This section shall be known as the "Soil Fill Ordinance of the Township of Andover."
The Township Committee finds that the unregulated and uncontrolled placement and movement of soil and other mineral deposits can result in conditions detrimental to the public safety, health and general welfare. Such conditions substantially hamper and deter the efforts of the Township to effectuate the general purposes of municipal planning. Soil movement operations and filling operations should relate to the overall physical development of the area within which the operation is located. It is essential that all soil movement operations and filling operations be reviewed and approved by the Township Zoning Officer and/or Township Engineer. All soil movement operations and filling operations must be conceived and operated in such a way that there will be no appreciable harmful effects to the environment. In order to best ensure that all soil movement operations and filling operations are an asset to the Township of Andover, rather than a liability, all such operations shall adhere to the conditions, restrictions and provisions outlined in this chapter.
The words defined in this section shall mean and include the following when used in this chapter:
- APPROVED PLAN
- A plan for the placement of soil fill approved by the Zoning Official and/or the Township Engineer (minor permit) or by the Township Land Use Board (major permit) pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
- LAND USE BOARD
- The Land Use Board of the Township of Andover.
- MAJOR SOIL FILL PERMIT
- A permit for the fill of more than a cumulative total of 500 cubic yards of soil.
- MINOR SOIL FILL PERMIT
- A permit for the fill of more than a cumulative total of 100 cubic yards of soil but less than 500 cubic yards of soil.
- A soil fill permit.
- Includes an individual, a partnership, a corporation or any other legal entity.
- SOIL FILL
- For the purpose of this chapter, "soil fill" shall include dirt, stone, gravel, sand, humus, clay, loam and mixtures of any of these. This shall not include quarry process or rock products utilized in the construction of roads, driveways or similar types of construction. Materials such as asphalt, asphalt millings, concrete, bricks and other inorganic materials shall not be used as soil fill.
- The arable soil within eight inches of the surface.
- The Township of Andover.
No person shall fill or cause the placement of any soil on any premises in the Township of Andover, whether such fill be for sale, gift or otherwise, unless a permit therefor is first secured from the Township Zoning Official and/or Township Engineer or the Township Land Use Board as hereinafter provided. A permit shall not be required for the moving or placement of fill or less than 100 cubic yards of soil.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to excavations or fill for building foundations, septic tanks or sanitary installations, provided that no excavation or construction of any kind shall take place until a site plan or permit has been approved by the Construction Official and/or Department of Health as required by law.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to affect or apply to any person engaged in the moving of soil in and upon lands enrolled in the Soil Conservation Program of the Sussex County Soil Conservation District, Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service, and for which lands an approved farm plan has been established by said agency, provided that all soil-moving operations and fill operations in and upon such lands are performed in accordance with said approved farm plan, and provided further that a copy of said approved farm plan is placed on file with the Township prior to any soil-moving operations or fill operations.
A separate soil permit under this chapter shall not be required for subdivisions and/or site plans approved pursuant to other sections within this chapter.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to affect or apply to any person engaged in a state-mandated cleanup plan, provided that all soil moving, removal operations and fill operations are performed in accordance with said cleanup plan, and provided further that notice of the state-mandated cleanup plan is placed on file with the Township Engineer prior to any soil moving, removal operations or fill operations.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the storage of sand, soil, stone, topsoil, mulch or other similar materials on lawfully existing nurseries and landscaping/contractor yards provided that the outdoor storage of materials on said property has previously been established and does not require site plan approval pursuant to this chapter.
Application for a minor soil fill permit shall be filed with the Township Zoning Officer, who shall issue the permit based upon substantial compliance with the provisions of this chapter; provided, however, that the Township Zoning Officer and/or the Township Engineer shall have the authority to deny a permit if he/she determines that the placement of fill would be detrimental to the health, welfare or safety of the general public. The denial shall be in writing setting forth the reasons for same.
Application for a major soil fill permit shall be filed with the Township Land Use Board and shall be accompanied by a fee prescribed in § 138-22, Permit fees; inspection fees. Appropriate copies of the application shall be submitted on forms prescribed by the Township Land Use Board and supplied to the Secretary to the Board.
The application for minor and major permits shall set forth the following:
Name and address of the applicant.
Name and address of the owner, if other than the applicant.
The description and location of the land in question, including tax map block and lot numbers.
The purpose or reason for placement of soil.
The nature and quantity, in cubic yards, of soil to be filled.
Proof that the soil fill materials to be used have been tested and found to be in conformance with the soil ranking criteria found in N.J.A.C. 7:26D, Appendix 1, Table 1A.
Proof under this section shall be a letter from a laboratory certified by the state to perform soil analysis, stating that results meet or exceed the standards set forth in N.J.A.C. 7:26D, Appendix 1, Table 1A, and such other state, county, or municipal standards in effect at the time of testing, along with the actual test results.
A minimum of two samples are to be extracted from the source for laboratory analysis for each 1,000-cubic-yard lot, or fraction thereof. Samples are to be extracted, tested, and evaluated by a state-certified laboratory. Samples must be based to the location of the highest suspected contaminated concentrations, as determined by the laboratory professional or his duly assigned representative.
Natural material obtained from a quarry shall be exempt from the testing criteria; however, a receipt from the quarry with the material amount is required.
The source from where the soil is coming from shall be shown on the plans, including tax lot and block, owner's name and municipality.
The location to which the soil is to be placed.
The proposed date of completion of the soil fill.
Supporting documentation as required to adequately address and comply with the purpose and provisions of this chapter.
An approved soil erosion and sediment control permit (if applicable).
The application for a major soil fill permit shall be accompanied by a topographic map or maps prepared and certified by a professional engineer or land surveyor. The scale of said map shall not be more than 100 feet to the inch and shall include the following:
Existing contour lines at five-foot intervals.
Proposed contour lines at five-foot intervals after fill of the soil.
All existing structures and all existing roads and drainage within 200 feet of the property.
Location of all property lines.
Location of any wetlands, streams, or other environmentally sensitive areas on the property.
Location of any topsoil storage areas.
Upon receipt of an application for a major soil fill permit, the Land Use Board Secretary shall forthwith send a copy of same to the Zoning Officer, Construction Official, Township Engineer, and the Environmental Commission, who shall review the application, and they shall make best efforts to submit their reports and recommendations, and their reasons, to the Township Land Use Board within 30 days of receipt of the application. Failure to file such a report within the required time period may be deemed an approval of the application by such department, officials and commissions.
The Township Land Use Board shall grant or deny the application within 45 days after receipt of the reports and recommendations of the Zoning Officer, Construction Official, Township Engineer and Environmental Commission. On an application for a major soil fill permit, the Land Use Board shall schedule a public hearing and shall notify the applicant of the date of such hearing. The applicant shall notify, in writing, all property owners within 200 feet of the extreme limits of the property, as their names appear on the Township tax records, at least 10 days prior to the date of the hearing on the application. The notice shall be given in person or by registered mail and shall state the reason for the hearing; the time and place of the hearing as fixed by the Township Land Use Board; a brief description of the property; and that a copy of the application and map has been filed with the Township Clerk for public inspection. The applicant shall also cause notice of the hearing to be published in the official newspaper of the Township at least 10 days prior to the date of the hearing.
Five days prior to the hearing, the applicant shall present to the Township Land Use Board Secretary the following:
In considering and reviewing the application and arriving at a decision, the Zoning Officer and/or Township Engineer (minor permit) and the Township Land Use Board (major permit) shall be guided by and take into consideration the public health, safety and general welfare and the general purposes of municipal planning, and particular consideration shall be given to the following factors:
Soil erosion by water and sand.
Surface water drainage.
Lateral support of abutting streets and lands.
Public health and safety.
Land values and uses.
Contours, both existing and proposed.
Existing contours and topographic character of the land prior to the placement of any soil and proposed contours which will result subsequent to the placement of soil in accordance with the soil fill application.
Whether the proposed placement of soil is necessary and incidental to the development of the property for its intended use or whether the proposed placement of fill constitutes primarily a commercial activity.
A permit shall be issued after the approval of the application by the Zoning Officer and/or the Township Engineer (minor permit) or by the Land Use Board (major permit). The approval shall specifically list the total number of cubic yards of soil authorized to be filled as calculated by the Township Engineer based upon the contour maps submitted and approved.
The Township Zoning Officer, the Township Police, or other official designated by the Township Committee shall have the authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter and to issue summonses to any person importing soil without a permit.
The Township Engineer, or other official designated by the Township Committee, shall have the authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter with respect to persons importing soil with a permit. The Township Engineer, or other designated official, shall, from time to time, upon their own initiative, and whenever directed by the Township, inspect the premises for which permits have been granted to ensure compliance with the terms of the permit and this chapter. The Township Engineer, or other designated official, shall have the right to enter upon any lands for the purpose of examination and inspection of the operation without advance notice.
After notice and an opportunity to be heard before the Zoning Officer, Township Engineer, or other designated official, the permit of any person may be revoked or suspended for such period as may be determined for any violation of the terms hereof or the terms and conditions of any permit granted hereunder. In addition to the revocation provided for herein, any person who violates this chapter or any director or officer of a corporation who participates in a violation of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a minimum fine of $2,000, or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 90 days, or both. Each and every day that such violation continues or exists shall be considered a separate and specific violation of these provisions and not as a continuing offense.
In addition to the penalties set forth above, the Township shall have the right, but not the obligation, to pursue injunctive relief in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Sussex County, including but not limited to requiring the removal of any soil imported without a permit, testing to ensure no presence of contaminated soil, and site restoration.