Town of Warwick, NY
Orange County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Warwick as § 30.44 of Ch. 30, Zoning, of the 1973 Municipal Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Blasting and explosives — See Ch. 63.
Development fees — See Ch. 75.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 89.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 137.
Zoning — See Ch. 164.
A. 
It is the established policy of the Town of Warwick (and this section for the purpose of promoting this policy) that the natural topography of the land of the Town is a public asset which should be preserved and safeguarded. It is hereby declared that the various features of such topography, including the topsoil and other natural materials that constitute the land, the shape or contour of the land, the plant life and wildlife that is fostered on the land and the water or the flow thereof upon the land, are of prime concern to the welfare of the people of the Town of Warwick, and no changes shall be permitted in such topography except those which are absolutely necessary in order to permit the proper and appropriate use of the land.
B. 
It is also the established policy of the Town of Warwick that the health, safety and welfare of its citizens must be protected from the potentially harmful effects of excavation, mining, exploratory drilling and production drilling, particularly as these activities involve the areas of the Town where radioactive material may be located. It is hereby declared that the policy of the Town of Warwick that no such activities shall be allowed unless it can be clearly and convincingly demonstrated to the Town of Warwick that there will be no resulting detrimental effects on the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Town. It is also hereby declared that the activities of mining, exploratory drilling and production drilling are intended to be specifically included as activities regulated by this chapter, and wherever the language "regrading, removal or excavation of topsoil or other natural materials" is found, such language is intended to include mining, exploratory drilling and production drilling.
[Added 4-13-1987 by Ord. No. 83-1]
There shall be no regrading, removal or excavation of topsoil or other natural materials from any property in the Town of Warwick except as provided for herein. These provisions shall not be construed as prohibiting or limiting normal use of land for farming, gardening or similar agricultural or horticultural uses in any zoning district where such uses are permitted, as is the case for sod farms.
A permit is not required for the following uses:
A. 
Road building. For the excavation of topsoil and other natural materials from within the limits of the right-of-way or slope rights of any Town, county or state highway, or for the sole purpose of building roads and slopes incidental thereto which lie within the area of a subdivision approved by the Planning Board of the Town of Warwick or on file in the County Clerk's office in Orange County, New York; provided, however, that the Planning Board may waive or modify any of the conditions prerequisite to such permit where gravel, shale, fill or other borrow materials are sold exclusively to the Highway Department of the Town, County of Orange or New York State and where adequate assurances are given that the intent of the permit requirements shall not be violated.
[Amended 5-2-1975]
B. 
Minor improvement of property. For the improvement of property, provided that such improvement shall not cover an area more than three times that of the foundation of the new building or structure for which a building permit has been issued by the Building Inspector and which improvement shall conform to the following standards:
[Amended 5-2-1975]
(1) 
Final slopes shall be finished at a grade no greater than the natural angle of repose except where supported by a retaining wall or foundation.
(2) 
Any lakes or ponds that are created shall have sufficient depth and inflow of water to prevent their becoming stagnant in dry periods.
(3) 
Topsoil may be removed in connection with any permitted excavation, but shall be replaced to a depth of at least four inches over all exposed ground surfaces, except rock, and said restored surface shall be planted or seeded and mulched repeatedly as necessary until the area is stabilized.
(4) 
Topsoil or other natural materials which have been excavated to permit the improvement of property may be removed from the property, provided that the amount to be removed is not in excess of that to be reused on the site of the improvement, and provided that this amount is specified in the building permit for such improvement.
(5) 
There is no processing of excavated materials by a rock crusher or similar equipment on the premises.
(6) 
Any regrading, removal or excavation which is permitted under the provisions of this subsection, subject to the issuance of a building permit, shall be completed within one year of the date of the issuance of said permit.
C. 
Landscaping. For landscaping purposes in which topsoil is removed from one part of the property and deposited on another part of the same property, provided that a cover of at least four inches of topsoil shall remain after such removal and said restored surface shall be planted or seeded and mulched repeatedly as necessary until the area is stabilized.
A permit is required for the following uses:
A. 
Major improvement of property. For the improvement of property where the tree removal, topsoil removal, regrading or excavation of topsoil or other natural materials exceeds an area more than three times that of the foundation of the building, structure or other improvement for which a building permit has been issued, or for the improvement of property set forth above in excess of 1/4 acre in area for which a building permit has not been issued. Such regrading, excavation, tree or topsoil removal may be permitted by the Building Inspector in accordance with the requirements set by the Planning Board and based on the following standards:
(1) 
All other provisions of this chapter are adhered to.
(2) 
Complete plans of the proposed excavation or regrading are presented to and approved by the Planning Board.
(3) 
The proposed excavation will not interfere with the natural drainage of the area.
(4) 
Any previous excavation or regrading on the property has been accomplished and completed in accordance with all the provisions of this chapter.
(5) 
A performance bond may be required to ensure conformance to all applicable standards and requirements.
B. 
Commercial purposes. The regrading, removal or excavation of topsoil or other natural material for commercial purposes shall be deemed, for the purpose of this chapter, to be the regrading, removal or excavation of topsoil or other natural materials for other than the uses permitted under Subsections A, B and C of § 150-3. No commercial excavation shall be permitted until it has been found by the Planning Board that such excavation or any other operation accessory thereto, including mining, exploratory drilling and production drilling, will not be detrimental to the environment or to the appropriate and orderly development of any district in which it is situated after issuance of a permit by the Planning Board, according to the provisions of §§ 150-5, 150-6 and 150-7. Prior to issuance of a permit, the Planning Board may require the review of the application by a geologist as well as the submission of appropriate environmental forms (ret SEQR), the cost of which will be borne by the applicant.
[Amended 5-2-1975; 4-13-1983 by Ord. No. 83-1]
C. 
Removal of shade trees. For the improvement of property involving the removal by property owners of shade trees within the right-of-way of any public road.
[Added 5-17-1974]
A. 
Application and plans to be submitted.
[Amended 5-2-1973; 5-17-1974; 5-2-1975; 4-13-1983 by Ord. No. 83-1]
(1) 
In all cases where a tree removal, topsoil removal, surface grading of excavation is required, the applicant shall file with the Planning Board a verified application in triplicate for such permit, together with an application fee of $50 for all permits except mining, exploratory drilling, production drilling and excavation, which permits shall be $100. The cost of extraordinary professional services required of the Town Engineer beyond the normal review process shall be borne by the applicant. A complete set of plans for the proposed operation which shall show the following will be required:
(a) 
The location of the premises and its relation to neighboring properties, showing all buildings and roads within 1,000 feet of the excavation site; the owner of the property, his address and phone number and the relationship of the applicant to the owner if they are not the same; the name of the company undertaking the excavation, mining, exploratory drilling or production drilling if the company undertaking the activities is not the same as the owner.
(b) 
Complete plans of the proposed excavation or regrading indicating location and scale dimensions of work area, proposed buildings, paved area, underground utilities, private sewage disposal facilities, and a plan for rehabilitation showing both existing and proposed final contours at a maximum contour interval of five feet.
(c) 
Location and present status of any previous commercial operations on the property.
(d) 
Detailed plans of the area to be excavated, indicating amounts to be excavated, location of storage piles, existing and proposed slopes, details of existing and proposed drainage, including the proposed level of any impounded water, plans for erosion control, location of all proposed structures and all excavating or processing equipment and location of all proposed access drives to the excavation site. The plan should also show the number of acres in the total property as well as the total acreage to be excavated, location and number of drill holes, depth and diameter of drill holes, angle of drill holes, surface features of the property, technics and types of equipment to be used in the excavation, mining, exploratory drilling or production drilling and a statement indicating whether any blasting or use of explosives is intended, and if so, of what type; the common name of the material being sought should also be included; there should be included an estimated time for completion of the work being contemplated and a map showing existing geographical information, contours, water bodies and streams and cultural features, on a scale of one inch to each 100 feet, signed by a licensed professional engineer.
(e) 
Computations by registered engineer or surveyor, showing how above amounts were determined in Subsection A(1)(d) above.
(f) 
Specific location of all live trees in proposed grading area and along twenty-five-foot-wide work area border with a diameter of eight inches or larger prior to regrading, with a note for each tree indicating removal or not, the same to be reviewed by the Town Shade Tree Commission before approval is granted.
(2) 
No grading, excavation, tree removal, mining, exploratory drilling, production drilling or construction work shall take place on the property until approval of the plan, with all conditions met.
(3) 
In all cases where a tree removal permit is required, the Planning Board shall notify, in writing, the Chairman of the Shade Tree Commission of each application for such a permit.
[Added 5-17-1974; amended 5-2-1975]
B. 
Accompanying certification. The application for an excavation permit for commercial purposes shall be submitted in the name of the owner or by any person duly authorized by such owner and shall be accompanied by receipted copies of real property tax statements for most recently paid state, county and Town and School District taxes. There should be an explanation in the application of the real parties of interest involved in the application. The Planning Board desires information and will request information of the applicant concerning any party involved in the application, including owner, company involved in drilling, any and all agents involved for principals, any subcontractors who are sublessees who may be involved in the excavation, and documents submitted verifying all of the above relationships; full disclosure of all parties in interest is required and any failure to do so will effect the approval of the application; in the event the applicant is a large company, a liaison from the applicant company shall be appointed to act as official spokesman in relations with the Town.
[Amended 5-2-1975; 12-5-1975; 4-13-1983 by Ord. No. 83-1]
C. 
Performance bond. A performance bond, if required, shall be posted with the Planning Board, in an amount and form to be determined by the Planning Board, to ensure conformance to the approved plans and all applicable regulations. The Planning Board shall set a reasonable time limit for such bond, but not to exceed one year, except in the case of continuing excavation operations, when a bond may be renewed or extended with each permit renewal. Said bond shall remain in full force and effect until a certificate of completion has been issued by the Town Engineer, certifying to the fact that all provisions of this chapter and conditions of the permit have been complied with. In lieu of such bond, a cash deposit or certified check may be posted with the Supervisor of the Town.
D. 
Expiration and extension. Permits issued under this chapter shall expire one year from the date of issuance, except that the Planning Board may extend permits for one-year periods after complete review of all plans and examination of work accomplished and proposed. A public hearing may be held before the extension of a permit.
E. 
Existing operations. In issuing a permit for commercial excavations, the Planning Board may require that any commercial excavation in operation at the time of adoption of this chapter comply with the requirements of this chapter.
F. 
Submission to Orange County Department of Health. The plans for any proposed excavation shall be submitted by the applicant to the Orange County Department of Health for approval in order that it can be determined that there would be no change in the groundwater level or creation of stagnant ponds which would endanger the public health or safety. If required, the applicant will submit certified water tests in areas of the Town where radioactivity may be a result of excavation. Testing of any drill hole is to be done by an independent laboratory, certified by the State of New York, after completion of the hole. Before any further work is done at the site, the test must be completed and the results reviewed by the Town, the Orange County Department of Health and/or the State Department of Environmental Conservation. If tests indicate levels of radioactivity above standards set by Federal Water Quality Act, the uranium ban of the Town of Warwick automatically applies and all activity must cease. The Town representative shall observe the testing upon 48 hours' notice and the cost of an additional $30 per test shall be paid by the applicant to the Town. The cost of the test itself shall be borne by the applicant.
[Amended 4-13-1983 by Ord. No. 83-1]
G. 
Village of Warwick watershed. There shall be no regrading, removal or excavation of topsoil or other natural materials, including mining, exploratory drilling or production drilling, in the Village of Warwick watershed area as indicated on the map of said area located in the Village of Warwick Village Hall, which is located in the Town of Warwick.
[Added 4-13-1983 by Ord. No. 83-1]
A. 
Buffering. No excavation for commercial purposes as defined herein shall be closer than 50 feet to any street line or other property line.
B. 
Lateral support. The proposed operation shall not adversely affect the lateral support of abutting land or other properties. The slope of material in any excavation, excepting rock quarries, shall not exceed the normal angle of repose or 45º, whichever is less. The final slope of any excavated material shall not exceed the normal angle of repose of such material, except where a suitable retaining wall, as shown on approved plans, is built to provide lateral support.
C. 
Processing of excavated materials. No rock crusher or similar apparatus or equipment used for the processing of excavated materials shall be operated within 1,000 feet of the boundaries of a site located in any residence district nor within 200 feet of any street or property line of a site located in any nonresidential district.
D. 
Truck access drives. Truck access drives to the excavation site shall be located so as to minimize danger to traffic and nuisance to surrounding properties. In order to prevent dust, such drives within 500 feet of any lot line or an excavation operation shall be kept wet, oiled, treated with chemical dust deterrents or paved.
E. 
Fences or barricades. Fences or barricades shall be erected to protect pedestrians and vehicles. Where any open excavation will have a depth of 10 feet or more and a slope of more than 30º, there shall be a substantial fence, as approved by the Planning Board, with suitable gates where necessary, effectively blocking access to the area in which such excavation is located. Such fence shall be located 50 feet or more from the edge of the excavation. All operations shall be screened from nearby residential uses, as may be required by the Planning Board, and all other areas deemed necessary by the Planning Board to protect the general public from a possible safety hazard.
[Amended 4-13-1983 by Ord. No. 83-1]
F. 
Interference or endangerment. No excavation shall be permitted which would interfere with public utility systems or which would create or aggravate any condition detrimental to the public health and safety. Such condition shall include the transportation of large machinery and material through the Town of Warwick, and all such truck routes shall be included on any application, including the proposed tonnage of vehicles and the number of trips.
[Amended 4-13-1983 by Ord. No. 83-1]
G. 
Natural drainage. No excavation shall be permitted which would interfere with the natural drainage of the general area surrounding the excavation site. All existing watercourses shall be preserved, except that such watercourses may be relocated in accordance with the approved plans, provided that satisfactory provisions are made for the maintenance of flow. Any lakes or ponds that are created shall have sufficient depth and inflow of water to prevent their becoming stagnant in dry periods. There shall be no discharge of oil or gas to streams or bodies of water; proper environmental safeguards must be taken with regard to erosion control measures and runoff control at sites and access roads; water from drilling processes must not discharge into any surface stream or body of water which should be contained in a holding pool for seepage back into the ground.
[Amended 4-13-1983 by Ord. No. 83-1]
H. 
Refilling. All pits, quarries, holes or other excavated areas shall be refilled with clear, nonburnable fill containing no garbage, refuse or harmful matter to the natural grade of the property. The Planning Board may specifically waive the provisions of this subsection, provided that it shall find that refilling is not necessary to satisfy all the provisions of the chapter. All sites must also comply with any requirements of the Mine Reclamation Act of the State of New York.
[Amended 4-13-1983 by Ord. No. 83-1]
I. 
Storage piles of materials. Storage piles of materials, including waster materials, shall be located only at approved places, and in no case any closer to property line than is permitted for excavations. After completion of excavation operations, waster materials shall be used in filling all open pits, quarries, etc. Piles of excess waster materials shall be leveled. The site should be cleaned of any debris or garbage remaining and be replanted to a condition as good as prior to start of operation and as may be required by the Planning Board.
[Amended 4-13-1983 by Ord. No. 83-1]
J. 
Soil erosion. Every precaution shall be taken to prevent soil erosion by water or wind during operations. After any such operation, the site shall be made reusable for a use permitted in the district. Where topsoil is removed, sufficient arable soil shall be set aside for retention on the premises and shall be respread over the premises after the operation. The area shall be brought to final grade by a layer of earth of two feet or original thickness, whichever is less, capable of supporting vegetation. Upon completion of replacement of topsoil, it shall be harrowed or raked to establish a seedbed and shall be seeded with grass, permanent pasture mixture or other approved fast-growing vegetation and repeated as necessary until the area is stabilized.
K. 
Hours of operation. No excavation operations or processing of excavated materials shall take place between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. nor at any time on Sundays or legal holidays.
L. 
Accessory uses. Excavated materials from one property shall not be processed on another property.
M. 
Soil fertility. The proposed operation shall not adversely affect soil fertility.
N. 
Power. All machinery and equipment shall be electrically operated, except for bulldozers, shovels and other equipment used for excavation, collection of material, loading or hauling.
O. 
Noise levels. No excavation operations shall take place except within noise levels to be determined by current standards for workers on the site and the fence-line noise level to be set by the Planning Board for protection of neighboring properties. The Planning Board will determine a fence-line level after estimated noise levels are submitted by the applicant for review. Information should be included in the original application.
P. 
Blasting. Blasting should take place in conformity with state requirements and with requirements of Chapter 63 of the Code of the Town of Warwick entitled "Blasting and Explosives." All storage of explosives should be done in accordance with accepted safety practices and standards.
[Amended 4-13-1983 by Ord. No. 83-1]
[Amended 5-2-1975; 11-9-1977; 4-13-1983 by Ord. No. 83-1]
A. 
Enforcement. This chapter is to be enforced by the Building Inspector.
B. 
Coverage. The provisions of this chapter shall be made applicable to all excavations or excavated areas which are being worked at the time this chapter shall become effective. No excavation shall be continued or extended in area after the effective date of this chapter without a permit therefor first being secured.
C. 
Other jurisdictions. The foregoing provisions providing for the enforcement of the regulations contained in this chapter are not exclusive but are in addition to any and all other laws applicable thereto.
D. 
Inspection. Any person applying for an excavation permit or any person or persons authorizing or consenting to such application shall be deemed to have authorized the Building Inspector to go upon the premises at any reasonable time for the purpose of inspecting the same in order to determine that the provisions of this chapter are being or have been complied with.
[Amended 5-2-1975; 4-13-1983 by Ord. No. 83-1]
A permit from the Planning Board shall be required for all commercial timber harvesting and for all noncommercial operations, as defined herein, on forest land in the Town of Warwick, New York.
[Amended 5-2-1975; 4-13-1983 by Ord. No. 83-1]
The Planning Board shall receive the following information from the landowner before recommending a permit for forest land improvement:
A. 
Summary. A summary of cutting operations, to include:
(1) 
Total land area involved in cutting operations.
(2) 
The number of trees of each species to be cut.
(3) 
The range, in inches, of diameter of trees to be cut.
(4) 
The total board-foot volume for each species to be cut.
(5) 
The total volume to be removed from the cutting area.
(6) 
The average number of trees per acre to be removed.
(7) 
The average number of board feet per acre to be cut.
(8) 
For harvesting of products such as Christmas trees, fence posts, poles, pilings and firewood, the units to be removed per acre and the total units for the area to be removed shall be shown in lieu of information required in Subsection A(2), (4), (5) and (7).
B. 
Sketch map. A sketch map, to show:
(1) 
Boundaries of property.
(2) 
Access roads into property.
(3) 
Area within the property where harvesting or improvement cutting will occur.
(4) 
Location of product loading areas.
C. 
Landowner's statement. A statement from the landowner that each tree to be removed has been designated by a professional forester, with paint or other distinctive means, at two points so as to be readily visible by the buyer. One point shall be low enough on the tree so as to be visible on the stump after the tree is removed. Trees being removed for other than sawtimber need not be marked on the stump.
[Amended 5-2-1975]
A. 
Scope of operation. Operations in excess of 10 acres in area in any one calendar year are subject to review and approval by the Planning Board.
B. 
Types of operation.
(1) 
Thinning.
(2) 
Cull removal.
C. 
Lands with a 480-a exemption[1] may exceed 10 acres of clearing without Planning Board approval, provided proof of the exemption is provided to the Building Department.
[Added 6-27-2013 by L.L. No. 4-2013]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Real Property Tax Law § 480-a.
A. 
Conservation practices. The proposed operation shall not adversely affect drainage, possible growth of vegetation and the general appearance of the landscape, nor shall it contribute to soil erosion by water or wind.
B. 
Adjacent property. Trees falling on adjacent properties as a result of an improvement operation shall immediately be returned to the permittee's property.
C. 
Management practices. Loading areas shall be smoothed to remove all ruts and debris. Waste materials shall be buried or removed to a point out of sight of any public road.
[Amended 5-17-1974; 5-2-1975]
D. 
Hours of operation. No harvesting, cutting or sawmill operations or removal of products shall take place between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. nor at any time on Sundays or legal holidays.
E. 
Expiration and extensions. The term of this permit shall be for one year. However, since forest stand improvement operations may be adversely affected or delayed by unusual circumstances of weather or other occurrences, an extension of one year shall be available on the recommendation of the Town Engineer when requested by the landowner.
F. 
Standards. The Town Engineer shall recommend that the following standards be invoked where necessary:
(1) 
Top lopping or removal of debris within 100 feet of any Town road, or leaving an uncut screen along such roads.
(2) 
Construction of water bars and the seeding of logging skid roads to prevent or reduce erosion.
(3) 
To ensure compliance by the permittee with the standards of this chapter, a performance bond (in a suitable amount) may be required.
G. 
Additional requisites. The Planning Board, with the advice of the Regional Forester on approved forestry practices, may make additional rules regarding the periods of operation, size of trees cut, incidental earthmoving, access roads, reforestation and prevention of forest fires.
[Added 5-14-1987 by Ord. No. 87-1; amended 6-8-2000 by L.L. No. 2-2000]
A Schedule of Fees has been adopted by the Town Board pursuant to Chapter 75.
[Added 8-16-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
A. 
Any person committing an offense against any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 per day for each day the violation continues after notice of such violation by the Code Enforcement Officer. Such notification by the Code Enforcement Officer shall notify the property owner of the violation, the fine for continued violation and the necessity to submit a mitigation/remediation plan addressing the violation within 10 days. In addition, if the violation has occurred in an area designated as a sensitive area as defined in § 164-46B(3) of the Code of the Town of Warwick, the property owner shall, within the same ten-day period referred to above, make application to the Planning Board for site plan approval.
B. 
Upon submittal of a mitigation/remediation plan acceptable to the Code Enforcement Officer, the fine may be suspended for a period of 10 days to allow for implementation of the plan. Failure to implement the mitigation/remediation plan within that ten-day period will result in resumption of the two-hundred-fifty-dollar-per-day fine and issuance of a court appearance ticket by the Building Official.
C. 
If Planning Board site plan approval is required, as noted above, the fine may be suspended for any reasonable period of time to allow for proper and thorough Planning Board review. In this connection, any delays caused by the property owner’s failure to timely furnish required information to the Planning Board may be included in the number of days for which the fine can be levied.
D. 
For purposes of this chapter, each day a violation shall continue shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.