[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of New Britain 2-9-2016 by Ord. No. 370. Amendments noted where applicable.]
An ordinance of the Borough of New Britain, Bucks County, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, providing for amendments to the Code of the Borough of New Britain; specifically adding Chapter 220 providing for grading, drainage, and erosion control regulations; repealing inconsistent ordinances or parts of ordinances; containing a savings clause, and providing for an effective date.
This chapter shall be known as "The New Britain Borough Grading Ordinance."
For the purposes of this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any act by which earth, sand, gravel, rock or any other similar material is cut into, dug, quarried, uncovered, removed, displaced, relocated or bulldozed and shall include the conditions resulting therefrom.
- Any act by which earth, sand, gravel, rock or any other material is deposited, placed, pushed, dumped, pulled, transported or moved to a new location and shall include the conditions resulting therefrom.
- The elevation of the existing ground surface at the location of any proposed excavation or fill.
- Excavation or fill or any combination thereof and shall include the conditions resulting from any excavation or fill.
- A natural person, but shall also include a partnership or corporation, or other corporate or business entity.
- A lot, tract or parcel of ground or a series of lots, tracts or parcels of land, joined together, where grading work is continuous and performed at the same time.
New grading, excavations, removal of soil and fills or changes, additions, repairs, or alterations made to existing excavations and fills shall conform to the provisions of this chapter, except that this chapter shall not apply to work in a public street or alley or in a Borough park, playground or recreation area or on other public property.
No person shall commence or perform any grading, excavation, removal of soil or fill without first having obtained a grading permit from the Borough. A separate grading permit shall be required for each site. One permit may cover both the excavation and any fill made on the same site.
Every applicant for a grading permit shall complete the New Britain Borough Grading Permit Application Form.
Before a grading permit may be issued, the applicant shall pay a fee as set by resolution of Borough Council.
Every grading permit shall expire and become null and void if the work authorized by such permit has not been commenced within six months or is not completed within one year from the date of issue, provided that the Borough Engineer may, if the permit holder presents satisfactory evidence that unusual difficulties have prevented work from being started or completed within the specified time limits, grant a reasonable extension of time; and provided, further, that the application for the extension of time is made before the date of expiration of the permit.
Where, in the opinion of the Borough, the work as proposed by the applicant is likely to endanger any property or any street or alley, or otherwise does not comply with the requirements of this chapter, the grading permit shall be denied. In determining whether the proposed work is likely to endanger property or streets or alleys or create hazardous conditions, the Borough shall give due consideration to possible saturation by rains, earth movements, runoff of surface waters and subsurface conditions, such as the stratification and faulting of rock and the nature and type of the soil or rock.
Borough Council shall consider promptly appeals from the provisions of this chapter, and the Council shall make determinations of alternate methods, standards or materials when in its opinion strict compliance with the provisions of this chapter is unnecessary. Any applicant or permit holder shall have the right to appeal to any court of competent jurisdiction from any decision or determination of Borough Council.
The Borough Engineer may, when required, make inspections to confirm that the, work performed complies with the standards of this chapter and is occurring as stated or shown in the application. If the Borough Engineer shall determine by inspection that the nature of the work is likely to endanger person, property, or streets or alleys, or otherwise create a hazardous condition, the Borough Engineer may require as a condition to allowing the work to be done that such reasonable safety precautions be taken as to the Borough Engineer considers advisable to avoid such likelihood of danger.
Blocks and lots shall be graded to secure proper drainage away from buildings and to prevent the collection of stormwater in pools.
All drainage provisions shall be of such design as to carry surface water to the nearest practical and adequate street, storm drain or natural watercourse. Surface waters must be carried to the nearest practical storm drain or natural watercourse.
Drainage structures and/or pipes shall be constructed and/or installed as are necessary to prevent erosion damage and to satisfactorily carry off surface waters.
No excavation shall be made with a cut face steeper than 4:1 except where a concrete or stone masonry wall, constructed in accordance with approved standards, is provided to support the face of the excavation.
No fill shall be made which creates any exposed surface steeper in slope than four horizontal to one vertical except when a concrete or stone masonry wall, constructed in accordance with approved standards, is provided to support the face of the embankment.
The top or bottom edge of the slopes shall be a minimum of five feet from property or right-of-way lines of streets or alleys in order to permit the normal rounding of the edge without encroaching on the abutting property.
In the design of storm sewerage systems, the future use of undeveloped areas upstream shall be taken into account in calculating pipe size.
The landowner or applicant shall not modify, fill, excavate or regrade land in any manner so close to a property line as to endanger or damage any adjoining public street, sidewalk, alley or any other public or private property without supporting and protecting such property from settling, cracking, erosion, sediment or other physical damage, or personal injury might result.
No material shall be placed in any drainage structure in such a manner as to obstruct free flow.
All plans and specifications accompanying applications shall include provisions for both interim (temporary) and ultimate (permanent) erosion and sediment control. No subdivision or land development plan which involves earthmoving shall be approved unless there has been an erosion and sedimentation plan approved by the Borough Engineer and the Bucks County Conservation District that provides for minimizing erosion and sedimentation and an improvement bond or other acceptable security is deposited with the Borough in the form of an escrow guaranty which will ensure installation and completion of the required improvements.
The design, installation and maintenance of erosion and sediment controls shall be accomplished in accordance with the rules as contained in the standards and specification of the Bucks County Conservation District, the local designee for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Soil and Water Conservation. No earthmoving or other land-shaping operations shall commence prior to the construction of erosion and sediment control protection in accordance with the recommendations and approval of the Bucks County Conservation District and the Borough.
All graded surfaces shall be seeded, sodded and/or planted or otherwise protected from erosion within 20 days of breaking ground and shall be watered, tended and maintained until growth is well established at time of completion and final inspection.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be liable on conviction thereof to a penalty not exceeding $1,000, plus court costs and reasonable attorney's fees for each and every offense, and whenever such person shall have been notified by the Borough by service of a notice of violation of this chapter, summons in a prosecution, or in any other way that he is committing such violation of this chapter, each day that he shall continue such violation after such notification shall constitute a separate offense punishable by a like fine or penalty. Such fines or penalties shall be collected as like fines or penalties are now by law collected. The Borough, in addition to other remedies, may institute in the name of the Borough any appropriate action or proceeding, whether by legal process or otherwise, to prevent such unlawful work and to restrain or abate such violation.