[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Oxford 9-19-1996 by Ord. No. 96-7 (Ch. 81 of the 1974 Township Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Land use procedures – See Ch. 51.
Driveways – See Ch. 164.
Off-tract improvements – See Ch. 226.
Sewers – See Ch. 260.
Site plan review – See Ch. 265.
Soil removal – See Ch. 275.
Stormwater management – See Ch. 285.
Streets and sidewalks – See Ch. 294.
Subdivision of land – See Ch. 298.
Tree removal – See Ch. 313.
The purpose of this chapter is to control soil erosion and the resulting sedimentation which would otherwise occur on areas within the Township by requiring proper provision for water disposal and the protection of soil surfaces during and after construction, which protection is deemed necessary and proper for the good government, order, protection, public health, convenience, safety and welfare of the Township and its inhabitants by the accomplishment of the following purposes:
Maintain the useful life of bodies of water and watercourses by preventing sedimentation;
Prevent dangers to life and property from flooding drainage structures;
Preserve the recreational use of water bodies for swimming and fishing by preventing stagnation;
Enhance the recycling of wastewater by maintaining sufficient flows in streams and rivers to maintain oxygen levels;
Prevent toxic materials, nitrates and pesticides from entering public water supplies and surface water of the Township;
Reduce public expenditures for repair of public facilities resulting from soil erosion and sedimentation; and
Conserve the taxable value of property by enhancing the environmental charactership of the Township.
It is recognized that there is a strong relationship between the integrity of the Township and the region's water resources and the development on steep slopes, tree removal, soil disturbance, stormwater management and the general use of land resources. Therefore, the appropriate management of these resources is an important health, safety and general welfare concern.
The intent of this chapter is to control soil erosion and sedimentation in areas undergoing housing and other construction and development which cause water runoff, soil disturbances, and destruction or removal of ground cover or plant life, all resulting in off-site damage. The statement of specified areas of control expressed herein shall not be construed as a limitation upon the effect of this chapter.
The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter, unless otherwise specifically stated:
- A person, partnership, corporation, public agency or other legal entities requesting permission to engage in land disturbance activity.
- APPLICATION FOR DEVELOPMENT
- A proposed subdivision of land, site plan, special exception, zoning variance, planned unit development or building permit.
- The Land Use Board.
- A written endorsement of a plan for soil erosion and sediment control which indicates that the plan meets the standards promulgated by this chapter or that the time allotted in this chapter has expired without action by the Township.
- CRITICAL AREA
- A sediment-producing highly erodible or severely eroded area.
- Any activity involving the clearing, excavating, storing, grading, filling or transporting of soil or any other activity which causes soil to be exposed to the danger of erosion.
- The detachment and movement of soil or rock fragments by water, wind, ice and gravity.
- EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL PLAN
- A plan which fully indicates necessary land treatment measures, including a schedule of the timing for their installation, which will effectively minimize soil erosion and sedimentation. Such measures shall be equivalent to or exceed the standards.
- EXCAVATION or CUT
- Any act by which soil or rock is cut into, dug, quarried, uncovered, removed, displaced or relocated.
- FARM CONSERVATION PLAN
- A plan which provides for use of land within its capabilities and treatment, within practical limits, according to chosen use to prevent further deterioration of soil and water resources.
- Any ground, soil or earth, including marshes, swamps, drainageways and areas not permanently covered by water within the Municipality.
- The application of plant residue or other suitable materials to the land surface to conserve moisture, hold soil in place and aid in establishing plant cover.
- A certificate issued to perform work under this chapter.
- The disturbance of more than 5,000 square feet of the surface area of land for the accommodation of construction for which the Uniform Construction Code of the State of New Jersey would require a building permit, except that the construction of a single-family dwelling unit shall not be deemed a project under this chapter unless such unit is part of a proposed subdivision, site plan, special exception, zoning variance, planned unit development or building permit application involving two or more such single-family dwelling units.
- Solid material, mineral or organic, that is in suspension, is being transported or has been moved from its site of origin by air, water or gravity as a product of erosion.
- SEDIMENT BASIN
- A barrier or dam built at suitable locations to retain rock, sand, gravel, silt or other material.
- Any plot, parcel or parcels of land.
- All unconsolidated mineral and organic material of any origin.
- The Standards for Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control in New Jersey as promulgated by the State Soil Conservation Committee pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:24-39 et seq.
- Any activity which significantly disturbs vegetated or otherwise stabilized soil surface, including clearing and grubbing operations.
Editor's Note: N.J.S.A. 4:24-7 to 4:24-12 were repealed by the Laws of 1977, c. 264, § 4, effective 10-18-1977.
No application for a subdivision, site plan, planned development, conditional use, issuance of a variance or issuance of a construction permit, except as specifically exempted by Subsection D below, shall be approved unless it includes an approved soil erosion and sediment control plan and a grading permit has been issued by the Township Engineer. When an approved plan is required, no construction permit or certificate of occupancy shall be issued unless the terms and conditions of the approved plan are being complied with at the time of issuance of any such permit or certificate. A formal report of compliance with the provisions of a certified plan or permanent measures to control soil erosion and sedimentation must be filed with the municipal agent authorized to issue certificates of occupancy.
A separate soil erosion and sediment control plan shall be submitted for each subdivision, site plan, planned development, conditional use, issue of a variance or construction permit.
All erosion and sediment control plans shall be reviewed by the Board and approved when certified by the Township Engineer to be in conformance with the Standards for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control in New Jersey, as promulgated by the State Soil Conservation Committee, New Jersey Department of Agriculture.
The following activities are specifically exempt from this chapter:
Land disturbance associated with existing single-family homes, including gardening for home consumption.
Agricultural use of lands.
Minor subdivisions where the total disturbance will not exceed 5,000 square feet, but only in those cases where the Township Engineer certifies such exemption to the applicant, in writing, based on his finding that the particular application will not violate the standards and purposes of this chapter.
Land disturbances, excavations or cuts made by the Township, the County of Warren or the State of New Jersey for public improvements which do not exceed 5,000 square feet. Disturbances of this class greater than 5,000 square feet are subject to the requirements of the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act.
Excavation and grading for yards, sidewalks, drainage ditches, sewerage disposal systems or other minor improvements associated with existing residential dwellings, but only in those cases where the Township Engineer certifies such exemption to the applicant, in writing, based upon his findings that the particular application will not violate the standards and purposes of this chapter.
Disturbances of less than 5,000 square feet.
General standards. In the preparation of a soil erosion and sediment control plan, the general principles of design hereinafter set forth shall be adhered to. All control measures shall apply to all aspects of the proposed site development involving land disturbance and shall be in operation during all stages of the disturbance activity from the inception of such activity.
The smallest practical area of land shall be exposed at any one time during development, and, to the extent feasible, natural vegetation shall be retained and protected.
Stripping of vegetation, grading or other soil disturbance shall be done in a manner which will minimize soil erosion.
Temporary plant cover or mulching, or both, or such other measure as deemed necessary, shall be used to protect critical erosion areas, including stockpile areas, during development.
The extent of disturbed areas and the duration of its exposure shall be kept within practical limits.
Temporary diversions and outlets shall be constructed or installed to accommodate the increased runoff caused by the changed soil and surface conditions during development.
Temporary diversions and outlets and similar required structures shall be installed prior to any on-site grading or disturbance.
Sediment basins, debris basins, desilting or silt traps shall be installed to remove sediment from runoff waters.
Water runoff shall be minimized and retained on-site wherever possible to facilitate groundwater recharge.
Permanent final plant cover, lawn or ground cover shall be installed on any site prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy. In the event that such permanent final plant cover cannot be installed because of conditions of weather, the installation thereof shall be enforced by appropriate provisions in the bond or other security and improvement agreements and shall be installed within such time limits as may be reasonable upon direction of the Township Engineer as soon as such weather conditions shall permit the installation thereof.
Permanent improvements, such as roads, catch basins, curbs and drains, shall be installed or constructed and completed as soon as possible.
Soil erosion control.
All cut or fill slopes shall conform to a slope of two feet horizontal to one foot vertical or less, unless otherwise approved by the Township Engineer. Cut slopes shall be treated with four inches of topsoil followed by immediate seeding, fertilizing and/or planting.
Detailed standards. The detailed plans, specifications and standards in any soil erosion and sedimentation control plan shall be dictated by the characteristics of the site to be developed in the nature of the development. All such plans shall comply with the standards specified herein. Soil erosion and sediment control measures shall apply to all features of the construction of the site, including street and utility installations, as well as to the protection of individual lots. Measures shall also be instituted to prevent or control soil erosion and sedimentation during the various stages of development.
Timing. The Township Engineer shall require the construction or installation of improvements or such measures necessary to prevent soil erosion and sedimentation prior to any site development work or the start of construction. He may, however, defer the construction or installation of such improvements or measures on an approved soil erosion and sediment control plan until a time or times subsequent to the start of construction or site development work whenever he deems such requirements appropriate under the particular circumstances, provided that such a delay shall not result in soil erosion or stormwater problems.
Implementation of soil erosion and sediment control measures. All measures required by an approved plan shall be incorporated into the preliminary and final plats and any final construction drawings. A permittee shall bear the final responsibility for the installation, construction and maintenance of all required soil erosion and sediment control measures.
Data required. The applicant must submit a soil erosion sediment control plan for the entire tract of land. All plans shall be prepared and duly signed and sealed by a professional engineer or architect licensed in the state of New Jersey. The soil erosion and sediment control plan shall contain:
Plans and specifications of soil erosion and sediment control measures in accordance with the standards and specifications for soil erosion and sediment control of the Warren County Soil Conservation District and Township of Oxford.
The location and description of proposed changes to the site.
A timing schedule indicating the anticipated starting and completion dates of the development sequence and the time of exposure of each area prior to the completion of effective erosion and sediment control measures.
The location and description of existing natural and man-made features on and surrounding the site, including general topography and soil characteristics, and a copy of the Soil Conservation District soil survey where available.
A schedule of the sequence of installation of planned erosion and sediment control measures as related to the progress of the project, including starting and completion dates.
The location of the exact limits of site disturbance and area of temporary placement of soil excavated on-site to be reused during final grading of the site.
The Township Engineer may refer soil erosion and sediment control plans to the Warren County Soil Conservation District, in which case no approval shall be given until after the receipt of recommendations from said District.
Such review and approval shall be made within a period of 30 days of submission of a complete application unless, by mutual agreement, in writing, between the Township and the applicant, this period is extended for an additional 30 days. Failure of the Township to make a decision within such period or such extension thereof shall constitute certification.
The applicant shall be provided with written notice of such decision by the Township Engineer. A copy of such decision, including the name of the applicant, the site location by street address and block and lot number, and the proposed land use, shall be sent to the Warren County Soil Conservation District. The Township shall also make available such other information as may be required by the District.
Any amendment or change in an approved soil erosion and sediment control plan must be approved by the Township Engineer. NOTE: Permits for excavation on either public or private property shall not be issued unless the applicant presents a written statement of compliance with N.J.S.A. 48:2-73 et seq., concerning underground pipes.
Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter or any standard promulgated pursuant to this chapter or fails to comply with the provisions of a certified plan shall be liable to a penalty of not less than $25 nor more than $3,000, to be collected in a summary proceeding pursuant to the Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999 (N.J.S.A. 2A:58-10 et seq.). The Superior Court, County Court, County District Court and Municipal Court shall have jurisdiction to enforce said Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999. If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it continues shall constitute an additional separate and distinct offense.
If any person violates any of the provisions of this chapter or any standard promulgated pursuant to the provisions of this chapter or fails to comply with the provisions of a certified plan, the Municipality may institute a civil action in the Superior Court for injunctive relief to prohibit and prevent such violation or violations, and said Court may proceed in a summary manner.
Certification. No work, as defined in this chapter, is to be initiated until a written certification as to the acceptability and appropriateness of the soil erosion and sediment control plan is received from the Township Engineer.
Certificate of occupancy. No certificate of occupancy shall be issued for any dwelling, either residential, multifamily or commercial, until all aspects of the certified soil erosion and sediment control plan are in place. In those instances where complete stabilization of the area is not practical due to the weather or other conditions, the applicant may be granted a certificate of occupancy, provided that a cash bond is posted with the Municipality in an amount specified by the Township Engineer.
Stop-construction order. The Township Engineer may issue a stop-construction order if a project is not being executed in accordance with a certified plan.
Inspection and enforcement. The requirements of this chapter shall be enforced by the Township Engineer, who shall also inspect or require adequate inspection of the work pursuant to site plan approval. The applicant shall be required to have the certified plan on site during construction. If the Township Engineer finds existing conditions not as stated in the applicant's erosion and sediment control plan, he may refuse to approve further work and may require necessary erosion and sediment control measures to be promptly installed and may seek other penalties as provided in § 271-9, Violations and penalties, and § 271-10C, Stop-construction order.
Revisions. All subsequent changes to this chapter must be approved by the State Soil Conservation Committee prior to enactment.
Fees shall be as follows:
Detached single-family subdivision (or duplex on a single lot):
Multifamily residential (townhouses, etc., excluding duplex):
Commercial and industrial, also parking lots, public construction, general land-disturbing activities (i.e., stockpiling, grading, dredging, stream improvements and demolition). Fee based upon surface area of land disturbed: