[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Upper Burrell 10-1-2007 by Ord. No. 4-2007. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It shall be unlawful for any person, partnership, business or corporation to undertake, or cause to be undertaken, the excavation, filling and/or grading of any land within the Township unless an approved permit has been obtained from the Township.
The provisions, regulations, limitations, and restrictions of this chapter shall apply to any excavation, filling and/or grading of any land within the Township, unless specifically exempted herein.
Earth disturbance activities and associated stormwater management activities are also regulated under existing state law and implementing regulations. This chapter shall operate in coordination with those parallel requirements; the requirements of this chapter shall be no less restrictive in meeting the purposes of this chapter than state law.
Exemptions. The following activities are specifically exempt from the permit requirements of this chapter:
Use of land for gardening and landscaping, provided that area of earth disturbance does not exceed 5,000 square feet and all work including runoff which may result from work does not adversely affect any adjoining property or Township street, as determined by Township Engineer.
Agriculture, when operated in accordance with a conservation plan or erosion and sedimentation control plan approved by the Westmoreland County Conservation District. Agricultural activities such as producing crops and raising livestock including tillage, plowing, disking, harrowing, pasturing and other such activities are specifically exempt from complying with the requirements of this chapter.
An excavation, solely for the purpose of the construction of basements, foundations and footings of a building, or structure authorized by a building permit, provided that no other grading is proposed.
All activities conducted by authority of Upper Burrell Township Board of Supervisors.
For the purposes of this chapter, certain terms and words herein shall be interpreted as follows:
Words used in the present tense include the future tense; the singular number includes the plural, and the plural number includes the singular; words of masculine gender include feminine gender; and words of feminine gender include masculine gender.
The word "include" or "including" shall not limit the term to the specific example but is intended to extend its meaning to all other instances of like kind and character.
The word "person" includes an individual, firm, association, organization, partnership, trust, company, corporation, or any other similar entity.
The words "shall" and "must" are mandatory; the words "may" and "should" are permissive.
The words "used or occupied" include the words "intended, designed, maintained, or arranged to be used, occupied or maintained."
The following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
- AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES
- The work of producing crops and raising livestock including tillage, plowing, disking, harrowing, pasturing and installation of conservation measures. Construction of new buildings or impervious area is not considered an agricultural activity.
- CONSERVATION DISTRICT
- The Westmoreland County Conservation District.
- The County of Westmoreland, Pennsylvania.
- EARTH DISTURBANCE
- A construction or other human activity which disturbs the surface of the land, including, but not limited to, clearing and grubbing, grading, excavations, embankment construction, land development, building construction and the moving, depositing, stockpiling, or storing of soil, rock or earth materials, road maintenance excluding periodic resurfacing.
- EARTH MATERIAL
- Any rock, natural soil or fill and/or any combination thereof.
- ENGINEER (TOWNSHIP ENGINEER)
- A professional engineer duly appointed as the engineer for the Township of Upper Burrell.
- The wearing away of the land surface by running water, wind, ice, or other geological agents, including such process as gravitational creep or by chemical agent.
- The mechanical removal of earth material.
- The disposition of earth material, or any material.
- GOVERNING BODY
- Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Westmoreland County Conservation District or Upper Burrell Township.
- Any excavating or filling or combination thereof.
- An individual, partnership, association, corporation or a governmental unit, public entity or any other legal entity whatsoever which is recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties.
- Solid material, both mineral and organic, that is in suspension, is being transported, or has been moved from its site of origin by water, wind, gravity, or ice and has come to rest on the earth's surface.
- The process by which mineral or organic matter is accumulated or deposited by the movement of water, wind, gravity or ice.
- STEEP SLOPES
- Those areas on the development site which have a slope or property having a slope of 4:1 or 25% or greater.
No cut or fill grade shall exceed a slope of 2:1 or 50%. No cut or fill grade shall exceed a slope of 3:1 or 33% unless such cut or fill grade is approved by the Township Engineer, said approval to be made when the Township Engineer is satisfied that the proposed cut or fill grade shall not adversely impact the environment and shall not create a condition hazardous to the safety and welfare of Township residents or other persons. These provisions shall apply to all cuts and fills exceeding 100 square feet in exposed surface area including cuts and fills on land naturally exceeding 2:1 or 3:1 slope, as the case may be.
No cutting, filling or other earth disturbance, including natural vegetation, is permissible within 50 feet of the edge of natural drainage courses except as permitted by action of the applicable governing body. In such cases, permission may be granted, provided special precautions are taken to insure against continuing erosion and sedimentation or other circumstances which may be harmful to the immediate watercourse or in any way pollute waters of the commonwealth.
Steep slopes within the area of a lot intended for construction of a single-family dwelling or for improving a lot with an existing single-family dwelling shall meet the following requirements:
The top or toe of the steep slope shall be located at least 70 feet behind the building line, where the top or toe of the final slope is behind the structure.
If the steep slopes are altered by grading during preparation of a lot for construction, the resulting finished slope shall be 2:1 or 50% or less.
Steep slopes between 25% and 40% on any site may be disturbed by grading, alteration or removal of vegetation, provided that a geotechnical report prepared by a civil engineer registered in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with experience in geotechnical engineering shall be submitted with the grading permit application.
Steep slopes in slide-prone soils will not be permitted for grading, alteration or removal of vegetation.
Finished slopes after excavating or grading shall be stable and shall not create hazards to adjoining properties from erosion, sedimentation or stormwater runoff.
Application for a grading permit shall be made in writing to the Township on forms supplied by the Township. Such application shall contain at least the following:
An identification and description of the work to be covered by the permit for which application is made.
A description of the land on which the proposed work is to be done, by lot, block, tract and house and street address, or similar description which will readily identify and accurately locate the proposed work.
An estimate of the cost of the proposed work. Estimated costs shall be reviewed and approved by the Township Engineer prior to issuance of grading permit.
The name and contact information of the registered professional preparing the grading plan for the areas of disturbance wherein the final grade will result in a steep slope.
Such other information as reasonably may be required by the Township.
Submission of plans for review.
The Township shall issue a grading permit only after it has been determined that the proposed work will be in conformance with all applicable requirements and regulations.
After the issuance of a grading permit by the Township, no changes of any kind shall be made to the application, grading permit or any of the plans, specifications or other documents submitted with the application without the written consent or approval of the Township or its designated official.
In addition to the grading permit, the Township shall issue a placard which shall be displayed on the premises during the time the work is in progress. This placard shall show the number of the grading permit, the date of its issuance, expiration date, and be signed by the either the Township Engineer or its designated official.
The proposed work shall begin within six months after the date of issuance of the grading permit or the permit shall expire unless a time extension is granted in writing by the Township.
During the permitted work period, the Township or their designated official may inspect the premises to determine that the work is progressing in compliance with information provided on the permit application and with all applicable Township laws and ordinances and applicable laws. In the event the Township discovers that the work does not comply with the permit application or any applicable laws and ordinances, or that there has been a false statement or misrepresentation by any applicant, the Township Official may revoke the grading permit and report such fact to the Board of Supervisors for whatever action it considers necessary. The applicant shall be responsible for all direct costs incurred by Township as a result of inspections of proposed grading work.
The application for a grading permit shall be accompanied by a fee in an amount as established from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors payable to the Township. Any new permit required pursuant to § 173-11B of this chapter shall be accompanied by a fee in an amount as established from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
Permittees shall bear all costs of inspections required or permitted hereunder and shall deposit with the Township such sum as the Board of Supervisors shall determine, to guarantee payment of the costs of such inspections. The costs of such inspections shall be in accordance with the established schedule of fees and collection procedure for matters pertaining to this chapter.
Any person aggrieved by any action of the Township or its designee may appeal to the Upper Burrell Township Board of Supervisors within 30 days after the receipt of the determination. The Township shall set a time and place no less than 10 days or more than 60 days for the purpose of a hearing of the appeal.
Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Upper Burrell Township Board of Supervisors may appeal to the Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas within 30 days of the Board of Supervisors decision.
Any person who violates or permits a violation of this chapter shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding brought before a Magisterial District Judge under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, be guilty of a summary offense and shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days. Each day or portion thereof that such violation continues or is permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense, and each section of this chapter that is violated shall also constitute a separate offense.
In addition, the Township, through its solicitor, may institute injunctive, mandamus or any other appropriate action or proceeding at law or in equity for the enforcement of this chapter. Any court of competent jurisdiction shall have the right to issue restraining orders, temporary or permanent injunctions, mandamus or other appropriate forms of remedy or relief.