[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Maplewood 5-19-2009 by Ord. No. 2591-09. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter to regulate the intensity of use in areas of steeply sloping terrain in order to limit soil loss, erosion, excessive stormwater runoff, and the degradation of surface water and to maintain the natural topography and drainage patterns of land.
Disturbance of steep slopes results in accelerated erosion processes from stormwater runoff and the subsequent sedimentation of water bodies with the associated degradation of water quality and loss of aquatic life support. Related effects include soil loss, changes in natural topography and drainage patterns, increased flooding potential, further fragmentation of forest and habitat areas, and compromised aesthetic values. It has become widely recognized that disturbance of steep slopes should be restricted or prevented based on the impact disturbance of steep slopes can have on water quality and quantity, and the environmental integrity of landscapes.
This chapter shall be applicable to new development or land disturbance on a steep slope within the Township of Maplewood ("Township").
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The placement of impervious surface, the exposure or movement of soil or bedrock, or the clearing, cutting, or removing of vegetation.
- IMPERVIOUS SURFACE
- Any structure, surface, or improvement that reduces or prevents absorption of stormwater into land, and includes porous paving, paver blocks, gravel, crushed stone, decks, patios, elevated structures, and other similar structures, surfaces, or improvements.
- The construction of structures or improvements on areas which previously contained structures or other improvements.
- STEEP SLOPES
- Any slope equal to or greater than 20% as measured over any minimum run of 10 feet. Steep slopes are determined based on contour intervals of two feet or less.
The percent of slope (rise in feet per horizontal distance) shall be established by measurement of distance perpendicular to the contour of the slope. The percent of slope shall be calculated for each two-foot contour interval. For example, any location on the site where there is a one-foot rise over a ten-foot horizontal run constitutes a ten-percent slope; a 1.5-foot rise over a ten-foot horizontal run constitutes a fifteen-percent slope; a two-foot rise over a ten-foot horizontal run constitutes a twenty-percent slope.
For steep slopes, any disturbance shall be prohibited except as provided below:
Redevelopment within the limits of existing impervious surfaces; and
New disturbance necessary to protect public health, safety or welfare, such as necessary linear development with no feasible alternative; to provide an environmental benefit, such as remediation of a contaminated site; to prevent extraordinary hardship on the property owner peculiar to the property; or to prevent extraordinary hardship, provided that the hardship was not created by the property owner, that would not permit a minimum economically viable use of the property based upon reasonable investment. For example, redevelopment, within the footprint of existing impervious cover, should be allowed to support efforts to revitalize development that has fallen into disrepair. The applicant shall demonstrate through site plans depicting proposed development and topography that new disturbance is not located in areas with a twenty-percent or greater slope.
Site plan requirements. The applicant shall submit a site plan to the Township Engineer for review and approval. The plan shall include the following:
The detailed site grading plan shall be drawn and certified by a licensed professional engineer, landscape architect or architect at a scale of not less than one inch equals 50 feet for site plans or subdivisions up to 10 units and one inch equals 100 feet for site plans with over 10 units.
The Tax Map sheet, block and lot number, date, graphic scale, North arrow and the names and addresses of the owner or owners of the tract, the applicant (if other than the owner) and of the engineer who prepared the site plan.
All lot line dimensions.
Front, side and rear yard setback dimensions.
Location of all proposed buildings, dimensions thereof and first floor elevation.
Location of all buildings on adjoining lots.
Existing and proposed contours at a contour interval of two feet or less.
The proposed elevations of the levels of any land at the corner of the foundation of any structure or structures and the levels of land above and below retaining walls as well as top of wall elevations.
The layout of existing and proposed public streets and public utilities.
The location of any existing or approved potable water or sanitary sewage disposal facilities on or within 100 feet of the lot.
The location of proposed vehicular facilities, including roads, drives or parking areas.
The location of all existing landscaping, including trees, shrubs and ground covers, with type and size of trees or shrubs. The location of trees over eight inches in diameter must be specifically indicated.
The disposition and extent of topsoil to be removed or backfilled.
The disposition and extent of all other soil to be removed or backfilled.
The plans and specifications for any proposed retaining walls, fences or other protective structures.
A slope map showing limit of grading. "Limit of grading" is defined as the boundary line formed between those areas of a site which are to be graded and the existing natural topography of the property. The limit of grading shall be synonymous with a no-cut/no-fill line.
A prompt investigation shall be made, by the appropriate personnel of the Township, of any person or entity believed to be in violation hereof. If, upon inspection, a condition which is in violation of this chapter is discovered, a civil action may be brought in the Superior Court of New Jersey for injunctive relief or damages.
Any person, firm, corporation or entity found guilty of violating any section of this chapter or any regulation promulgated pursuant thereto shall, upon conviction in the Township of Maplewood Municipal Court, be punished by a fine not to exceed $1,000. Each day that a violation continues shall be construed as a separate violation.