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Borough of Wilmerding, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Wilmerding 11-14-1989 by Ord. No. 899 (Ch. 9, Part 1, of the 1989 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Construction codes — See Ch. 145.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 175.
Sidewalk construction; street openings — See Ch. 265, Arts. III, IV.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 260.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 270.
Zoning — See Ch. 300.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Soil Erosion, Sedimentation and Grading Control Ordinance," implementing Title 25, Rules and Regulations, Part I, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Subpart C, Protection of Natural Resources, Article II, Water Resources, Chapter 102, Erosion and Sediment Control.
The purposes of this chapter are to regulate the modification of the natural terrain, the alteration of drainage, and to provide for certain erosion and sediment control measures within the Borough of Wilmerding to assure and safeguard health, safety, ecology and the general welfare in the Borough.
From and after the effective date of this chapter, any subdivision and/or land development approved under the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance or activity qualified under §§ 160-5 and 160-6 herein shall be in conformity with this chapter. In the event of a conflict between this chapter and the floodplain regulations, the floodplain regulations shall take precedent.[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 175, Flood Damage Prevention.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
An azonal great group of soils, developed from transported and relatively recently deposited material (alluvium), characterized by a weak modification (or none) of the original material by soil-forming processes.
Process of earthmoving by excavating part of an area and/or using excavated material for embankments or fill areas.
The wearing away of the land surface by running water, wind, ice, chemical or other geological agents.
Detachment and movement of soil or rock fragments by water, wind, ice or gravity.
The slope of a road, channel or natural ground.
The finished surface of a canal bed, roadbed, top of embankment, or bottom of excavation; any surface prepared for the support of construction-like paving or laying a conduit.
To finish the surface of a canal bed, roadbed, top of embankment or bottom or excavation.
That portion of the precipitation on a drainage area or watershed that is discharged from the area in stream channels; types include surface runoff, groundwater runoff, or seepage.
Solid material, both mineral and organic, that is in suspension, is being transported, or has been moved from its site of origin by air, water, gravity or ice and has come to rest on the earth's surface either above or below sea level.
Degree of deviation of a surface from the horizontal usually expressed in percent or degrees.
A condition of the soil, referring to the frequency and duration of periods when the soil is free of saturation.
A natural drainage route or channel for the flow of water.
Whenever the landscape is to be permanently disturbed as to either contours, soil or slope characteristics, or vegetation or any ground cover is to be permanently removed, a plan is required showing how resulting erosion and sediment shall be controlled. This plan shall include the following:
The amount of site alteration proposed;
Development schedule; and
Erosion and sediment control practices (both temporary and permanent) and the operation and maintenance arrangements.
The following activities require a grading permit:
Modifying, disturbing, blocking, diverting or otherwise adversely affecting the natural overland or subsurface flow of stormwater.
Construction, erection or installation of any drainage dam, ditch, culvert, drainpipe, bridge or any other structure or obstruction affecting the drainage of any premises.
Paving, filling, stripping, excavating, grading or regrading of any land.
Disturbing the landscape, vegetation or any ground cover by any proposal involving an area in excess of 5,000 square feet.
The following activities require no grading permit:
Improvements, such as erection of retaining walls, driveway paving, minor regrading or activities on a property which do not adversely affect the natural overland or subsurface flow of stormwater, drainage of any premises, or adversely disturb the landscape, in a gross area of up to 5,000 square feet on any one property.
Farming, gardening or lawn restoration, but not including sod farming.
Any person, firm or corporation proposing to engage in an activity requiring a grading permit hereunder shall apply by the submission of a plan.
The applicant should, before submitting a preliminary plan for review, consult Chapter 300, Zoning; Chapter 175, Flood Damage Prevention; and Chapter 270, Subdivision and Land Development, which regulate the development of land in the Borough.
A separate plan shall be required for each grading permit.
Five copies of the proposed plan, including specifications and development schedules, shall be submitted to the Secretary for a grading permit. The Secretary shall forward one copy of the plan to the Planning Commission, one copy to the Borough Engineer and one copy to the Zoning Officer.
The plan for a grading permit shall be accompanied by a fee established in the Borough Council's schedule of fees and collection procedures for all applications and other matters pertaining to the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance and this chapter.
The plan for a grading permit shall include:
A valid boundary line survey of the site on which the work is to be performed.
A description of the features, existing and proposed, surrounding the site which are of importance to the proposed development.
A plan of the general topography (including drainage) and soil conditions on the site (latter available through the County Conservation District).
The location and a description of existing and future man-made features of importance to the proposed development (i.e., cuts and/or fills, buildings, roads and driveways).
Plans and specifications of soil erosion and sediment control measures in accordance with standards and specifications of the Borough and the County Conservation District.
A development schedule, indicating the anticipated starting and completion dates of the development sequence and the time of exposure of each area prior to the completion of effective erosion and sediment control measures.
In addition to the requirements of § 160-9, and where deemed necessary by the Borough Engineer and the Planning Commission or the Borough Council, the applicant shall submit with the plan a detailed drainage study prepared by a registered professional engineer qualified in hydrology in the commonwealth. This study shall include:
A plan of the property showing the location of all present and proposed ditches, streams, pipes and other drainage structures, and proposed cuts and/or fills. In addition to showing present elevations and dimensions and location and extent of all proposed grading and/or drainage, the plan shall clearly indicate all woodlands, buildings, parking areas and driveways. Further, the plan shall indicate the present and proposed sources, storage and disposition of water being channeled through or across the premises, together with elevations, gradients and maximum flow rates. The plan shall describe the work to be performed and disposition of cut and/or fill, the materials to be used and the manner or method of performance, including provisions for protecting and maintaining existing drainage facilities whether on public or private property. The applicant shall also supply the supporting data for the plan as developed by the engineer.
Calculations to determine runoff, which shall be based on the Soil-Cover Complex Method, a description of which is available from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and outlined in the "Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania."
The design criteria for storm sewer piping on inlet systems within a subdivision being developed shall be designed for a twenty-five-year frequency storm; culverts across roadways shall be designed for a fifty-year frequency storm; open watercourses or swales shall be designed for a one-hundred-year frequency storm, as prescribed in accordance with the following:
The coefficient of runoff used for all areas upstream of any drainage structure shall be computed on the basis of existing land use and the projected land use described and shown on the Borough Comprehensive Plan and adjacent municipalities' comprehensive plans, where applicable.
The following provisions apply to the carrying and disposal of stormwater runoff:
All drainage facilities shall be designed to carry surface water in such a manner as to prevent erosion or overflow.
The applicant shall agree to the granting and recording of easements covering the installation and maintenance of drainage facilities.
The rate of runoff shall be no greater during and after a one-hundred-year frequency storm when the development is completed than that which existed before the development began, and appropriate measurements or calculations shall be provided to verify such provisions.
A soils investigation report, if load-bearing fill is proposed, which shall consist of test borings, laboratory testings and engineering analysis to correlate surface and subsurface conditions with the proposed grading plan. The results of the investigation shall be presented in a report by a registered professional soils engineer and shall include: data regarding the nature, distribution and supporting ability of existing soils and rocks on the site, conclusions and recommendations to ensure stable soil conditions and groundwater control, as applicable. The Borough may require such supplemental reports and data as is deemed necessary by the Borough Engineer. Recommendations included in such reports and approved by the Municipal Engineer shall be incorporated in the plan or specifications. In addition:
Fills toeing out on natural slopes steeper than four horizontal to one vertical shall not be made unless a report is received which is deemed acceptable by the Borough Engineer and approved by the Borough Council. The report shall be made by a registered professional soils engineer certifying that he has investigated the property, made soils tests and that, in his opinion, such steeper slopes will safely support the proposed fill.
Natural and/or existing slopes exceeding five horizontal to one vertical shall be benched or continuously stepped into competent materials prior to placing all classes of fill.
Upon the approval of the plan by the Borough Engineer, the Building Inspector shall issue the necessary grading permit.
Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter or any condition of the grading permit, the permittee is responsible for the prevention of damage to other property or personal injury which may be effected by the activity requiring a grading permit.
No person, firm or corporation shall modify, fill, excavate, pave, grade or regrade land in any manner so close to a property line as to endanger or damage any adjoining street, alley or any other public or private property without supporting and protecting such property from settling, cracking, erosion, sediment, flooding or any other physical damage or personal injury which might result.
No person, firm or corporation shall deposit or place any debris or any other material whatsoever, or cause such to be thrown or placed, in any drainage ditch or drainage structure in such a manner as to obstruct free flow.
No person, firm or corporation shall fail to adequately maintain, in good operating order, any drainage facility on his premises. All drainage ditches, culverts, drainpipes and drainage structures shall be kept open and free-flowing at all times.
The owner of any property on which any work has been done pursuant to a grading permit granted under this chapter shall continuously maintain and repair all graded surfaces and anti-erosion devices, retaining walls, drainage structures or means and other protective devices, plantings and ground cover, installed or completed. The Borough is responsible for maintenance and repair within the right-of-way of municipal roads.
All graded surfaces shall be permanently seeded, sodded and/or planted or otherwise protected from erosion within 30 days, weather permitting, and shall be tended and/or maintained until growth is well established. The disturbed area and duration of exposure shall be kept to a minimum using temporary erosion and sediment control measures immediately, as outlined in the "Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania."
All trees in an area of extreme grade change shall be protected with suitable tree wells, unless the necessity for removal is established. Precautions shall be taken to prevent the unnecessary removal of trees.
When required, adequate provisions shall be made for dust control measures as are deemed acceptable by the Borough Engineer.
All plans and specifications submitted for a grading permit shall include provisions for both interim (temporary) and ultimate (permanent) erosion and sediment control. The design, installation and maintenance of erosion and sediment control measures shall be accomplished in accordance with standards and specifications established by the County Soil Conservation District, as adopted from standards and specifications of the United States Natural Resources Conservation Service and as outlined in the "Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania."
Technical standards for the design and installation of erosion and sediment control measures are on file with the Borough, the office of the County Conservation District and other governmental agency offices.
Standards and specifications adopted for the purposes of this chapter and by the County Conservation District include, but are not limited to, the following basic conservation measures:
Temporary cover on critical areas;
Permanent grass and legume cover for critical areas on prepared seedbed;
Permanent grass and legume cover for critical areas on unprepared seedbed;
Temporary diversion;
Permanent diversion;
Grassed waterway or outlet;
Grade stabilization structure;
Debris basin;
Drain; and
Drainage – mains or laterals.
A quality control program is critical for fills; therefore, wherever fill material is to be used, the person, firm or corporation shall be responsible for testing to determine its dry density as per ASTM D1556. The density of each layer shall be not less than 95% of maximum density as determined by ASTM D1557.
Inspection procedure shall follow the general procedure as stated in § 160-13.
Compaction test reports shall be kept on file at the site and be subject to review at all times.
Degree of compaction required shall be determined by the Borough Engineer following the guidelines in this section.
All inspections shall be the responsibility of the Borough Engineer or, in his absence, a qualified person acceptable to the Borough Engineer and the Borough.
Inspections will be carried out on a random basis, except as stated below. However, a set of as-built plans shall be on file at the site and authenticated by a registered professional engineer. When it is deemed acceptable to the Borough Engineer, a designated qualified person may authenticate the as-built plans and will assume full responsibility for the quality of work.
Any and all as-built plans shall be available on the site at all times and be subject to inspection and inquiry.
Engineering check notes shall accompany all as-built plans which involve structural or mechanical measures and shall serve as supporting evidence that structures meet design standards and specifications specified herein.
A final inspection shall be conducted by the Borough Engineer to certify compliance with this chapter. Satisfactory compliance with this chapter shall be necessary before issuance of an occupancy or use permit.
Permittees shall bear all costs of inspections required or permitted hereunder and shall deposit with the Borough such sum as the Borough Council shall determine to guarantee payment of the costs of such inspections. The costs of inspections shall be in accordance with the established schedule of fees and collection procedures for matters pertaining to this chapter.
The fee for a grading permit shall be fixed by resolution of the Borough Council from time to time.
Any person, firm or corporation who or which shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 for each violation. Every day for which a violation exists shall be a separate violation.
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
In addition to the penalties as set forth in § 160-16, any movement of the landscape, vegetation or any ground cover performed in violation of this chapter shall be restored to its previous condition, including replacement of excavated earth, removal of illegally placed fill, and restoration of grades and planting.
[Added 9-3-2013 by Ord. No. 1020]
Definitions. Whenever used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings prescribed as follows:
Real estate not within the affected site but in such close proximity as to be affected by the demolition activities.
Any parcel of land upon which a structure exists and shall be inclusive of all the real estate under common contiguous ownership as the land where the structure is situate and which land is the subject of demolition, as used herein.
The person occupying that office at the Borough of Wilmerding.
Pennsylvania One-Call System, Inc., which implements the Pennsylvania Line Protection Act.
That person, persons or entities who or which are actually carrying out and performing demolition on an affected site, as used herein.
The razing, removal and disposal of any improvement on land or on an affected site, including a building or structure.
Voids which develop in the foundation area due to the demolition process.
The Engineer of Wilmerding Borough.
The person or entity having title to the affected site.
Includes all public rights-of-way, including sidewalks, alleys and streets.
Those sewer lines and accoutrements used for the conveyancing of domestic, commercial or industrial sanitary waste.
Nonsanitary sewer lines used for the purpose of carrying surface water and rainwater.
Any man-made improvement on a parcel of land.
The supporting portion of a structure which supports a building or other structure or which supplies lateral support to abutting land.
Whenever any structure or improvement on land in the Borough is razed, demolished or otherwise removed, the work must be carried out in compliance with the standards set forth herein. Such land shall then be deemed to be an "affected site." It shall be unlawful for any razing, demolition or removal work to be undertaken except in compliance with this section.
The following rules are established to govern demolition activities on an affected site or elsewhere in the Borough of Wilmerding.
It shall be the sole responsibility of the owner of the land and contractor performing the demolition on an affected site to first disconnect all utilities, including the plugging of surface water sewers and sanitary sewers. Prior to commencement of work, the owner and contractor must utilize One Call services to ascertain the presence of easements and utility lines and to take measures to assure that such lines, easements and utilities are not disturbed or damaged. All holes, pits and cavities on an affected site resulting from demolition must be filled and the affected area restored as nearly as possible to its natural state.
Material used for backfill must be clean fill and free from organic and animal matter. Four inches of topsoil must be placed on the surface of the land on the entire affected property and seeded with grass seed – Lesco Fine Fescue Links Bland – sown at a rate of four to five pounds per 1,000 square feet. For subsurface fill, no masonry or other material larger than eight inches in any dimension is permitted; no combustible material of any kind is permitted. Backfilling shall be compacted in layers no greater than eight inches in depth.
All trees, trash, tires, weeds, rubbish, garbage and other material shall be removed from the entire premises of the affected site. The owner and contractor shall be responsible for the removal of these items until final inspection and approval by the Building Inspector or Engineer. The owner and contractor are responsible to determine perimeter boundaries of the subject property.
If "dug out" holes are to be utilized, the owner and contractor must obtain approval from the Borough Engineer or Building Inspector or his representative prior to putting in place any backfill material so that the Inspector or Engineer can be present at the time the dug out hole is used. In the event an owner or contractor should fail to notify the Engineer or Building Inspector in advance of the intent to backfill, he shall be responsible to re-excavate to the basement floor for proper inspection.
In order to cap a sanitary sewer or surface water sewer, the owner and contractor are obligated to first notify the ALCOSAN, whose representative should be present at the time of capping. In addition, the owner and contractor shall be obligated to notify the Allegheny County Health Department, Plumbing Division, prior to commencement of work and: a) obtain a permit, if applicable; b) obtain plan approval; and c) arrange for final inspection for the permanent sealing of a sanitary sewer service line and all water service connections. In regard to waterlines, the owner and contractor are obligated to first notify the entity supplying water to the affected site and locate all lines and take precaution to see that the same are capped; approval must first be obtained by the entity supplying water to the affected site.
Owner and contractor must obtain a demolition permit from the Building Inspector for each structure to be demolished prior to the start of work at the prevailing fee schedule. Permits shall be valid for a period of six months.
Final grade of the affected site shall be sloped and configured to direct drainage away from abutting properties.
All materials, debris, etc., removed from an affected site may only be deposited at a landfill approved by the Department of Environmental Protection.
The owner and contractor shall confine all work operations to the limits of the affected site and shall not deposit any debris, rubbish, materials onto a public right-of-way or private property.
At no time and under no circumstances shall any structure or parts thereof be set on fire.
All public sidewalks and rights-of-way must remain undisturbed and free of obstructions.
Blasting or explosives may not be utilized
Metal track equipment may not be operated on paved streets unless approved protection is utilized and only with the approval of the Borough Engineer.
The exterior walls (supporting walls) of any structure which abut a public right-of-way shall be left in place to assure continuing lateral support to such street or alley. Such walls shall be removed to the elevation of the public right-of-way. Walls (nonsupporting walls) parallel to a public right-of-way shall be removed to an elevation of 18 inches below the abutting right-of-way. Walls (bracing walls) perpendicular to and directly connected to a supporting wall shall be left in place at the same height as the supporting wall and sloped away on a two-to-one slope.
The Engineer or designated representative shall have the authority to stop work if the owner or contractor fails to comply with the standards herein or if a condition is found to exist which poses a threat to public safety.
The owner and contractor must comply with all prevailing federal, state and/or local laws and regulations pertaining to work on and disposal of asbestos or other hazardous or toxic materials. This includes the obligation to be duly licensed by the Allegheny County Health Department.
The owner and contractor are responsible for safety on the affected site and in the immediate environment and to that end shall furnish, erect and maintain barricades, lights and/or warning "Keep Out" signs at places and locations where the placing of such protective devices is warranted or as directed by the Borough representative.
The owner and contractor shall be responsible for all demolition activities and to make certain that such activities do not create dangerous conditions to abutting structures or members of the public. The owner and contractor shall not deface, mar or damage any abutting land or structures and shall be obligated to repair any such damage within a reasonable time.
All obligations set forth herein are the joint responsibilities of the owner and contractor.
If an interested party is aggrieved by a decision of the Borough representative or the application of the within standards, that person may file for a variance from the Borough Building Inspector. If the Building Inspector refuses the relief sought, the interested person may file an appeal with the Wilmerding Borough Zoning Hearing Board within 30 days of the date when the Building Inspector made the decision.
Violations of this section shall be deemed to be civil in nature. For each violation of this section, any person or entity found guilty shall be subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 for each violation. Every day for which a violation exists shall be a separate violation.
If any provision of this section shall be in conflict with any preexisting ordinance, the more restrictive provision shall govern.