Township of Lower Mount Bethel, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 2006-07, 7/17/2006, § 1]
The name of this Part shall be the "Lower Mount Bethel Township Grading Ordinance."
[Ord. 2006-07, 7/17/2006, § 2; as amended by Ord. 2015-02, 4/6/2015, § I]
1. 
Earth moving and grading including, but not limited to, removal of vegetation and/or changes in topography are activities regulated by this Part.
2. 
Earth moving and grading activities shall be subject to the requirements of all applicable rules and regulations including, but not limited to, the State Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Regulations, the Township Zoning Ordinance [Chapter 27], the Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22], Township Driveway Ordinance [Chapter 21], Township Stormwater NPDES Phase II Ordinance [Chapter 23], and the Township Floodplain Ordinance [Chapter 8] whether or not it is regulated by this Part.
3. 
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary set forth in this section, no permit shall be required pursuant to this Part in the following circumstances:
A. 
Earth disturbance for the purposes of normal agricultural operations, gardening and topsoil preparation for planting of grass or other vegetative groundcover.
B. 
Earth disturbance for the purposes of residential accessory structures or residential accessory uses where the aggregate area to be stripped of vegetation does not exceed the following criteria:
(1) 
Two thousand square feet.
C. 
Earth disturbance necessary for the construction of a single-family home or residential accessory structures or residential accessory uses on a lot in excess of 10 acres when the Zoning Officer, in his/her sole discretion, determines that a permit is not necessary for the reasonable protection of adjacent properties. The Zoning Officer may consult with any other Township employee, official or consultant, including but not limited to the Township Engineer, in making a determination under this Subsection 3C.
D. 
Earth disturbance necessary for the construction or repair of public utilities and/or roads by public agencies, and/or Public Utility Commission regulated utility companies.
E. 
Earth disturbance necessary for the construction of above ground swimming pools.
F. 
Earth disturbance necessary for the repair or replacement of an on-lot sewage disposal system.
[Ord. 2006-07, 7/17/2006, § 3]
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to undertake any earth moving activity or stripping of vegetated ground cover without first securing a permit, as required, pursuant to this Part.
[Ord. 2006-07, 7/17/2006, § 4]
Whenever any proposed activity requires a building and/or driveway permit, no such building or driveway permit shall be issued unless the permit required hereunder has been issued. The plans and applications required herein may be combined, when applicable, with plans and applications materials submitted for building and/or driveway permits.
[Ord. 2006-07, 7/17/2006, § 5]
1. 
Any person, firm, or corporation proposing to engage in activity requiring a permit hereunder shall apply for a permit by written application, which shall include the applicant's agreement to comply with all applicable regulations upon issuance of permit.
2. 
The applicant shall comply with the Lower Mount Bethel Township Zoning Ordinance [Chapter 27], the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22], and the Floodplain Management Ordinance [Chapter 8] as prepared, and as may be amended, which govern the development of land within the Township prior to making application for a permit under this Part.
3. 
A separate application shall be required for each earth disturbance operation. Three copies of all the documents referred to below shall be submitted with each application. The application forms submitted shall consist of the form provided by the Township together with the required fees. All applications shall be submitted to the Township Zoning Officer who shall retain one for Township records and forward two copies of all documents to the Township Engineer for initial plan review.
4. 
The Township's Secretary, within 10 days of the adoption of this Part, shall establish operating procedures including the required number of copies of the application, the content of the application, and the above shall be in conformity with the provisions of this Part. The Lower Mount Bethel Township Board of Supervisors shall determine the fees for such permits, from time to time, by resolution.
5. 
Any application for a grading permit shall be accompanied by a plan showing the following:
A. 
A topographic survey of the site, at a suitable scale of no less than one inch = 20 feet and contour interval of no more than two feet zero inches, prepared by a registered professional land surveyor or registered professional engineer, including a boundary line survey, elevations at high and low points, the location and description of vegetative cover, the general location of all major trees (>12 in. diameter) and any other pertinent existing natural or man-made features. Interpolated contours from USGS maps or any other similar source are not acceptable.
B. 
A grading plan of the same scale describing all changes to the site including final contours, structures, paving, waste disposal systems, and wells. This improvement and grading information may be combined on the topographic survey when all information can be clearly and legibly shown.
This grading plan shall show the following:
(1) 
Name and address of the legal owner, and of the person or entity on whose behalf the plan has been prepared.
(2) 
The Northampton County Uniform Parcel Identifier Number, street address, and lot number shown on the subdivision plan of record.
(3) 
The applicable zoning district.
(4) 
Property corner demarcations, i.e., stakes, pins, monuments, etc.
(5) 
Property boundary dimensions.
(6) 
Reference to benchmark.
(7) 
The lot area in square feet.
(8) 
Building restriction line, swales, streams, and existing wooded areas.
(9) 
The size and location of all existing and proposed easements, rights-of-way, utilities (including any on-lot sewage disposal systems), streets, curbs, sidewalks, driveway, and other improvements on or abutting the lot.
(10) 
Portions of the property steeper than 25% slope.
(11) 
Swale and drainage channel cross sections.
(12) 
Landscape buffers or screens.
(13) 
Karst features (if any).
(14) 
Wetlands (if any).
(15) 
Contour lines, both existing and proposed, including spot grades at high points and low points.
(16) 
All buildings with dimensions, including total square feet.
(17) 
Location of all structures, showing setback distances to all property lines and at least two ties to installed property corners.
(18) 
Elevations for finished first floor and garage floor.
(19) 
Dimensions of driveway and grade percentages.
(20) 
Location, dimension, and inverts of driveway pipe.
(21) 
Location of well, septic tank, primary drainfield and alternate drainfield, showing distance to closest property line.
(22) 
Isolation distance of well to septic tank and drain field.
(23) 
Soil pipe, well supply line and utility line(s), crossing the property and entering the dwelling.
(24) 
Location of soil stockpile area and erosion and sedimentation control measures.
(25) 
Statement of total area of disturbance.
(26) 
Pre- and post-development building coverage and total impervious surface percentages.
(27) 
Site grading, directing of stormwater run-off away from building and septic system.
(28) 
Location of on-lot stormwater facilities/BMP's with maintenance description.
(29) 
Narrative of on-lot erosion sedimentation control procedures.
(30) 
Narrative of operation and maintenance of on-lot infiltration stormwater BMP facilities.
(31) 
One hundred-year floodplain limit and elevation.
(32) 
Stormwater calculations for proposed stormwater management facilities as required by ordinance (i.e., Act 167), Lower Mount Bethel Township Stormwater NPDES Phase II requirements, etc.).
C. 
A written description of soil erosion and sedimentation control measures in accordance with § 44 of Chapter 102, Title 25 Pa. Code, Rules and Regulations, Part 1, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Subpart C, Protection of Natural Resources, Article II, Water Resources, Chapter 102, Erosion Control, which shall be in conformity with the standards and specifications of the Lower Mount Bethel Township Ordinances.
D. 
If the proposed activity constitutes a "land development," as defined by the Township's Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22], stormwater management calculations prepared in accordance with the requirements of Lower Mount Bethel Township Subdivision and Land Ordinance [Chapter 22] should be prepared and submitted by a registered professional engineer.
E. 
A time schedule stating the anticipated starting and completion dates of the development sequence.
6. 
The site plans required herein shall also be prepared in accordance with the site plan requirements and/or other specific requirements of other ordinances and regulations of the Township.
[Ord. 2006-07, 7/17/2006, § 6]
1. 
The Township shall review and approve grading permit applications and plans on the form provided by the Township for that purpose. No grading permit, building permit, or driveway permit shall be issued by the Township until such time as grading application and plans have been found to be acceptable to the Township.
2. 
In all cases, the permittee shall be required to undertake all earth moving and grading activities in accordance with this Part and the approved grading plan, whether or not inspection by the Township is provided and whether or not a certificate of occupancy is issued.
[Ord. 2006-07, 7/17/2006, § 7]
1. 
The permittee is responsible for any property damage or personal injury caused by activity authorized by the permit.
2. 
No person, firm or corporation shall modify, fill, excavate, pave or grade land in any manner as to endanger or damage public or private property, or to cause physical damage or personal injury. All precautions will be taken to prevent any damage to adjoining streets, sidewalks, building, and other structures, which could be caused by settling, cracking, erosion or sediment.
3. 
The installation and maintenance of erosion and sedimentation control measures shall be accomplished in accordance with standards and specifications established by the Northampton County Conservation District.
[Ord. 2006-07, 7/17/2006, § 8]
1. 
Inspections by the Township may be carried out on a random basis at the option of the Township.
2. 
A final inspection may, at the option of the Township, be conducted by the Township to verify compliance with this Part.
3. 
Prior to final inspection by the Township, a certification by the permittee's engineer or surveyor verifying that all elements of the approved grading plan have been installed properly shall be submitted. This certification shall include the professional's seal and signature.
4. 
In all cases; however, the permittee shall be required to undertake all earthmoving and grading activities in accordance with this Part and the approved grading plan, whether or not inspection by the Township is provided.
[Ord. 2006-07, 7/17/2006, § 9]
Permit fees shall be set by the Township Supervisors by separate resolution for grading plan fees.
[Ord. 2006-07, 7/17/2006, § 10]
1. 
It is recognized that earth disturbance creates risks of runoff and soil erosion damage. This Part establishes guidelines for reducing these risks, but in all cases the property owner and their designers, agents, and contractors shall be responsible for any damage directly or indirectly caused by any activity regulated by this Part.
2. 
The public is hereby notified that the Township, Township employees, and Township consultants undertake no responsibility for loss of property, loss of life or personal injury due to activities regulated by this Part, even if all regulations and ordinances of the Township are followed.
[Ord. 2006-07, 7/17/2006, § 11; as amended by Ord. No. 2015-02, 4/6/2015, § I]
1. 
Right of Entry. Upon presentation of proper credentials, duly authorized representatives of the Township may enter at reasonable times upon any property within the Township to inspect the condition of the stormwater structures and facilities in regard to any aspect regulated by this Part.
2. 
Notification. In the event that a person fails to comply with the requirements of this Part, or fails to conform to the requirements of any permit issued hereunder, the Township shall provide written notification of the violation. Such notification shall set forth the nature of the violation(s) and establish a time limit for correction of these violation(s). Failure to comply within the time specified shall be subject such person to the penalty provision of this Part. All such penalties shall be deemed cumulative. In addition, the Township may pursue any and all other remedies. It shall be the responsibility of the owner of the real property on which any regulated activity is proposed to occur, is occurring, or has occurred, to comply with the terms and conditions of this Part.
3. 
Enforcement. The Zoning Officer and any other Township employee, official or consultant duly appointed by resolution of the Board of Supervisors are hereby authorized and directed to enforce all of the provisions of this Part. All inspections regarding compliance with the grading plan shall be the responsibility of the Township Engineer or other qualified persons designated by the Township.
A. 
A set of design plans approved by the Township shall be on file at the site throughout the duration of the construction activity. Periodic inspections may be made by the Township or designee during construction.
B. 
Adherence to Approved Plan. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to undertake any activity under Lower Mount Bethel Township Zoning Ordinance [Chapter 27], Part 2 (Application of Regulations) on any property except as provided for in the approved grading plan and pursuant to the requirements of this Part. It shall be unlawful to alter or remove any control structure required by the grading plan pursuant to this Part or to allow the property to remain in a condition which does not conform to the approved stormwater management site plan.
C. 
After modification by the applicant, a final inspection may be conducted by the Board of Supervisors or its designee to ascertain compliance with this Part.
D. 
Suspension and Revocation of Permits.
(1) 
Any permit issued under this Part may be suspended or revoked by the Board of Supervisors for:
(a) 
Noncompliance with or failure to implement any provision of the permit.
(b) 
A violation of any provision of this Part or any other applicable law, ordinance, rule or regulation relating to the project.
(c) 
The creation of any condition or the commission or omission of any act during construction or development which constitutes or creates a hazard of nuisance, pollution or which endangers the life or property of others.
(2) 
A suspended permit shall be reinstated by the Board of Supervisors when:
(a) 
The Township Engineer or his designee has inspected and approved the corrections to the grading measure(s) or the elimination of the hazard or nuisance.
(b) 
The Board of Supervisors is satisfied that the violation of this Part, law, or rule and regulation has been corrected.
4. 
Public Nuisance.
A. 
The violation of any provision of this Part is hereby deemed a public nuisance.
B. 
Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation.
5. 
Penalties.
A. 
Any person or entity who fails to comply with any or all of the requirements or provisions of this Part, or who fails or refuses to comply with any notices, order, or direction of the Township, or any other authorized municipal employee, official or consultant, shall, upon being found liable in a civil enforcement proceeding, pay a civil penalty of $600, or the maximum allowed then under the Second Class Township Code (53 Pa.C.S.A. § 66601 et seq., as amended), per offense. Any person who violates this Part shall also be liable for all costs and expenses incurred by the Township in the enforcement of this Ordinance including, but not limited to, court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees. Each day or any portion thereof in which a violation is found to exist shall be considered a separate offense under this Part. Likewise, each section of this Ordinance which is found to be violated shall be considered a separate offense.
B. 
In addition, the Township, through its Solicitor, may institute injunctive, mandamus or any other appropriate action or proceeding at law or in equity for the enforcement of this Part. Any court of competent jurisdiction shall have the right to issue restraining orders, temporary or permanent injunctions, mandamus and/or other appropriate forms of remedy or relief.
6. 
Appeals.
A. 
Any person aggrieved by the denial of a permit by the Zoning Officer or any person who objects to a permit which has been issued by the Zoning Officer may file a notice of appeal with the Board of Supervisors within 30 days from the date the Zoning Officer denied the permit or issued the permit, as applicable.
B. 
Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Board of Supervisors relevant to the provisions of this Part may appeal to the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas within 30 days from the date the Board of Supervisors issued its decision.
C. 
Any person aggrieved by the issuance of an enforcement notice relative to violations of this Part may appeal to the Magisterial District Judge having proper jurisdiction to hear the appeal within 30 days from the date of the enforcement notice.