Town of Middleborough, MA
Plymouth County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Middleborough 10-2-2017 STM by Art. 30, AG 1-18-2018, eff. 2-15-2018. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Excavations — See Ch. 138.
Farming — See Ch. 144.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 239.
Zoning — See Ch. 275.

§ 133-1 Definitions.

As used in this bylaw, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
The Board of Selectmen of the Town of Middleborough.
All forms of soil, including, but not limited to, loam, sand, gravel, clay, peat, hardpan or rock.
A single parcel of land lying in a single body and separated from contiguous land by property lines, street lines, or Town lines.
The owner of the land from which earth is sought to be removed.
A line separating land in one ownership from land in a different ownership, or from other land in the same ownership. A municipal boundary shall be a property line.
Stripping, excavating or blasting earth from one lot and carrying it away from said lot.

§ 133-2 Scope.

This bylaw shall apply to all earth removal activities in the Town of Middleborough, except as otherwise limited herein.

§ 133-3 Permit required; hearing; limitations on activity.

No earth shall be removed from any lot in the Town of Middleborough unless a permit shall have first been obtained by the owner from the Board pursuant to this bylaw, except as otherwise provided herein. All permits granted by the Board shall be subject to conditions which will guarantee, to the satisfaction of the Board, proper and reasonable surface drainage during and after operations and reasonable reuse of available topsoil. The Board shall adopt regulations including, but not limited to, exhibits, fees and bond requirements. The Board may impose permit conditions or restrictions on any permit in the best interest of the Town. The conditions or restrictions related to a permit, including the expiration date, shall be clearly set forth on the permit.
No such permit shall be issued until an application therefor has been filed with the Board and the Board has held a public hearing on the application. Notice of the filing of an application and the date and time of the public hearing thereon shall be advertised, at the expense of the applicant, in a newspaper in general circulation in the Town, at least seven days before such hearing, and by written notice to the Planning Board, the Conservation Commission, and the abutters. Following the hearing, the Board may grant, grant in part, or deny the application.
After an earth removal permit application has been submitted, no tree removal, utility installation, ditching, grading or construction of roads, no grading of land, no excavation except for purposes of soil testing, no dredging or filling, and no construction of buildings or structures shall be initiated on any part of that area in which the proposed earth removal will take place until the application has been received and approved and an order of conditions has been issued as provided for by this bylaw, and all activity, as described above, shall continue to be prohibited throughout the duration of the earth removal permit except for what is permitted and referenced on the approved plan. This subsection shall not apply to land in active agricultural use, including normal maintenance of cranberry bogs.

§ 133-4 Exemptions.

The following are exempted from the provisions of this bylaw:
Any earth removal operations involving 25 cubic yards or less per lot per year.
Any earth removal operations involving 800 cubic yards or less per acre on lots of four acres or less occurring in conjunction with work subject to a valid building permit.
Any earth removal operations in compliance with the requirements of a subdivision plan approved by the Town's Planning Board.

§ 133-5 Term of permit; filing; certificate of completion.

A permit may be issued for a period of up to three years. At the Board's discretion, a permit may be extended for up to one year beyond the initial permit period. If an earth removal project is not completed following the initial period plus any extension period, the applicant must reapply to the Board for a new permit to complete the project. The applicant must meet all bylaw and regulation requirements in effect at the time of reapplication for a new permit. Current valid permits which are in effect prior to August 1, 1992, may continue in operation for up to three years from the adoption of this bylaw, subject to all conditions and restrictions of the permit and Article 7 of the May 28, 1970, Town Meeting bylaw requirements without applying for annual renewal. Such existing earth removal projects shall be subject to the provisions of this bylaw after three years from the adoption of this bylaw.
A copy of the earth removal order of conditions must be filed with the Registry of Deeds, at the applicant's expense, as a notice to all that the conditions restrict work on the lot under the permit.
A certificate of completion must be issued by the Board of Selectmen at the completion of the project attesting that the project was completed in accordance with the approved plans. Issuance of the certificate of completion operates to terminate the permit. The certificate of completion must also be filed with the Registry of Deeds at the applicant's expense.

§ 133-6 Enforcement; violations and penalties.

The Board of Selectmen shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of this bylaw. A violation of a condition or restriction of the permit shall be a violation of the bylaw. The Town Manager shall be the agent of the Board for enforcement purposes and may issue a written cease-and-desist order requiring the immediate cessation of all work on the permitted property if the Town Manager believes a violation of any condition or restriction of the permit has occurred. In the absence of the Town Manager, the Board of Selectmen may designate another agent. The written order shall specify the alleged violation. A copy of the order will be given to the Board members as soon as possible after it is issued.
The Board of Selectmen shall, within three weeks of the issuance of the cease-and-desist order, hold a public hearing to review the facts and to determine whether a violation has occurred. If a violation is found, the Board, in its discretion, may revoke, revise or modify the conditions or restrictions of the permit.
The penalty for violation of this bylaw shall be a fine of up to $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second offense and $200 for each offense after the second offense. Each day of operation in violation of the bylaw shall be treated as a separate offense.

§ 133-7 Compliance with Zoning Bylaw.

An earth removal permit issued under this bylaw shall not authorize a use which is not permitted under applicable provisions of the Town of Middleborough Zoning Bylaw.[1] No earth removal permit shall authorize screening or other processing of earth materials in a Residential Zone. This shall not be construed to prohibit screening of earth on a lot which is the subject of an earth removal permit, in a Residential Zone, for use on the same lot to provide gravel for roadways, loam for final grading and/or sand for bogs.
Editor's Note: See Ch. 275, Zoning.

§ 133-8 Severability.

The provisions of this bylaw are severable; and if any provision or application of such provisions to any person or circumstances is held invalid or unconstitutional, this shall not affect the remaining provisions.