Borough of Westwood, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Westwood 5-15-2001 by Ord. No. 01-08. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 129.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 175.
Land use and development — See Ch. 195.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 260.
Stormwater control — See Ch. 325.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 330.
Swimming pools — See Ch. 413.
As used herein, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DEVELOPER
Any person who, either directly or through an agent or independent contractor, engages or intends to engage in land subdivision or in the construction of one or more dwelling houses or business or industrial buildings for the purpose of sale to or occupancy by another person or persons.
EXCAVATOR
Any person who:
A. 
Moves soil to, on or from any lot having an area in excess of 5,000 square feet; or
B. 
Moves in excess of 50 cubic yards of soil to, on or from any lot.
LOT
Any parcel of land or portion thereof, the boundary lines of which can be ascertained by reference to the maps and records either in the office of the Tax Assessor of the Borough or in the office of the Bergen County Clerk. If two or more parcels of land are shown as separate parcels upon the maps and records in the office of the Tax Assessor of the Borough or in the office of the Bergen County Clerk, but are contiguous and owned by the same person, such parcels shall, for the purposes of this chapter, be deemed to be one lot.
MOVE
To dig, excavate, remove, deposit, place, fill, grade, regrade, level or otherwise alter or change the location or contour, transport or supply. This term shall not be construed to include plowing, spading, cultivating, harrowing or dicing of soil, or any other operation usually and ordinarily associated with the tilling of soil for agricultural or horticultural purposes.
SOIL
Any earth, sand, clay, loam, gravel, humus, rock or dirt, without regard to the presence or absence therein of organic matter.
TOPSOIL
Soil that, in its natural state, constitutes the top layer of earth and is composed of 2% or more, by weight, of organic matter and has the ability to support vegetation.
A. 
No developer and no excavator shall move or cause, allow, permit or suffer to be moved any soil to or from any lot or within the boundaries of any lot in the Borough unless and until a soil movement permit therefor shall have first been issued as hereinafter provided.
B. 
No owner of any lot in the Borough shall knowingly cause, allow, permit or suffer any soil to be moved from or to any lot in the Borough by a developer or excavator unless the said developer or excavator has first obtained a soil removal permit therefor as hereinafter provided.
Any soil movement within the boundaries of a lot less than 150 cubic yards, in connection with the construction, alteration, or landscaping of a dwelling house or use accessory to a dwelling house, shall not be required to obtain a permit, provided that a sworn statement is filed with the Secretary of the Planning Board, stating:
A. 
The name of the applicant.
B. 
The name of the owner of the lot.
C. 
The lot and block number of the lot, as shown on the Tax Assessment Map of the Borough.
D. 
The number of cubic yards to be moved.
E. 
The purpose for moving the soil.
F. 
The place, if any, from which soil is to be moved.
G. 
The place, if any, to which soil is to be moved.
H. 
The date upon which moving is to commence.
I. 
The date upon which moving is to terminate.
A. 
All residential, single lot, one- and two-family residences shall apply to the Borough Engineer for soil movement permit review. Applications are supplied by the Zoning Officer.
B. 
All other applications will be made to the Planning Board.
The Zoning Officer shall issue permits only after approval by either the Borough Engineer or the Planning Board.
The procedure for applying for and issuance of a soil removal permit shall be as follows:
A. 
Form of application. On forms prescribed and supplied by the Zoning Officer, the applicant shall set forth, in duplicate:
(1) 
The identity and address of the applicant.
(2) 
The description of the lands in question.
(3) 
The identity and address of the owner of the lands. If the owner is a person other than the applicant, the owner shall signify his consent to the application by signing it along with the applicant.
(4) 
The purpose or reason for moving the soil.
(5) 
The kind and quantity, in cubic yards, of soil to be moved.
(6) 
In case of removal, the place to which the soil is to be removed and the kind and quantity of soil to be removed.
(7) 
The proposed date of completion of the work.
(8) 
Such other pertinent data as the Planning Board may, by resolution, require.
B. 
Topographical map. Accompanying the application shall be a topographical map, prepared and certified by a licensed civil engineer and land surveyor, in duplicate, showing:
(1) 
The dimensions of the lot and the lot and block number of the lot and each abutting lot.
(2) 
The present grades, on a one-hundred-foot grid layout.
(3) 
The proposed grades at said points when the work has been completed.
(4) 
The quantity, in cubic yards, of soil involved in the work, as computed from cross sections which shall be shown on the map.
(5) 
The grades of all abutting streets and lots.
(6) 
Present and proposed surface water drainage and any existing proposed appurtenances therefor.
(7) 
Proposed slopes and lateral supports.
(8) 
The location of all trees having a diameter of six inches or more at the base.
(9) 
The route of travel within the Borough for approval by the Police Department and Engineer.
(10) 
An as-built plan prepared by a licensed engineer or land surveyor.
(11) 
Such other pertinent data as the Borough Engineer or the Planning Board may hereafter, by resolution, require.
C. 
Permit fee.
(1) 
The application shall be submitted to the Zoning Officer or the Secretary of the Planning Board, with a fee to the order of the Borough in an amount computed at the rate of $0.10 per cubic yard multiplied by the number of cubic yards to be moved, as stated in the application and certified on the topographical map; provided, however, that in no event shall such fee be less than $75. In the event of refusal of the soil removal permit, as hereinafter provided, all that portion of the fee in excess of $75 shall be refunded to the applicant upon application therefor.
(2) 
An estimated deposit for a fee for the Board Engineer's review of said application and site observations shall be posted to an escrow account. All charges made against said account by the Board Engineer shall be verified by vouchers submitted to both the Borough and applicant and shall be based upon time expended by the Engineer. Said fee deposit shall be established in accordance with the schedule below:
Lot Size
(cubic yards)
Fee Deposit Amount
150 to 250
$300
251 to 350
$500
Over 350
$1,000
D. 
Review of application; hearing. Within 30 days after receipt of the application, the Borough Engineer and/or Planning Board shall review and consider the application and render its report and recommendation and/or approval to the Zoning Officer and/or the Secretary of the Planning Board, who shall grant or refuse the permit in accordance with the recommendation. Notice of the time and place of the Planning Board's consideration of the application shall be given by registered mail to the applicant, who shall have the right to present additional or corroborative evidence.
E. 
Permit form and conditions. The soil removal permit shall be in such form as may be prescribed by the Planning Board and shall contain any special conditions set forth in the recommendation.
In considering and reviewing the application, the Planning Board shall be guided by the general purpose of municipal planning and shall take into consideration the following factors:
A. 
Soil erosion by water and wind.
B. 
Surface and subsurface water drainage.
C. 
Soil fertility.
D. 
Lateral support of abutting streets and lands.
E. 
Public health and safety.
F. 
Land values and uses.
G. 
Preservation of trees and shrubbery.
H. 
Prevention of sharp declivities, pits and depressions.
I. 
Such other factors as may bear upon or relate to the coordinated, adjusted and harmonious physical development of the Borough.
A. 
Whenever any developer or excavator shall move topsoil in or upon any lot, provision shall be made for the storage of said topsoil within the boundary lines of said lot.
B. 
Except as hereinafter provided, all of the topsoil so stored shall be uniformly replaced over the entire area or surface of the lot on or before the completion date set forth in the soil removal permit, so that the final grade or grades of said replaced topsoil shall be in accordance with the proposed final grades shown on the topographical map.
C. 
No developer or excavator shall remove to any point beyond the boundary lines of the lot any topsoil whatsoever unless and until topsoil not inferior in quality to that to be removed shall first have been replaced uniformly to a depth of not less than six inches, measured from the proposed final grades as shown on the topographical map, over the entire surface or area of the lot, excepting only such portions thereof as shall be or shall have become, since the date of filing of said topographical map, permanently covered by a building or structure, street pavement, curb, sidewalk, driveway or other paved area, or by any body of water or waterway. In no event shall the developer or excavator remove from the lot more topsoil than that comprising the surplus or excess remaining after the replacement of the topsoil as aforesaid.
No developer or excavator shall, at any time in the course of the work, dig or excavate more than six inches below the proposed final grades as shown on the topographical map unless:
A. 
The soil removal permit specifies otherwise, and the performance bond, hereinafter referred to, makes specific provision for replacement, on or before the completion date set forth in the soil removal permit, of soil of sufficient quantity and kind to restore the final grades to those shown on the topographical map; or
B. 
After issuance of the soil removal permit, the developer or excavator, before digging or excavating below said minimum level, shall apply to the Planning Board and be granted an amendment of the application and topographical map then in effect, which amendment may be granted upon such terms as the Planning Board may deem necessary to assure adherence to the purpose and objectives of this chapter.
No developer or excavator shall deposit soil upon, fill in, or raise the grade of any lot without first making provision for:
A. 
The use in said work of soil or such other materials as will not result in deviation from the proposed final grades or the uniformity thereof by reason of abnormal shrinkage or settlement.
B. 
The collection and storage upon the lot of the original topsoil to the end that said topsoil shall not be buried beneath soil or other material of inferior quality, and the uniform replacement of the topsoil so stored over the entire area or surface of the fill soil or other material, so that the final grade or grades of said replaced topsoil shall be in accordance with the proposed final grades shown on the topographical map. In the event that such provision is not practicable, provision shall be made for the uniform placement over the entire area or surface of the fill soil or other material, excepting only such portions thereof as shall be or shall have become permanently covered by a building or structure, street pavement, curb, sidewalk, driveway or other paved area, or by any body of water or waterway. The said topsoil shall not be inferior in quality to that of the original topsoil, to a depth of not less than six inches, measured from the proposed final grades as shown on the topographical map.
A. 
No person shall deposit, cause to be deposited, or create any condition which, by action of wind or water, causes to be deposited any soil on any street, sidewalk or other public place of the Borough. The prohibition in this subsection shall not apply to the Borough or its authorized agents, employees, contractors, or representatives.
B. 
No person shall drive a truck or other vehicle carrying soil unless such truck or other vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any soil from being blown or otherwise deposited upon any street, sidewalk or other public place or upon private property.
No soil removal permit shall be issued unless the applicant therefor shall have posted with the Secretary of the Planning Board a performance bond to the Borough as obligee, in form and with the surety acceptable to the Borough, in such amount as the Planning Board Engineer shall determine, and conditioned upon full and faithful performance by the principal, within the time specified in the application, of all the proposed work in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and of the soil removal permit issued pursuant hereto. Residential application is not required under 250 cubic yards.
A. 
The Borough Engineer shall make an inspection of the site on which soil is to be moved and shall make such engineering studies as may be required to determine the effect of the movement of soil at the location as it relates to:
(1) 
Soil erosion by water and wind.
(2) 
Surface and subsurface water drainage.
(3) 
Soil fertility.
(4) 
Lateral support of abutting streets and lands.
(5) 
Public health and safety.
(6) 
Such other factors as may bear upon or relate to the coordinated, adjusted and harmonious physical development of the Borough.
B. 
The Borough Engineer shall also inspect the aforesaid site to determine whether stakes have been placed on each corner thereof and whether grade stakes have been placed at the existing elevation points designated on the topographical map pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
In the event of refusal of the soil permit, as herein provided, the fee paid by the applicant shall be refunded, except that all monies and costs incurred by the Borough of Westwood for engineering surveys and reports, inspection fees and legal fees shall be retained by the Borough, and the balance remaining shall be refunded to the applicant, together with a statement of the costs and expenses incurred by the Borough of Westwood in the processing of the soil application.
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both, for the first offense and, for subsequent offenses, a fine not exceeding $2,000, imprisonment for up to 90 days, or both. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.