Town of Pine Plains, NY
Dutchess County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Pine Plains 10-20-1988 by L.L. No. 4-1988. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 160.
Freshwater wetlands — See Ch. 165.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 230.
Zoning — See Ch. 275.
It is the purpose of this chapter to protect the public health, safety and welfare in the Town of Pine Plains by regulating site preparation and construction activities, including excavation, filling, grading and stripping, so as to prevent problems related to erosion, sediment, or drainage. In relation to this purpose this chapter is intended to:
A. 
Preserve the quality of the natural environment from such adverse effects of site preparation and construction as:
(1) 
Pollution of lakes, ponds and watercourses from silt or other materials;
(2) 
Unnecessary destruction of trees and other vegetation;
(3) 
Exposure of soil to erosion;
(4) 
Unnecessary modification of natural topography or unique geological features; and
(5) 
Failure to restore sites to an attractive natural condition.
B. 
Protect people and properties from such adverse effects of site preparation and construction as:
(1) 
Increased runoff, erosion, and sediment;
(2) 
Increased threat to life and property from flooding or stormwater;
(3) 
Increased slope instability and hazards from land slides and slumping; and
(4) 
Modifications of the groundwater regime that adversely affect wells and surface water levels.
C. 
Protect the Town and other governmental bodies from having to undertake, at public expense, programs of repairing roads and other public facilities, of providing flood protection facilities, and of compensating private property owners for the destruction of properties arising from the adverse effects of site preparation and construction.
In accordance with Article 9 of the Town Law of the State of New York, the Town Board of the Town of Pine Plains has the authority to enact local laws for the purpose of promoting the health, safety or general welfare of the Town of Pine Plains, including protection and preservation of the property of its inhabitants. By the same authority, the Town Board may include in any such local law provision for the appointment of any municipal officers or employees to effectuate and administer such local law.
In order that site preparation and construction activities may be in conformance with the provisions of this chapter, this chapter is hereby adopted and shall be known and may be cited as the "Erosion and Sediment Control Local Law of the Town of Pine Plains."
Upon the approval of this chapter by the Town Board, all site preparation and construction activities requiring a permit under this chapter shall be in conformance with the provisions set forth herein.
Where this chapter imposes greater restrictions than are imposed by the provisions of any other law, local law, regulation or private agreement, this chapter shall control. Where greater restrictions are imposed by any law, local law, regulation or private agreement than are imposed by this chapter, such greater restrictions shall control.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AGRICULTURAL OPERATIONS
All activities directly related to the growing or raising of crops or livestock for the sale of agricultural produce, including horticultural and fruit operations (excluding logging activities).
AUTHORIZED ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL
The person who is designated by the Town Board to administer, maintain and enforce the provisions of this chapter.
DRAINAGE
The gravitational movement of water or other liquids by surface runoff or subsurface flow.
EROSION
The wearing away of the land surface by action of wind, water, gravity or other natural forces.
EXCAVATION
Any activity which removes or significantly disturbs rock, gravel, sand, soil or other natural deposits.
FILLING
Any activity which deposits natural or artificial material so as to modify the surface or subsurface conditions of land, lakes, ponds or watercourses.
GRADING
The alteration of the surface and/or subsurface conditions of land, lakes, ponds or watercourses.
MULCHING
The application of a layer of plant residue or other material for the purpose of effectively controlling erosion and encouraging plant growth.
SEDIMENT
Solid material, both mineral and organic, that is in suspension, is being transported, has been deposited or has been removed from its site of origin by erosion.
SITE PREPARATION
The activities of stripping, excavation, filling and/or grading, no matter what the purpose of these activities.
SOIL
All unconsolidated mineral or nonliving organic material of whatever origin which overlies bedrock.
STRIPPING
Any activity which removes or significantly disturbs trees, brush, grass or any other kind of vegetation.
TOPSOIL
The natural surface layer of soil, usually darker than subsurface layers, to a depth of at least six inches within an undisturbed area of soils.
WATERCOURSE
Any natural or artificial stream, river, creek, ditch, channel, canal, conduit, culvert, drainageway, gully, ravine, or wash in which water flows in a definite direction or course, either continuously or intermittently, and which has a definite channel, bed and banks; and any area adjacent thereto subject to inundation by reasons of overflow, flood or stormwater.
WETLANDS
Areas of aquatic or semi-aquatic vegetation, or any areas which have been mapped as such by the Town Planning Board, the Town Conservation Advisory Council, the County Department of Planning, the County Soil and Water Conservation District or the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation under the Freshwater Wetlands Act.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
A. 
None of the following activities shall be commenced until a permit has been issued under the provisions of this chapter:
(1) 
Site preparation within wetlands;
(2) 
Site preparation on slopes which exceed one foot of vertical rise to four feet of horizontal distance or site preparation in soils known to be subject to severe erosion; soil composition shall be determined by the Dutchess County Soil Survey maps.
(3) 
Site preparation within the one-hundred-year floodplain of any watercourse;
(4) 
Excavation which affects more than 100 cubic yards of material within any parcel or any one subdivision;
(5) 
Stripping which affects more than 1/2 acre of ground surface within any parcel or any one subdivision;
(6) 
Grading which affects more than 1/2 acre of ground surface within any parcel or any one subdivision;
(7) 
Filling which exceeds a total of 300 cubic yards of material within any parcel or any one subdivision; and
(8) 
A development or subdivision of five or more units, or any development or subdivision requiring any new street or the extension of municipal facilities or private roads serving three or more units.
B. 
The following activities are exempt from permit requirements:
(1) 
Activities not meeting the criteria in Subsection A;
(2) 
Excavations for the basements and footings of single-family houses and for septic tank systems, wells, and swimming pools attendant to single-family homes, except those excavations required to obtain permits under Subsection A(1), (2) and (3);
(3) 
Household gardening and activities related to the maintenance of landscape features on existing developed lots, except such activities as are required to obtain permits under Subsection A(4) through (8);
(4) 
Governmental activities, but only to the extent such activities are exempted from the provisions of this chapter; and
(5) 
Agricultural activities, except as regulated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
A. 
Before any site preparation requiring a permit under § 149-7 of this chapter is commenced, seven copies of a permit application shall have been filed with the authorized enforcement official, and this application shall have been approved and a permit shall have been granted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Upon filing an application for a permit, the applicant(s) shall pay to the Town a fee of $50 for any activity affecting three or fewer acres and $100 for any activity affecting greater than three acres if a permit may be required under § 149-7A(4), (5), (6), (7) or (8) of this chapter; otherwise, the applicant(s) shall pay a fee of $50. Additionally, should it be determined by the authorized enforcement official that the services of an engineer or other consultant are necessary to evaluate the permit, the applicant shall be responsible for payment of such costs and the authorized enforcement official may require an advance deposit to cover such expenses as estimated by him.
C. 
The authorized enforcement official, acting, if deemed necessary by him, with recommendations from the Planning Board, Superintendent of Highways and the Conservation Advisory Council or an engineer or other consultant retained by the Town, shall have the authority to grant or deny all permits pursuant to this chapter.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
D. 
Copies of the permit application shall be submitted to the authorized enforcement official, who shall notify the Planning Board, Superintendent of Highways and the Conservation Advisory Council as needed. Recommendations on the application shall be made within 30 days of the date of filing of a complete application.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
E. 
If the authorized enforcement official requests an advisory recommendation from the Planning Board, the Planning Board may, upon its discretion, conduct public hearings on permit applications, which hearings shall be fixed at a reasonable time by the Planning Board and shall be given notice by a newspaper of general circulation in the Town at least five days prior to the date thereof. The applicant must cause such notice to be published and must provide the Planning Board with an affidavit of publication. If such public hearing is conducted, the time within which the Planning Board renders its recommendations shall be extended by an additional 15 days.
F. 
The authorized enforcement official shall issue or deny all permits within 60 days unless the applicant consents to a time extension. All permits shall be valid for not more than six months.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
G. 
Prior to granting a permit, the authorized enforcement official shall determine that the request is in harmony with the purpose and standards set forth in this chapter. Where the proposed activity also requires a building or other permit, such shall not be issued until an erosion control permit has been issued.
H. 
In granting a permit, the authorized enforcement official shall fix a reasonable time limit for the termination of the permit and may attach any conditions which he/she deems necessary to assure compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
I. 
Major modifications (as determined by the authorized enforcement official) of the terms of approved permit shall follow the same application, review and approval procedures as those set forth in this section for the original permit. Minor modifications may be made by the authorized enforcement official.
J. 
Inspections; remedies for violations.
(1) 
It shall be the responsibility of the authorized enforcement official, or an engineer designated by the Town, to inspect the sites as frequently as necessary to assure compliance with the terms of approved permits and the provisions of this chapter and to submit written notification of any violations of these terms or provisions to the Town Planning Board and the authorized enforcement official. The applicant shall pay reasonable inspection fees to defray such expense.
(2) 
In the event that any of the activities described in § 149-7 are undertaken by any person who has not been issued a permit, or if work undertaken under a permit is not in compliance with the terms of the permit or of this chapter, the authorized enforcement official shall be authorized to issue an order to remedy and to require such further compliance with this chapter as is necessary to effect its purpose and goals. The authorized enforcement official may, with the assistance of the Town Attorney, make application to the New York State Supreme Court for injunctive relief or file an information in the Town Justice Court.
(3) 
For any and every violation of the provisions of this chapter or failure to comply with an order to remedy, the owner, general agent or contractor of the building or premises where such violation has been committed or shall exist, and the lessee or tenant of an entire premises where such violations have been committed or shall exist and the owner, general agent, or contractor, lessee or tenant of any part of the premises in which part such violations have been committed, or shall exist, and the general agent, architect, builder or contractor or any other person who commits, takes part or assists in such violation or who maintains any premises in which any such violation shall exist shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $250 or to imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. Each and every day the violation continues, after the owner, general agent or contractor of the building or premises where such violation has occurred has been notified thereof, shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct violation subject to separate penalties. In addition thereto, any erosion control permit and any other permit separately issued for such activity shall be deemed void until the authorized enforcement official determines that the permittee has taken such steps as necessary to conform to this chapter.
K. 
If at any time during the effective period of a permit or if upon its expiration the terms of the permit are violated, the Town Building Inspector may revoke the permit and may require that any performance guarantees be forfeited to the Town. If the applicant shall be unable to complete the project or any phase thereof within the specified time, he shall, 10 days prior to the specified date of expiration, present in writing a request for an extension of time, setting forth therein the reasons for the request. If, in the discretion of the authorized official, such an extension is warranted, he/she may grant additional time for the completion of the work.
A. 
A property owner(s) or his agent(s) may initiate a request for a permit or the modification of a permit by filing with the authorized enforcement official seven copies of an application; the authorized enforcement official shall promptly forward copies of the application to the Town Planning Board, Superintendent of Highways and the Conservation Advisory Council. Maps and plans accompanying the application shall be prepared by a licensed engineer unless waived by the authorized enforcement official. The authorized official may require that additional copies of the application be filed and he/she may modify the requirements concerning materials to accompany the application by waiving or adding such requirements as he/she deems appropriate to the nature and scope of the proposed activities. The authorized official may require the applicant(s) to resubmit application materials if they are deemed to be of insufficient scale or quality or do not meet the standards of this section.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
Except for modifications authorized or required by the authorized enforcement official, each application shall contain the following material:
(1) 
Existing features map(s), at a scale no smaller than one inch equals 100 feet, indicating:
(a) 
The boundaries of all parcels on which site preparation activities are proposed to be undertaken and boundaries of all parcels adjacent to the subject site;
(b) 
All structures and roads adjacent to the parcels on which site preparation activities are proposed to be undertaken, the structures identified by their uses and the roads identified by their surface materials and width or surface;
(c) 
All watercourses within a distance of 500 feet of the parcels on which site preparation activities are proposed to be undertaken;
(d) 
Existing topography at contour intervals of two feet on the parcels on which site preparation activities are proposed to be undertaken;
(e) 
All sewer, water, gas and electric lines and all other utilities within the parcels on which site preparation activities are proposed to be undertaken;
(f) 
All vegetation areas on the site proposed for and subject to site preparation activities; including areas of grass, areas of brush, and wooded areas and tree clusters;
(g) 
The depth to bedrock on the site proposed for site preparation activities, if determined during site evaluation;
(h) 
The depth to permanent groundwater aquifers on the site proposed for site preparation activities, if such depth is determined during site evaluation;
(i) 
The boundary of the one-hundred-year floodplain and floodway must be shown, together with designated wetland boundaries where applicable;
(j) 
Drainage computations prior to site preparation and after site preparation if required; and
(k) 
Environmental assessment form (long-form).
(2) 
Development standards. All development, plus specifications and timing schedules, including extensions of previously approved plans, shall comply with provisions for erosion and sediment control in accordance with standards and specifications contained in a manual entitled "Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Guidebook" published by the Dutchess County Soil and Water Conservation District, as it may be revised. In the event of conflict with this chapter, the provisions herein shall prevail.
(3) 
An operations map(s) shall be submitted, at the same scale as the maps prepared in Subsection B(1), which present a complete erosion and sediment control plan and which indicate:
(a) 
All excavation, filling, and grading proposed to be undertaken, identified as to the depth, volume, and nature of the materials involved;
(b) 
All stripping, identified as to the nature of vegetation affected;
(c) 
All areas where topsoil is removed and stockpiled and where topsoil is ultimately placed, identified as to the depth of topsoil in each such area;
(d) 
All temporary and permanent vegetation to be placed on the site, identified as to planting type, size and extent;
(e) 
All temporary and permanent drainage, erosion and sediment control facilities, including such facilities as ponds and sediment basins, identified as to the type of facility, the materials from which they are constructed, their dimensions and their capacity in gallons;
(f) 
The anticipated pattern of surface drainage during periods of peak runoff, upon completion of site preparation and construction activities, identified as to rate and direction of flow at all major points within the drainage system;
(g) 
The location of all roads, driveways, sidewalks, structures, utilities and other improvements; and
(h) 
Both existing and proposed contours of the site in intervals of two feet.
(4) 
There shall be presented a time schedule which is keyed to the operations map(s), indicating:
(a) 
When major phases of the proposed project are to be initiated and completed;
(b) 
When major site preparation activities are to be initiated and completed;
(c) 
When the installation of temporary and permanent vegetation and drainage, erosion and sediment control facilities is to be completed; and
(d) 
The anticipated duration (in days) of exposure of all major areas of site preparation before the installation of erosion and sediment control measures.
(5) 
An estimate of the costs of providing temporary and permanent vegetation and drainage, erosion, and sediment control facilities shall be prepared by the applicant's engineer and confirmed by a designated representative of the Town.
In granting a permit under this chapter, the standards and considerations taken into account shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
A. 
Excavation, filling, grading, and stripping shall be permitted to be undertaken only in such locations and in such a manner as to minimize the potential of erosion and sediment and the threat to the health, safety, and welfare of neighboring property owners and the general public;
B. 
Site preparation and construction shall be fitted to the vegetation, topography, and other natural features of the site and shall preserve as many of these features as feasible;
C. 
The control of erosion and sediment shall be a continuous process undertaken as necessary prior to, during and after site preparation and construction;
D. 
The smallest practical area of land shall be exposed by site preparation at any given time;
E. 
The exposure of areas by site preparation shall be kept to the shortest practical period of time prior to the construction of structures or improvements or the restoration of the exposed areas to an attractive natural condition;
F. 
Mulching or temporary vegetation suitable to the site shall be used where necessary to protect areas exposed by site preparation, and permanent vegetation which is well adapted to the site shall be installed as soon as practicable;
G. 
Where slopes are to be revegetated in areas exposed by site preparation, the slopes shall not be of such steepness that vegetation cannot be readily established or that problems of erosion or sediment may result;
H. 
Site preparation and construction shall not adversely affect the free flow of water by encroaching on, blocking, or restricting watercourses;
I. 
All fill material shall be of a composition suitable for the ultimate use of the fill, free of rubbish and carefully restricted in its content of brush, stumps, tree debris, rocks, frozen material and soft or easily compressible material;
J. 
Fill material shall be compacted sufficiently to prevent problems of erosion; and where the material is to support structures, it shall be compacted to a minimum of 90% of standard Proctor with proper moisture control;
K. 
All topsoil which is excavated from a site shall be stockpiled and used for the restoration of the site, and such stockpiles, where necessary, shall be seeded or otherwise treated to minimize the effects of erosion;
L. 
Prior to, during and after site preparation and construction, an integrated drainage system shall be provided which at all times minimizes erosion, sediment, hazards of slope instability, and adverse effects on neighboring property owners;
M. 
The natural drainage system shall generally be preserved in preference to modifications of this system, except where such modifications are necessary to reduce levels of erosion and sediment and adverse effects on neighboring property owners;
N. 
All drainage systems shall be designed to handle adequately anticipated flows both within the site and from the entire upstream drainage basin;
O. 
Sufficient grades and drainage facilities shall be provided to prevent the ponding of water, unless such ponding is proposed within site plans, in which event there shall be sufficient water flow to maintain proposed water levels and to avoid stagnation;
P. 
Where necessary to minimize erosion and sediment, there shall be provided such measures as benches, berms, terraces, diversions, and sediment, debris and retention basins; and
Q. 
Drainage systems, plantings, and other erosion or sediment control devices shall be maintained as frequently as necessary to provide adequate protection against erosion and sediment and to ensure that the free flow of water is not obstructed by the accumulation of silt, debris or other material or by structural damage.
A. 
After the approval of the application and before the issuance of any permit, the applicant shall file with the Town of Pine Plains a performance guarantee of the estimated cost of the erosion control measures as provided under § 149-9B(5) and confirmed by an individual designated by the Town. The authorized enforcement official shall then set the amount of a performance guarantee, the same to be provided by one of the following:
(1) 
A certified check.
(2) 
A performance bond which shall be satisfactory to the Town Board and Town Attorney as to form, sufficiency, manner of execution, surety and period of execution.
(3) 
A letter of credit from a bank approved by the Town Board and Town Attorney.
B. 
The authorized enforcement official may grant a wavier of such guarantee if it deems the proposed activities to be of minor scope and to be consistent with the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
The party or parties filing the performance guarantee shall provide that upon termination of either the permit or the operation, whichever may come first, the project shall be in conformity with both the approved specific requirements of the permit and the provisions of this chapter. In the event of default of such or violation of any other applicable laws, such performance guarantee shall be forfeited to the Town. If such sum is forfeited, the Town shall return to the applicant any amount that is not needed to cover the costs of restoration, administration and any other expenses incurred by the Town as a result of the applicant's default. Such performance guarantee shall continue in full force and effect until a certificate of compliance shall have been issued by the authorized enforcement official after such consultation with any agencies or individuals as he/she deems necessary to insure that all provisions of this chapter and of the permit have been met.
Where practical difficulties, unnecessary hardships and results inconsistent with the general purpose of this chapter or certain provisions thereof are encountered, exceptions may be granted by the Planning Board.
A. 
If there is any damage due to a violation of this chapter or if any soil, liquid, or other material is caused to be deposited upon or to roll, flow or wash upon any public property, private property, or right-of-way in violation of this chapter, the person, firm, partnership, corporation or other party responsible shall be notified and shall cause the same to be corrected and removed from such property or way and remedied within 36 hours of notice. In the event it is not so remedied, the Town may cause such correction and remedial work to be undertaken and the cost of such by the Town shall be paid to the Town by the party who failed to so remedy and shall be a debt owed to the Town, which, if unpaid for more than 30 days after demand for payment, shall be a lien on the real property which was the source of the material, which lien shall be collected by a levy added to the next real property tax levy otherwise payable to the Town.
B. 
Any person, firm, partnership, corporation or other party who or which violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation for a first offense and subject to a fine of no less than $100 or more than $250. Should such person be convicted of a second offense occurring within two years of a previously adjudicated offense, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $500 or to imprisonment of not more than 30 days, or both such fine and imprisonment for each separate violation of the same; and in addition, any party who violates any of the provisions of this chapter or omits or refuses to perform any and every act hereby required shall respectively forfeit and pay a civil penalty of $100 for each and every such violation and nonperformance. The imposition of any such penalty for the violation of this chapter shall not excuse such violation nor permit the continuance thereof. The application of the above penalty or penalties for a violation of the provisions of this chapter shall not be held to prevent the removal of conditions prohibited by this chapter by such legal means as may be proper.
C. 
Every day that a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter continues after written notice shall have been served upon the owner or his agent, either personally or by registered mail addressed to such person at his last known address, shall constitute a separate violation.
To the extent inconsistent therewith, this chapter shall supersede Town Law § 130.