[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Board of the Charter Township of Midland 7-21-1982 by Ord. No. 31. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and cited as the "Midland Township Soil Removal Ordinance."
This chapter is enacted for the purpose of promoting the public health, welfare and safety of the residents of Midland Township and to preserve the natural resources and to prevent the creation of nuisances and hazards to the public health, welfare and safety.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any tract or parcel of land or part thereof used for the purpose of searching for or the extraction of stone, gravel, marl, sand, peat, topsoil, or similar materials, including stripping and pit-type operations.
- The land or water area where the removal of topsoil, sand, clay, gravel or similar materials is being conducted, including adjacent and contiguous property, owned by the same owner, even though divided by public or private rights-of-way.
- Soil, topsoil, subsoil, sand, gravel, land, earth or any other material proposed to be moved from or onto the land.
From and after the effective date of this chapter, it shall be unlawful for any person to operate a quarry as hereinbefore defined or strip any topsoil, sand, clay, gravel, or similar material without a permit from the Township Board. No permit will be required where the moving, grading or leveling of the aforesaid materials is carried on for the immediate use or development of the land upon which these substances are found or pursuant to a building permit issued by the Building Inspector; provided, however, that where sand, gravel, topsoil, or other substances are removed from the site, a permit as above mentioned will be required.
Application. Before granting a permit, the Township Planning Commission shall conduct a public hearing concerning such application and file its recommendations with the Township Board. A separate permit shall be required for each separate site. Each application for a permit (five copies to be submitted) shall be made to the Township Clerk and shall contain the following information as a condition precedent to the obligation to consider such request:
Names and addresses of parties of interest in said premises, setting forth their legal interest in said premises.
Full legal description of the premises wherein operations are proposed.
Detailed statement as to method of operation, such as wet or dry method, what type of machinery or equipment will be used, and the estimated period of time that such operation will cover.
Detailed statement as to exactly what type of deposit is proposed to be extracted.
Proposed method of filling and type of soil used if excavated site is to be backfilled.
Topographical survey map.
Such other information as may be reasonably required by the Township Board to base an opinion as to whether a permit should be issued or not.
Permit fees. The sum of $10 per acre up to a maximum of $500 with a minimum of $200 shall accompany the application for a quarrying permit. Said sum is to be used to defray the cost of engineering services, investigation, publication charges, and other miscellaneous administrative expenses occasioned by processing such application. Permits issued by the Township Board shall be for a period of one year, and such permits may be renewed by the payment of an annual $50 inspection fee. Such permits shall be renewed as herein provided for so long as the permittee complies with all of the provisions of this chapter or other conditions of this permit.
Permits. After reviewing all of the information submitted by the applicant and such other information as may be in the hands of the Township Board, said Board shall at a regular or special meeting determine whether or not a permit will be issued. The permit shall be issued in the event the Township Board shall determine that the issuance of the permit would not detrimentally affect the public health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of Midland Township. In the event the Township Board does not make a final decision on the issuance of a permit within 45 days after the application is filed or 15 days after the last public hearing, if required; whichever is the longest, said permit shall be deemed issued as applied for.
Mandatory requirements. The following requirements shall be mandatory where a permit for the removal of soil is required by this chapter.
Where an excavation in excess of five feet will result from such operations, the applicant shall erect a fence completely surrounding the portion of the site where the excavation extends, said fence to be not less than five feet in height, complete with gates, which gates shall be kept locked when operations are not being carried on.
Any roads used for the purpose of ingress and egress to said excavation sites which are located within 300 feet of occupied residences shall be kept dust-free.
The slopes of the banks of the excavation shall in no event exceed a minimum of 2 1/2 horizontal to one foot vertical.
Where quarrying operations result in a body of water, the owner or operator shall place appropriate "Keep Out – Danger" signs around said premises, not more than 200 feet apart.
No cut or excavation shall be made closer than 50 feet from the nearest street or highway right-of-way line nor nearer than 20 feet to the nearest property line; provided, however, that the Township Board may prescribe more strict requirements in order to prevent damage to surrounding property.
The Township Board shall require such other performance standards where, because of peculiar conditions, it deems it necessary for the protection of health, safety, and well-being of the citizens of the Township.
No soil shall be removed in such manner as to cause water to collect long-term, which would result in a place of danger or a menace to the public health.
Sufficient topsoil shall be stockpiled on said site so that the entire site, when stripping operations are completed, may be recovered with a minimum of four inches of said soil, and the replacement of such soil shall be made immediately following the termination of the stripping operations. In the event, however, that such stripping operations continue over a period of time greater than 30 days, the operator shall replace the stored soil over the stripped areas as he progresses and replant with permanent-type grasses.
The Township Board shall require such other and further requirements as is deemed necessary in the interest of the public health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the Township of Midland.
Surety bond. The Township Board may, to ensure strict compliance with any regulations contained herein or required as a condition of the issuance of permit either for quarrying or soil stripping, require the permittee to furnish a surety bond executed by a reputable surety company authorized to do business in the State of Michigan, in an amount determined by the Township Board to be reasonably necessary to ensure compliance hereunder. In fixing the amount of such surety bond, the Township Board shall take into account the size and scope of the proposed quarry, probable cost of rehabilitating the premises upon default of the operator, estimated expense to compel the operator to comply by court decree, and such other factors and conditions as might be relevant in determining the sum reasonable in the light of all facts and circumstances surrounding each application.
The dumping of any soil, sand, clay, or gravel on any parcel of land within the limits of the Township of Midland is hereby prohibited, except where, within six months following such dumping, such parcel of land is graded in such manner as to prevent the collection of water, to provide proper drainage and to leave the ground surface fit for the growing of turf and other land uses permitted in the district; provided, however, that no soil, sand, clay, gravel, trash, rubbish or material shall be dumped on the spillways or floodplains of any natural or artificial streams or watercourses or any area between the upper and lower banks of such streams or watercourses, except on the approval of the Township Board after a public hearing by the Township Planning Commission and on a satisfactory showing that such dumping will not result in damage to other property within the limits of the Township of Midland and will not be detrimental to the public health, safety, or welfare. Waste and rubbish dumping shall meet the requirements of this chapter and the laws and ordinances of the Township of Midland.
A surety bond may be required by the Township Board to ensure adherence to the herein specified provisions. Such bond shall be in an amount as specifically required in this chapter or, if not otherwise specified, equal to the estimated cost of restoring the site to a safe, healthy and sightly condition.
The existence within the limits of the Township of Midland of any unprotected, unbarricaded, open or dangerous excavations, holes, pits, or wells, or of any excavations, holes, pits, or wells which constitute or are reasonably likely to constitute a danger or menace to the public health, safety or welfare, are hereby prohibited and declared a public nuisance; provided, however, that this chapter shall not prevent the construction of excavations under a permit issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter or Chapter 103, Construction Codes, where such excavations are properly protected and warning signs and lights located in such manner as may be approved by the Township Board, and provided further that this section shall not apply to drains created or existing by authority of the State of Michigan, County of Midland, Township of Midland, or other governmental agency.
Where the Township Board shall determine a nuisance to exist as herein defined, it shall notify the owner as shown on the latest tax rolls, in writing, of such finding and require the owner to abate such nuisance within a reasonable time, in no event less than 30 days. In the event the property owner fails to abate or cause to be abated such nuisance, then the Township Board may abate or cause to be abated such nuisance, and the cost or reasonable value of such work shall be placed as an assessment against said property on the next assessment roll.
Any person who, in the regular course of business, maintains an industrial facility and who regularly employs a professional engineer registered under the laws of the State of Michigan, responsible for the excavation and dumping of any soil, sand, clay or gravel or similar materials may, upon application, be granted an annual industrial site permit covering both the removal of soil and the dumping of soil, provided that the annual industrial site permit shall be applicable only upon the property containing the industrial facility, including adjacent and contiguous property owned by the same owner, even though divided by public or private rights-of-way. The annual permit fee shall be $500.
Any person or other entity who violates any provision of this chapter is responsible for a municipal civil infraction as defined by Michigan law and subject to a civil fine of not more than $500, plus costs, which may include all direct or indirect expenses to which the Township has been put in connection with the violation. In no case however, shall costs of less than $9 or more than $500 be ordered. In addition, all violations of this chapter are declared a nuisance per se. The Township specifically reserves the right and shall have the authority to proceed in any court of competent jurisdiction for the purpose of obtaining an injunction, restraining order or other appropriate remedy to abate said nuisance and to complete compliance with this chapter.
[Amended 4-12-1995 by Ord. No. 70]
The Township Board or any member thereof may institute injunction or other proceedings to prevent or enjoin any violation of the provisions of this chapter. The rights and remedies provided herein are cumulative and in addition to other remedies provided by law.