An application for a surface mining extraction permit shall be made to the Zoning Board of Adjustment with a site plan application and shall be accompanied by:
A map showing existing contour lines at two-foot intervals.
An aerial survey, which may be waived if, in the opinion of the Township Engineer, such a survey is not practical.
Proposed contour lines at two-foot intervals after removal of the soil.
All existing structures on the subject premises and within 200 feet thereof.
All existing roads and drainage within 200 feet of the property.
Location of topsoil storage areas.
Methods of controlling silting of downstream properties.
Elevation of the water table, if it is within eight feet of the proposed final contour, or certification that the water table is not within eight feet of the proposed final contour. The determination of the water table is to be by an approved method and shall be certified by a professional engineer, which certification shall also show the date the tests were made.
Environmental impact statement.
Structures to be removed.
The maps shall also show all existing trees having 2 1/2 inches in diameter, measuring 4 1/2 feet from ground level, and the plan for replacing the same number of trees with trees having a diameter of 2 1/2 inches measured 4 1/2 feet from the top of root level.
The application shall also indicate the total number of cubic yards to be removed and the length of time within which the proposed operation shall be completed, which shall normally not be for longer than five years. Where a total project is not capable of being completed within five years, it shall be broken down into two sections, one of which shall be completed within five years and the other within such further period not exceeding five years as the Zoning Board of Adjustment may recommend or specify and subject to the Township Committee approval.
The application shall contain the name and address of the applicant, if a different person is involved. The signed consent of the owner shall be required, if the applicant is not the owner. In addition, the tax block and lot number of the property involved and the routes to and from the proposed site to be used in transporting soil removal from the site shall be included.
Approved Soil Conservation District Plan approved by the appropriate State of New Jersey or Warren County agency, as the case may be.
The application and fees shall be filed with the Township Clerk, and the application shall promptly be referred to the Board of Adjustment. The Board shall have the application investigated by the Township Engineer, who shall make a report and recommendations to the Board. The Board shall make a report to the Township Committee concerning the application and indicate specifically whether the proposed operations will result in any sharp declivities, pits or depression, soil erosion or fertility problems, drainage or sewerage problems or other dangerous conditions and recommendations or reasonable conditions regarding the permit to be issued, including the following:
Areas shown on a map, if any, where excavation should not be permitted because of adverse effects on abutting property or roads.
Changes, if any, in permitted contours and slopes to be accomplished by the proposed removal.
Maximum areas from which topsoil may be stripped before replacement thereof to permit soil removal, with consideration being given to the number of yards to be removed and the duration of the requested permit.
Consent of the Board to be required to ensure the operation of the soil removal and replacement of topsoil in accordance with this chapter.
Capacity of public roads to be used for ingress and egress to withstand damage from the proposed soil removal operation.
Any considerations or recommendations to protect the public welfare or adjoining properties or roads.
The Board shall also specifically report to the Township Committee its recommendations on the compatibility of the proposed soil removal operation with the zone plans for the area and a statement of any adverse factors from a planning or zoning standpoint, which should be considered by the Township Committee in acting upon the application.
A permit shall be issued after approval of the application by the Township Committee. It shall show the total number of yards of soil authorized to be removed, as calculated by the Township Engineer based upon the contour maps submitted, and also the duration or terms of the permit based upon the applicant's estimate of the time necessary to complete the proposed operation as provided for in § 156-14.
If a permit is issued for the removal of earth and soil as provided herein, the owner or person in charge shall so conduct the operations so that there shall be no sharp declivities, pits or depressions and in such a manner that the area shall be properly leveled off, cleared of debris and graded to conform with the contour lines and grades as required and shown on the approved plan. No soil shall be removed nor shall any operation be conducted so as to violate any of the regulations contained in this chapter after a permit is granted.
Arable soil within four inches of the surface shall not be removed from the licensed permittee's premises, but promptly, on completion of operations or as otherwise directed by the Township Committee, the arable soil so retained shall be respread on the surface as uniformly as possible and seeded with winter rye or other suitable planting.
If the soil within four inches of the top is not arable soil, arable soil must be spread thereon promptly when the operation is completed in each area. Provisions must be made for adequate drainage after the topsoil is replaced. No topsoil shall be removed from the Township.
The following regulations shall be observed:
Soil removed shall not be deposited or in any way thrown or placed upon adjoining property or public roads. Any soil or material resulting from any operation accumulating on any adjoining property or public road shall be removed therefrom immediately upon notice by the Township Engineer to the permittee of the accumulation.
All operations shall be conducted in strict accordance with any state law, other ordinances of the Township and their terms and conditions of any permit granted for the operations. All structures, including but not limited to bridges and culverts, shall be removed where the soil is removed from a lot where a structure exists. All structures shall be removed prior to the removal of soil. No operation shall be permitted within the buffer zone of any wetlands as defined in the Knowlton Township Land Use Ordinance.
The operation shall be conducted so as not to constitute a nuisance to adjoining owners or the Township, and in no event shall the operation create any extra hazardous or unsafe condition with regard to any person or persons.
Upon completion of any operation or of excavation from an area delineated on the approved plan, the area shall be properly leveled off, cleared of debris, graded to conform to the contours and grades as approved by the Township Committee and trees planted in accordance with the plan approved by the Township Committee. A final map shall be submitted containing and complying with all requirements as set forth in this section.
Soil shall not be removed except in accordance with the approved plan, which plan may, upon application, be amended from time to time by the Board of Adjustment and Township Committee, as the case may be.
No soil shall be removed which is within eight feet of the water table unless approved by the Township Committee, and no soil shall be removed which is below the grade established and shown on the approved map.
No trash, garbage, junk or debris may be stored in any licensed area, and no safety hazards will be permitted, either during or after the completion of the operations. All burning of combustible debris resulting from the soil operation shall be subject to the regulation set by the Fire Department or any regulation of a higher authority in effect and be undertaken so as not to create a smoke, nuisance or air pollution safety hazard.
Each permittee shall annually furnish a progress report to the Township Engineer, the first of which shall be submitted nine months after issuance of the permit, which shall consist of a sketch map at a scale of one inch to 100 feet, showing contours every two feet, retained arable soil equipment, the areas where soil was removed and the location of water supply and disposal facilities and drainage facilities prepared and certified by a licensed professional engineer. All topography shall be made by aerial photographic methods and a photograph submitted with the original application and each progress report.
In order to minimize the possibility of mudslides or drainage of silt, the area of operations for excavation shall not exceed a total of five areas at any one time without a replacement of topsoil and reseeding of the premises, unless otherwise permitted by the Township Committee for good cause shown.
Upon the completion of work in any specific area, all respreading of arable soil and reseeding as required by this section and § 156-18 of this chapter shall be completed within 60 days thereafter, except that if the completion of work in an area occurs during the winter months when it would not be practicable to respread topsoil and reseed same, the work shall be completed within the additional time as may be specified by the Township Committee.
The Township Committee may modify or waive any of the above conditions or regulations where the applicant can show undue hardship by reason of topography, grade or other special conditions or when the modifications would clearly be in the public interest.
Hours of operation shall be limited from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays, except in emergencies, when authorized by the Township Committee. There shall be no operation of any kind or character on Sundays or State of New Jersey legal holidays, except in emergencies, when authorized by the Township Committee.
While working an area, the working face of the excavation shall not exceed 60° from the horizontal, nor shall a sixty-degree-angle have a vertical height exceeding 30 feet, except that when soil conditions permit a greater angle and/or height or require a lesser angle and/or height from the horizontal, as determined by the Township Engineer, such greater or lesser specifications may be required or permitted. Any face not currently being worked on shall not exceed 30° from the horizontal. Where an excavated area adjoins a public road, which has been dedicated to the public, no excavation shall be made below the level of the road for a distance of 100 feet back from the center line of the road, except in instances where, on the low side of the road, the removal of material would not substantially alter the general terrain characteristics. Where an excavated area is within 50 feet from any building, the finished grade thereof shall not exceed 10% or be less than 20%. Care should be taken so that there shall be no diversion of surface water either during the operation or after the project is complete.
Application and fees. All fees, guaranties, inspections, improvements and other related costs and expenses for a surface mining soil extraction permit shall be in accordance with Chapter 11, Land Development, Article XX, Fees, of the Knowlton Township Land Development Ordinance, as amended.
Editor's Note: See separate volume for Land Development Regulations.
Before any work is done for which a permit is required, and during the period covered by the permit, the applicant shall file and maintain a bond in form and with surety approved by the Township Attorney in an amount as in the opinion of the Township Engineer shall be sufficient to insure the faithful performance of the work to be undertaken pursuant to the conditions of the permit and the terms thereof. The bond shall be in an amount of not less than $3,000 per acre of land which is being worked in accordance with the approved plan. The bond shall cover the respreading of topsoil as required by the provisions of this article and also final provisions for drainage of the site and grading to final contour.
The amount of any performance bond or guaranty may be reduced by the Township Committee by resolution when portions of the improvements or work have been completed, upon recommendation of the Township Engineer.
When all required performance has been completed, the obligor shall notify the Township Committee, in writing, by certified or registered mail, of the completion thereof and shall send a copy thereof to the Municipal Engineer. The Township Committee shall authorize the Municipal Engineer to inspect the site to determine that all requirements of the approved plan have been complied with. The Municipal Engineer shall thereupon file a report, in writing, with the Township Committee, which shall be detailed and shall indicate either approval, partial approval or rejection. If the work covered by the bond or performance guaranty or any portion thereof shall not be approved or shall be rejected by the Municipal Engineer, the report shall contain a statement of reasons for such nonapproval or rejection. Where the rejection indicates partial approval of the improvements or works, it shall indicate the costs of the work for which approval is rejected. The Township Committee shall accept or reject the work, grant partial approval or withhold approval on the basis of the report and shall notify the obligor, in writing, by certified or registered mail, of the contents of the report and the action of the Township Committee in relation thereto not later than 90 days after receipt of notice from the obligor of the completion of the work. Where partial approval is granted, the obligor shall be released from all liability pursuant to his performance guaranty bond except for that portion adequately sufficient to secure the work not yet approved.
After reasonable notice and an opportunity to be heard before the Township Committee, the permit of any person may be revoked or suspended for the period as the Township Committee may determine for any violation of the terms hereof or the terms and conditions of any approved plan and permit granted hereunder, and the provisions of § 156-11 of this chapter shall apply.
Any and all Township ordinances or parts thereof in conflict with or inconsistent with any terms of this chapter are hereby repealed to such extent as they are so in conflict or inconsistent; provided, however, that the adoption of this chapter shall not prevent or bar the continuance or institution of any proceedings for offenses heretofore committed in violation of any existing ordinances of the Township of Knowlton.