposed level of any impounded water. Any proposal involving the construction of a dam for the impoundment of water must be approved by the State Department of Environmental Conservation, if and where necessary, and such approval shall be obtained prior to the issuance of a permit hereunder.
(l) 
Details of soil preparation and of revegetation or of other methods of soil erosion control.
(m) 
Proposed truck and equipment accessways to the work site.
(n) 
A statement from the property owner or his agent assuming full responsibility for the performance of the operation as stated in the application. This statement shall also contain an assurance that all city property and/or city roads will be protected adequately.
(2) 
For excavations, grading or filling of more than 3,000 yards of material, a performance bond in form and with surety approved by the City Attorney, and in such amount as the Common Council shall deem sufficient to insure completion of all work following excavation, grading or filling pursuant to the conditions of approval, provided that the City Clerk may accept and the City Chamberlain shall hold a certified or bank officer's check payable to the city in the same amount in lieu of such bond.
(3) 
A fee to cover the cost of permit and inspections shall be set by resolution from time to time by the Common Council of the City of Oneonta.
B. 
Issuance of permit. Upon receipt of the application and plan, the Common Council shall establish the amount of the performance bond, if any, and if said application and plan comply with the standards contained in this chapter, the Common Council shall direct the City Clerk to issue a permit in accordance herewith. In acting on such an application and plan, the Common Council shall be guided by and shall take into consideration the public health, safety and general welfare and the recommendations of the City Engineer, and particular consideration shall be given as to whether the plan will create any of the following conditions:
(1) 
Interfere with surface water flow and drainage.
(2) 
Interfere with lateral supports and slopes.
(3) 
Erosion alteration of the natural topography and grade of land, depletion of natural deposits of topsoil and other natural materials, disturbance of the plant and wildlife, creation of nuisances and dangerous open pits, creation of stagnant water pools.
(4) 
Interfere with mean high water on shoreline properties. The Common Council may impose such conditions or requirements upon the issuance of a permit as it deems necessary or proper to assure faithful compliance with this chapter.
C. 
Expiration of permit; extensions. A permit issued under this section shall expire one year from the date of issuance, except that the Common Council may, for due cause shown, extend any permit for one-year periods after complete review of all plans and examination of work accomplished and proposed, provided that application is made as least 30 days prior to the expiration date of such permit. In no case shall a permit be extended if the provisions of this regulation have not been complied with; provided, however, that in connection with continuing operation, the Common Council may waive, for one-year periods, those requirements which would make continuing operations impractical.

§ 118-7 Standards.

Approval of plans and specifications for excavations shall be based upon the following standards:
A. 
Residence districts; setback. In residence districts, no excavation, grading or filling shall be permitted within 20 feet of an existing or approved street property line except to conform to approximate street grade.
B. 
Residence districts; slope. In residence districts, finished slopes of an excavation shall not exceed the angle of repose for the material in its undisturbed state, 1:3 in earth fill and 4:1 in rock cut, whether or not the ground surface will be below water. Fills which exceed four feet in height shall be designed to incorporate compaction requirements suited to the soil materials incorporated in the fill to provide stable embankments in keeping with engineering practice. The design of such embankments shall be reviewed and certified safe for construction only after such review and approval by the City Engineer.
C. 
Business districts. In business districts, the same standards shall apply, except that vertical slopes shall be permitted if adequate retaining walls and protective fences are provided when needed.
D. 
Accessways. Truck and equipment accessways to the site of the operation shall be located so as to minimize danger to traffic and nuisance to surrounding properties. Such access shall be kept either wet or oiled or treated with chemical dust deterrents, or paved, to the extent necessary to prevent any dust nuisance to surrounding properties. All such accessways shall be clearly marked with signs and shall be posted approximately 200 feet distant from such accessways or other traveled areas. Such signs shall read "Caution, Trucks Entering," and be of size, type, coloring, lettering and format specified by the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices of the New York State Department of Transportation.
E. 
Interference with utilities; public health and safety. Excavations shall not interfere with public or private utility systems and shall not create or aggravate any condition detrimental to the public health and safety.

§ 118-8 Operations.

A. 
Processing. Processing of any kind on the excavation site or the erection or use of any structure thereon, such as but not limited to hoppers, washers, crushers or sheds, except simple screens to remove oversized aggregates during loading, shall be deemed a commercial use and is hereby prohibited.
B. 
Storage. Except as otherwise provided in § 118-4, no storage area may be created or maintained in connection with an excavation, grading or filling operation, except that, under a duly issued permit, an owner or his contractor shall be allowed temporarily to store such material incidental to the operation, but such storage shall not be for a longer term than the term of the permit issued.
C. 
Equipment. It shall be unlawful to keep or store any trucks, machinery or equipment on any property or street after completion of the operation. All such trucks, machinery or equipment shall be removed from such property within 10 days after completion of the work.
D. 
Hours and days. No operation shall be permitted on Sundays or holidays, nor before 8:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m. on other days, except for necessary utility services.
E. 
Protection. Barricades and lights shall be erected where necessary to protect pedestrians and vehicles during the period of operations.

§ 118-9 Restoration requirements.

Upon completion of the work allowed by permit, the permittee shall comply with the applicable provisions of the following subdivisions:
A. 
Fill. All pits, quarries, holes or other excavated areas shall be refilled with, and no new filling operation shall be conducted with any material except, clean, nonburnable fill containing no trash, refuse or harmful matter, and such excavated areas and new filling operations shall be graded to the level of adjoining properties, or to an elevation from which all surface and other waters collected therein may find natural drainage therefrom. Stumps and logs may be used for fill material but only in accordance with standards and requirements established by the Common Council. Excess material shall either be removed from the premises or leveled and covered with topsoil and seeded as hereinafter provided.
B. 
Revegetation. If the proposed method of soil erosion control is by revegetation, the specifications for the work shall provide that any layer of topsoil over the area to be excavated, graded or filled shall be set aside and retained on the premises in sufficient quantity to cover all surfaces which will remain exposed, except rock, to a depth of at least four inches, with topsoil added if necessary to make up any deficiency. The specifications shall also provide that at the completion of respreading of topsoil it shall immediately be harrowed or raked to establish a seed bed and shall be seeded for grass, permanent pasture mixture or other approved fast-growing vegetation and shall be repeated as often as necessary until the area is stabilized.
C. 
Extended operations. In the case of extended operations, except for access drives and the actual work area, the completed portion of the excavation, filling or grading operation shall be subject to the provisions of Subsection B of this section, and the operation shall be completed prior to the reissuance of a permit under § 118-6C.
D. 
Lake or pond. Where a permit has been issued for the excavation of a lake or pond, the provisions of this section applicable to seeding shall not apply to that part of the excavation below the high-water mark of such lake or pond.
E. 
Inspections; notices.
(1) 
The applicant shall notify the City Engineer of the following when and as completed:
(a) 
Rough grading.
(b) 
Final grading before seeding.
(c) 
All reestablishment and construction work.
(2) 
The City Engineer, upon such notification, shall make field inspections on the site before rough grading, after final grading, before seeding and at completion to determine if work in progress and the completed operation have been performed in accordance with this chapter.

§ 118-10 Penalties for offenses.

Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be fined not less than $5 nor more than $500, or up to 15 days imprisonment, or both such fine and imprisonment.