Town of Ashland, MA
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Ashland May 1993 Special Town Meeting. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Licensing — See Ch. 178.
Zoning — See Ch. 282.
Street excavations — See Ch. 330.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 344.
As used in this chapter the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BOARD
The Planning Board of the Town of Ashland.
EARTH
All forms of soil, including, without limitation, loam, sand, gravel, clay, peat, hardpan or rock.
LOT
A single piece or parcel of land lying in a solid body, under single, joint or several ownership, and separated from contiguous land by property lines or street lines.
OWNER
The owner of the land with respect to which earth is sought to be removed or the person lawfully standing in the stead of such owner as, for example, a lessee or tenant.
REMOVAL
Stripping, digging, excavating or blasting earth from one lot and removing or carrying it away from said lot.
A. 
This chapter shall apply to all earth removal activities in the Town of Ashland, except those undertaken on public land and except as otherwise limited herein. It shall apply to all areas regardless of zoning district.
B. 
Nothing in this chapter, however, shall be deemed to amend, repeal or supersede Chapter 282, Zoning, as now in force or as later amended. Nothing herein shall derogate from the intent and purpose of said Chapter 282, Zoning.
C. 
In cases of dual application, the provisions of this chapter and Chapter 282, Zoning, must both be met and satisfied.
A. 
Except as otherwise provided in §§ 242-4 and 242-5 herein, no earth shall be removed from any lot in the Town of Ashland unless a permit shall have first been obtained by the owner from the Board.
B. 
Applications for earth removal permits shall be made to the Board. A majority vote of the Board shall be sufficient to grant a permit. The applicant shall pay such filing fee as is established by the Board.
C. 
The procedure to be followed by applicants shall be as follows:
(1) 
An applicant shall submit adequate evidence of his ownership to seek the permit.
(2) 
An applicant shall submit three (3) copies of a plan showing original grades in the area from which material is to be removed, together with three (3) copies of a plan showing the grades as they will be at the conclusion of the operation or at the end of two (2) years, whichever period is the shorter. The plan showing the grades at the conclusion of the operation shall show no grades in excess of one (1) foot of vertical rise in four (4) feet of horizontal distance for the first one hundred (100) feet from all property lines and no grades below existing center-line road grade for a distance of two hundred (200) feet from the street line. All finished grades on the remaining interior of the parcel resulting from earth removal shall not exceed a slope of one (1) foot of vertical rise to two (2) feet of horizontal distance.
(3) 
The applicant shall also submit the route his trucks or other vehicles shall use in coming and going to said land.
D. 
Any permits granted by the Board must be made subject to the following conditions, said conditions to be written on the permit and made a part thereof:
(1) 
That proper and reasonable surface drainage of the land affected by earth removal operations is assured during and after the removal operations.
(2) 
That at the conclusion of the earth removal operations or of any substantial portion thereof, the whole area where removal has taken place is covered with not less than eight (8) inches of topsoil and seeded with a suitable cover crop, except where ledge rock is exposed, and that all large stones and boulders which protrude above the finished grade are to be removed or buried.
(3) 
That the applicant post a bond with the Treasurer of the Town of Ashland in an amount determined by the Board as sufficient to guarantee conformity with the provisions or conditions of the permit, the amount of the bond to be not less than eighty cents ($0.80) per square foot of area (vertical projection) of land from which earth is to be removed.
(4) 
That the trucks or other vehicles shall follow a specified route in coming and going to and from said land, not exceeding specified speeds.
(5) 
That temporary traffic signs are posted by the applicant as required by the Board.
(6) 
That all requirements of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles be met pertaining to trucks.
E. 
Before issuing a permit, the Board shall hold a public hearing, after giving at least seven (7) days' notice by public announcement and by written notice to all abutters and the Conservation Commission. The expenses incurred in giving such notices shall be charged to and paid by the applicant.
F. 
Applications for permits may be granted, denied or granted in part and denied in part.
G. 
No permit shall be issued for a period in excess of twenty-four (24) months. The duration of the permit, including the beginning and terminating dates, shall be set forth on the permit.
H. 
Where a permit is required hereunder for earth removal activities at a Priority Development Site (PDS), as defined by Section 10.0 of the Zoning By-laws, an application therefor shall be submitted simultaneously with any other permit application(s) required by the Code of the Town of Ashland, including the Zoning By-laws, relating to the use or development of the PDS or the buildings and/or structures located thereon, and not otherwise exempted by G.L. c. 43D, and a decision thereon shall be rendered no later than one hundred eighty (180) days from said date of submittal.
[Added 5-5-2010 ATM, Art. 18]
The following activities are exempted from the provisions of this chapter:
A. 
Public land: earth removal on lands in public use.
B. 
Intra-lot activities: except for the provisions relative to loam and the removal of lateral support in §§ 242-6 and 242-7 below, any earthmoving activities confined entirely to the limits of a single lot, as herein defined.
C. 
Surplus earth: removal of surplus earth resulting from a bona fide construction project being carried on pursuant to the issuance of a building permit.
D. 
Small quantities: any earth removal involving fifty (50) cubic yards or fewer in total.
Permits to remove earth in quantities not exceeding two hundred fifty (250) cubic yards, but in excess of the exempted amount of fifty (50) cubic yards, may be issued informally by a majority vote of the Board without need of complying with the provisions of § 242-3 above as to the submission of plans, notice, hearings, recover, bonds, etc.; provided, however, that:
A. 
Proper surface drainage of the parcel is assured during and after the removal of earth.
B. 
No grades resulting from such earth removal exceed a slope of one (1) foot of vertical rise to four (4) feet of horizontal distance for the first one hundred (100) feet from all property lines, and no grades are below existing center-line road grade for a distance of two hundred (200) feet from the street line.
C. 
Informal permits shall not exceed one (1) year from date of issue.
D. 
No more than three hundred (300) yards of earth shall be removed from any one (1) lot by informal permit during any three-year period.
In no event may any loam be stripped and removed from any land in the Town of Ashland, except surplus loam incidental to and in connection with bona fide construction on a lot.
There shall be no removals of earth or earth movements of any kind, whether from one parcel to another or whether conducted entirely within a single parcel, the result of which is to remove lateral support from adjoining land, unless a one-to-four grade or slope is preserved for a distance of twenty-five (25) feet in from all lot lines or is reduced to an extent greater than herein provided if written consent is obtained in advance from the owner of an adjoining lot or from the Board, in the case of adjoining public ways, and if evidence of such written consent is filed with the Board prior to commencement of this work. In all cases of adjoining lands under public ownership or control, written permission from the Board will suffice notwithstanding what political subdivision owns or controls said adjoining land.
A. 
Application. This chapter shall take effect on the effective date hereof as defined in Subsection B below; provided, however, that any continuous earth removal activities in actual working operation as of the effective date hereof may continue unaffected by this chapter until January 1, 1968. Permits with respect to the latter will be required after January 1, 1968.
B. 
Effective date. This chapter shall take effect upon its approval by the Attorney General and its publication and postings as required by M.G.L.A. C. 40, § 32.
The penalty for violating any provision of this chapter shall be as follows:
A. 
For the first offense: one hundred dollars ($100.).
B. 
For the second offense: two hundred dollars ($200.).
C. 
For each subsequent offense: five hundred dollars ($500.) and/or revocation of said permit.
The provisions of this chapter are hereby declared to be severable; and if any such provision or the application of such provision to any person or circumstances shall be held invalid or unconstitutional, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not be construed to affect the validity or constitutionality of any of the remaining provisions or the application of such provisions to persons or circumstances other than those as to which it is held invalid. It is hereby declared to be the legislative intent of this chapter that said remaining sections would have been adopted has such invalid or unconstitutional provisions not been included therein.
The Board shall be responsible from the administration and enforcement of this chapter.