[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Lehighton 11-14-1988 by Ord. No. 382. Section 98-9 amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art I. Other amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to provide minimum standards to safeguard persons, to protect property and to promote the public welfare by regulating and controlling the design, construction, quality of materials, use, location and maintenance of grading, excavations and fills.
Wherever used in this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings indicated:
- BUILDING PERMIT
- A permit required for the construction, erection or alteration of a structure or building, issued pursuant to the provisions of borough ordinances and/or building codes.
- Any act by which earth, sand, gravel, rock or any other similar material is cut into, dug, quarried, uncovered, removed, displaced, relocated or bulldozed and shall include the conditions resulting therefrom.
- Any act by which earth, sand, gravel, rock or other material is deposited, placed, pushed, dumped, pulled, transported or moved to a new location and shall include the conditions resulting therefrom.
- The elevation of the existing ground surface at the location of any proposed excavation or fill.
- Excavation or fill or any combination thereof and shall include the conditions resulting from any excavation or fill.
- A natural person, but shall also include a partnership or corporation.
No person shall commence or perform any grading, excavation or fill without first having obtained a grading permit from the Borough Engineer. A separate grading permit shall be required for each site. One permit may cover both an excavation and any fill made on the same site.
A grading permit will not be required, however, in the following situations, but in all other respects the provisions of this chapter shall apply:
An excavation which does not exceed three feet in vertical depth at its deepest point, measured from the natural ground surface or cover an area of more than 1,000 square feet. This exception shall not affect the applicability of this chapter to or the requirement of a grading permit for any fill made with the material from such excavation.
A fill which does not exceed 10 cubic yards of material on any one site or a fill which does not exceed three feet in vertical depth at its deepest point, measured from the natural ground surface or cover an area of more than 1,000 square feet, provided that the surfaces of such fills do not have a slope at any point steeper than five horizontal to one vertical.
Work in a public street or alley or in a borough park, playground or recreation area or on other municipal property.
A grading permit will not be required if a building permit has been obtained and said building permit addressed the grading, excavation or fill.
Every applicant for a grading permit shall file a written application therefor with the Borough Engineer. Such application shall:
Describe the land on which the proposed work is to be done.
Be accompanied by plans and specifications prepared by a registered engineer or surveyor and shall include:
The present contours of land and the proposed contours of land after completion of the proposed grading or excavation.
A plot plan showing the location of the grading, boundaries, lot lines, neighboring streets and alleys and buildings.
A description of the type and classification of the soil.
Details and locations of any proposed drainage structures and pipes, walls and cribbing.
The nature of fill material, if any.
Such other information as the Borough Engineer may require to carry out the purposes of chapter.
All utility and other municipal lines and/or services.
State the estimated dates for the start and completion of the grading work.
State the purpose for which the grading application is filed.
The Borough Engineer may waive the requirement for any or all plans and specifications listed above if he finds that the information on the application is sufficient to show that the work will conform to the provisions of this chapter.
Before issuing a grading permit, the Borough Secretary or Borough Manager shall collect a permit fee, as established from time to time by resolution of Borough Council.
Every grading permit shall expire by limitation and become null and void if the work authorized by such permit has not been commenced within six months or is not completed within one year from the date of issue, provided that the Borough Engineer may, if the permit holder presents satisfactory evidence that unusual difficulties have prevented work from being started or completed within the specified time limits, grant a reasonable extension of time, and provided further that the application for the extension of time is made before the date of the expiration of the permit. In addition, if any activity requiring a permit under this chapter is inactive or dormant for a period of six months, the permit lapses and/or expires and any new activity will require a new permit procedure, as indicated in this chapter.
Where, in the opinion of the Borough Engineer, the work as proposed by the applicant is likely to endanger any property or any street or alley, he shall deny the grading permit. In determining whether the proposed work is likely to endanger property, streets or alleys or create hazardous conditions, the Borough Engineer shall give due consideration to:
The Council shall consider promptly appeals from the provisions of this chapter or from the determinations of the Borough Engineer, and the Council shall make determinations of alternate methods, standards or materials when, in its opinion, strict compliance with the provisions of this chapter is unnecessary. Any applicant or permit holder shall have the right to appeal to any court of competent jurisdiction from any decision or determination of the Council.
No person shall construct, enlarge, alter, repair or maintain any grading, excavation or fill or cause the same to be done contrary to or in violation of any provision of this chapter.
When written notice of a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter has been served by the Borough Manager on any person, such violation shall be discontinued immediately.
Nothing contained herein shall in any way eliminate the necessity of obtaining any other municipal, state, or federal permit, if so required.
In case any work is performed by any person in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, the proper officer of the borough, in addition to other remedies, may institute in the name of the borough any appropriate action or proceeding, whether by legal process or otherwise, to prevent such unlawful work and to restrain or abate such violation.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600 for each offense and, in default of the payment of said fine and costs of prosecution, shall be imprisoned for a period of up to 30 days. Each day that such violation is committed or permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense and shall be punishable as such hereunder.
Every applicant shall make adequate provisions to prevent erosion and surface waters from damaging the cut-face of an excavation or the sloping surface of a fill and shall provide cover or any other suitable procedures, as directed by the borough engineer, to address any environmental protection requirement.