[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Aleppo 4-9-1996 by Ord. No. 183. Amendments noted where applicable.]
From and after the passage of this chapter, the following regulations shall be in full force and effect. The provisions of this chapter shall be held to be the minimum requirements for the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the people at large and to be designed to encourage the establishment and maintenance of reasonable community standards of physical environment.
This chapter may be cited as the "Aleppo Township Grading Ordinance."
The purpose of this chapter is to provide minimum standards to safeguard persons and property, to protect and to promote the public welfare, by preventing erosion, hazardous rock and soil slippage, sedimentation and other soil and water management problems and by regulating and controlling the design, construction, quality of materials, use, location and maintenance of grading, excavation and fill.
No person shall construct, enlarge, alter or repair any grading, excavation or fill except in full compliance with all the provisions of this chapter and after the lawful issuance of all permits required by this chapter.
Neither the issuance of a permit under the provisions of this chapter, nor compliance with its provisions, nor conformance with conditions required by any such permit shall relieve any person from liability for damage resulting from grading, nor attach any liability upon the Township for damages to persons or property.
Wherever used in this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings indicated:
- The natural rock layer, hard or soft, in place at ground surface or beneath unconsolidated surface deposits.
- BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
- The governing body of the Township of Aleppo.
- A professional engineer, surveyor, landscape architect, or architect. In this context, the term "professional" shall mean that an individual is qualified within the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- ENGINEERING GEOLOGIST
- A person who holds a degree in geology from an accredited college or university and who has training and experience in the field of engineering geology.
- The detachment and movement of soil and rock fragments by water, wind, ice, or gravity, including such processes as gravitational creep.
- Any act by which earth, sand, gravel, rock or any other similar material is cut into, dug, quarried, uncovered, removed, displaced, relocated, and shall include the conditions resulting therefrom.
- An act by which earth, sand, gravel, rock or any other material is moved to a new location, including the material itself and the condition resulting from such act.
- An excavation or fill or any combination thereof, including the condition resulting from any excavation or fill.
- GRADING PERMIT
- The permit required by this chapter.
- A danger or potential danger to life, limb or health, use or stability of property, waterways, public ways, structures, utilities, and storm sewers, including stream pollution.
- A person, partnership, corporation, trust or association.
- Soil 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 water level.
- A lot, tract, parcel of land, or series of lots, tracts or parcels of land which are adjoining where grading work is continuous and performed at the same time.
- SOIL ENGINEER
- A professional engineer specializing in soil analysis.
- SOIL SURVEY
- The unpublished and operational soil survey for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and the accompanying text soil survey maps and interpretations for development areas in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, as prepared by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service et al.
- The Township of Aleppo.
- All parts or combination of ashes, garbage, refuse, combustible demolition materials and industrial wastes, such as food-processing wastes, wood, plastics, metal scrap, etc.
- A drainage route or channel for the flow of water.
- ZONING OFFICER
- The person or persons designated by the governing body to administer this chapter.
A grading permit must be obtained for new grading, excavations and fills, and changes, additions or alterations made to existing excavations or fills shall conform to the provisions of this chapter. A separate grading permit shall be required for each site, unless the site is included in a plan previously approved by the Township Board of Commissioners.
A grading permit will not be required for any of the following situations:
Grading limited to reasonable, regular, normal maintenance and landscaping improvements by individual homeowners, where standards provided herein are not violated.
Stockpiling of rock, sand, topsoil, and aggregate in an area properly zoned for such use, when standards provided herein are not violated.
For the construction of a single-family or two-family structure per recorded lot or parcel, where standards provided herein are not violated.
For work in streets or rights-of-way dedicated to public use, where standards provided herein are not violated.
For Aleppo Township projects undertaken by the Board of Commissioners, where standards provided herein are not violated.
For accepted agricultural land management practices, such as plowing, nursery operations, removal and/or transplanting of cultivated sod, shrubs, and trees.
For individual or community septic systems, provided an approved permit has been issued by the Township and standards provided herein are not violated.
No grading permit shall be issued unless an application has been submitted and approved in accordance with the following provisions:
A complete application, as provided by the Township, for a grading permit shall be filed with the Township Secretary and shall be accompanied by a fee established by resolution of the Board of Commissioners to cover the cost of review and administration.
Three copies of a grading plan for the site with pertinent specifications shall be submitted to the Township. One complete set of approved plans shall be kept at the site while work is in progress.
Where any natural watercourse which is under the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Dams and Encroachments, may be affected by proposed excavations or fills along the banks of the watercourse or any culvert or bridge or by a change in direction, or by adjacent construction, the applicant must present, as a part of this application, the permit and the letter of comment from the Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Dams and Encroachments.
A complete application shall be deemed approved if a permit is not issued or denied within 60 days from the date the application is submitted, unless an extension is mutually agreed upon. The date of submission shall be indicated by the signature of the Township Secretary on the application.
The application shall include not less than three copies of a grading plan to show how resulting erosion and sediment shall be controlled. The proposed grading plan shall be in accordance with standard engineering practices to clearly indicate the following:
A valid survey of the site on which the proposed work is to be done, including North arrow, scale, location of prominent trees, wooded areas and watercourses.
The location and description of existing and known man-made features of importance to the proposed development, including, among others, distance to road intersections, structures, roads, utilities, excavations, fills and watercourses.
A topographic map showing existing and proposed contours after completion of grading, at two-foot intervals where the average slope is 10% or less and at five-foot intervals where the average slope exceeds 10%. The map will show drainage and soil conditions. Soil conditions shall be from collected field data.
A development schedule indicating the anticipated starting and completion dates of the development and the sequence of development.
Upon approval of the Township Board of Commissioners through the appeal process, the requirements for preparation of plans by an engineer may be waived where it has been determined by the Township Engineer that the proposed work is simple, clearly shown on the drawings submitted and poses no potential nuisance or hazard to adjacent property.
When it is evident to the Township Engineer that the grading will affect the drainage on adjoining property(ies) or natural watercourses traversing the site, the applicant shall submit a detailed drainage study prepared by an engineer.
Where applicable, the drainage study shall show, on a map of the site, the location, pertinent elevations and dimensions of all present and proposed watercourses and drainage structures; proposed areas of excavations and fills, woodlands, structures, parking areas and driveways; source, storage and disposition of water channeled through or across the site; all proposed grading and drainage.
The drainage study shall describe the work to be performed and placement of cut and fill material.
The drainage study shall include calculations, based on the Rational Method developed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, to determine runoff.
Drainage facilities to carry surface water shall be provided and designed to prevent erosion or overflow.
Adequate stormwater retention facilities shall be provided to ensure that stormwater runoff after grading shall not be greater than the runoff which would occur from the site in its natural state during a storm with a twenty-five-year probability.
The provisions of this section shall apply only in cases where grading is to occur without site development. Whenever site development is proposed, the requirements of Article IV of Chapter 350, Subdivision and Land Development, of the Code of the Township of Aleppo shall apply. The requirements of Article IV of Chapter 350, Subdivision and Land Development, may supplement the provisions of this section.
Fills toeing out on natural slopes steeper than 25% shall not be approved unless a supplemental report prepared by an engineer certifies that he has investigated, tested and analyzed the site, and that such steeper slopes will safely support the proposed fill.
A supplemental soils report may be required for sites larger than 20 acres where such information as submitted with the original application does not adequately describe soil conditions on the site.
Before issuance of a grading permit, the applicant shall post a Pennsylvania-approved corporate surety or other approved security in the amount of 30% of the established cost of the grading work and erosion control facilities proposed for the permit to guarantee completion of said work and facilities in a manner which meets the requirements of this chapter.
In lieu of posting a bond for single-family residences, a grading permit may be issued with the understanding that all grading shall be completed within nine months from the date of issuance of an occupancy permit.
The full amount of the security shall not be released until all conditions of the permit are met.
When the requirements of this chapter for obtaining a grading permit have been met, the Township shall approve the proposed plan for the issuance of a grading permit. When, in the opinion of the Township Engineer, work proposed by the applicant is likely to endanger any property, person, public roadway, or cause any other hazardous conditions, the Township shall show cause and disapprove the application for issuance of the grading permit.
A grading permit shall become null and void if the work authorized has not been commenced within six months or if not completed within one year from the date of the commencement of work. Upon written request, at least 30 days prior to the expiration date, an extension of six months may be granted by the Board of Commissioners.
Appeals may be taken to the Board of Commissioners within 30 days of any denial by the Zoning Officer. The Board of Commissioners may grant relief from the strict provisions of this chapter where, in its opinion, alternate methods, standards or materials proposed by the developer will meet the objectives and intent of this chapter. Any applicant or permit holder shall have the right to appeal decisions of the Board of Commissioners to any court of competent jurisdiction.
A grading plan shall be submitted with all applications for a grading permit. The applicant shall remit to the Township an inspection fee for the performance of inspections of the work contemplated by the approved grading plan, in an amount specified by the Township in accordance with a schedule of fees established and adopted by the Board of Commissioners.
Fee schedule. The Board of Township Commissioners shall determine a schedule of fees, charges, and expenses, as well as a collection procedure for permits, inspections, and other matters pertaining to this chapter. Said schedule of fees shall be posted in the offices of the Township Secretary. The Board of Commissioners may alter the fee schedule from time to time by resolution adopted at any public meeting of the Board.
The following standards shall be minimum standards for the issuance of a grading permit:
In addition to the above, all fill and cut operations shall follow the "Soil & Sedimentation Control Manual," as issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and adopted by Allegheny County.
No excavation shall be made with a cut face steeper in slope than two horizontal to one vertical, except under one or more of the following conditions:
The material in which the excavation is made is sufficiently stable to sustain a slope steeper than two horizontal to one vertical, and a written statement to that effect by a professional engineer experienced in geological sciences and erosion control is submitted and approved. The statement shall state that the site has been inspected, and that the deviation from the slope specified above will not create increased risk or injury to persons or damage to adjacent property, or receiving streams, from erosion and sedimentation.
A retaining wall or other approved structure to support the face of the excavation is designed by a professional engineer and approved by the Township Engineer.
No grading, excavation or earth disturbance shall cause a danger or damage any adjoining street or any other public or private property without supporting such property from settling, cracking, erosion, sedimentation, flooding or any other physical damage or personal injury which might result. The top or bottom edge of final slopes shall be set back a minimum of three feet from adjacent property lines and street right-of-way lines in order to permit the normal rounding of the edge without encroaching on the abutting property and to allow for location of property drainage and protective devices. This is not to preclude grading operations to the boundary lines where the adjacent landowner has given written consent.
Adequate provisions shall be incorporated to prevent erosion due to storm drainage. All drainage facilities shall be properly engineered and may be paved or planted swales and gutters and piped storm sewers. All storm drainage facilities will be reviewed and approved by the Township.
Existing storm drainage shall not be diverted so as to alter the location of watercourses on any adjacent property.
No debris or other material shall be placed or allowed to be thrown or placed in any drainage ditch or structure in such a manner as to obstruct the free flow of surface water.
All fills shall be compacted in layers not to exceed 12 inches. Only clean fill absent of waste shall be permitted as fill material. Any proposed building site where a fill operation has been conducted shall be tested and certified by an engineer to ensure that its dry density shall not be less than 95% of maximum density as determined by the ASTM D1556.
Immediately upon completion of final grading, all disturbed areas not designated for building, paving, or decorative landscaping shall be mulched and planted or protected. Planting shall be appropriate to protect slopes from erosion. In general, planting may be rye grass, crown vetch, or a fescue mix.
Trees and growth shall be retained wherever possible.
Adequate provisions may be required for dust-control measures as are deemed necessary and acceptable by the Township Zoning Officer.
Plans and specifications for every grading permit shall provide both temporary and permanent erosion and sediment control.
Benching may be required in order to provide stabilization as designated by the Township Zoning Officer.
Where the Board of Commissioners has determined that any existing evacuation, embankment or fill is a hazard, the Township shall give written notice to the property owner that a hazard exists and shall order that such hazard shall be remedied by the owner within a reasonable time specified in the notice.
If, after such notification, the property owner has not made the necessary repairs within the time adopted, then the Board of Commissioners may cause such remedies as are needed to be performed by Township employees or by contract, and the cost thereof shall be borne by the property owner by a lien filed as provided by law.
Whenever the Board of Commissioners determines that any proposed excavation or fill is a hazard, it may require that the property owner have any proposed remedies certified by an engineer or an engineering geologist.
The owner of a property shall be responsible to protect and clean up lower properties of silt and debris washing from his property as a result of the grading of his property.
The applicant shall give written notice to the Township of the schedule of the grading operation. Written notice shall be received by the Township at least two working days before the start of grading operations and upon its completion.
Grading work at any time will be subject to spot inspections at the discretion of the Township Zoning Officer, to determine that the work is being performed in compliance with the approved permit and this chapter.
A final inspection shall be conducted by the Township to certify compliance with this chapter within 30 days after receipt of written request. Satisfactory compliance with this chapter shall be necessary before complete release of the posted surety. If said final inspection is not completed by the Township within the specified 30 days, satisfactory compliance with this chapter shall be deemed approved, and the Township will release the posted surety.
All drainagecourses on private property, ditches, culverts, pipes and structures on private property shall be adequately maintained by the owner and shall be kept open and free-flowing at all times.
All graded surfaces, anti-erosion devices, retaining walls, drainage structures and similar protective devices, planting and ground covers installed on private property pursuant to a grading permit shall be continuously maintained and kept in good repair by the owner.
Whenever the Township Zoning Officer determines that grading on a site is proceeding in violation of any provision of this chapter, all work at the site shall immediately stop upon issuance of a stop-work order. The stop-work order shall be presented in writing to the property owner, the owner's agent, or the person performing the work at the site. The stop-work order shall include a description of the conditions under which work may be resumed.
If it is found that any provision of this chapter is violated, the property owner shall be notified in writing of the violation(s) and the necessary action to correct the violation within a specified period of time. If the necessary corrective action is not completed within the specified period of time, the property owner will be notified of the Township's intent to institute legal proceedings as per Subsection B.
Any person, partnership or corporation who or which shall violate the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $500. In default of payment of the fine, such person, the members of such partnership or the officers of such corporation shall be liable to imprisonment for not more than 60 days. Each day that a violation is continued shall constitute a separate offense. All fines collected for the violation of this chapter shall be paid to the Township of Aleppo.