Town of Boonton, NJ
Morris County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Permit; exceptions. A permit shall be obtained from the Town Engineer prior to any grading or use of fill except as follows:
(1) 
Activities pursuant to the construction or alteration of a building on such premises, for which a valid construction permit has been issued, and excavation or grading, incidental thereto, or those activities subject to Article 47, known as the Zoning and Land Use Ordinance[1] of the Town of Boonton; or
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 300, Zoning and Land Use.
(2) 
The following activities shall not require a permit provided clean, odor free, nonputrescible inorganic waste material, stones or gravel is used:
(a) 
The spreading of topsoil for a lawn, provided that there is not a buildup of more than two inches and the areas filled are well within the property lines.
(b) 
The filling of holes left by rock or tree stump removal.
(c) 
The filling of sunken backfill areas, provided that such filling does not take place more than two years after the completion of the original backfill.
(d) 
Incidental grading and filling activities which do not cause substantial amounts of standing water or result in substantial runoff onto adjoining properties as determined by the Town Engineer.
B. 
Applications for grading permits; plan submission. Applications for a grading permit shall be filed by the owner of the premises with the Town Engineer and shall be made, in triplicate, on forms prescribed by the town and supplied by the Town Clerk/Administrator. Each application shall be accompanied by a fee in the sum of $10. The application shall set forth the following:
(1) 
Name and address of the owner of the lands.
(2) 
Description and location of the lands in question, including metes and bounds.
(3) 
Identity of person in charge of grading.
(4) 
Purpose or reason for grading the soil.
(5) 
Proposed dates for the commencement and completion of the work.
(6) 
A survey of the premises, prepared by a professional engineer licensed to practice in the State of New Jersey, showing the location and description of all existing natural and man-made features on the site, including general topography, existing drainage and water flow, proposed drainage and water flow, soil characteristics, the location of sewer lines, water lines, wells, septic tanks, septic fields, structures and improvements, proposed elevations, the existing contour lines and grades and the proposed contour lines and grades resulting from the intended operation in relation to the topography of the premises, and shall also include the method and location of soil stabilization which is proposed to be used at the site.
(7) 
Such other pertinent data as the town may require.
C. 
Applications for fill permits; testing requirements. Applications for a fill permit shall be filed by the owner of the premises with the Town Engineer and shall be made, in triplicate, on forms prescribed by the town and supplied by the Town Clerk/Administrator. Each application shall be accompanied by a fee in the sum of $10. The application shall set forth the following:
(1) 
Name and address of the owner of the lands.
(2) 
Description and location of the lands in question, including metes and bounds.
(3) 
Proposed dates for the commencement and completion of the work.
(4) 
Address from which soil is obtained.
(5) 
Owner or representative of the owner from which soil is obtained.
(6) 
Kind and quantity of soil to be imported.
(7) 
Testing may be required sufficient to detect the presence of material which is harmful, dangerous, toxic or hazardous to the public.
(8) 
A survey of the premises prepared by a professional engineer licensed to practice in the State of New Jersey, showing the location and description of all existing natural and man-made features on the site, including general topography, existing drainage and water flow, proposed drainage and water flow, soil characteristics, the location of sewer lines, water lines, wells, septic tanks, septic fields, structures and improvements, proposed elevations, the existing contour lines and grades and the proposed contour lines and grades resulting from the intended operation in relation to the topography of the premises, and shall also include the method and location of soil stabilization which is proposed to be used at the site.
(9) 
Such other pertinent data as the town may require.
D. 
Standards for issuance of grading permit.
(1) 
Prior to the issuance of a grading permit, the Construction Code Official or other person designated by the Town Clerk/Administrator shall be satisfied that:
(a) 
The grading plan, when implemented, shall result in positive drainage of the site.
(b) 
The grading plan, when implemented, shall not result in drainage patterns adversely affecting adjoining properties.
(c) 
The grading plan, when implemented, shall not cause the accumulation of standing water.
(d) 
No condition affecting the health, safety or welfare of the community will result from implementation of the proposed grading plan.
(2) 
If the application is not approved, the Construction Code Official or other person appointed by the Town Clerk/Administrator shall recommend a method of curing the defects therein.
A. 
No fill shall be placed which creates any exposed surface steeper in slope than three horizontal to one vertical 33% except as approved by the engineer when handled under special conditions.
B. 
Adequate provisions shall be made to prevent surface water from damaging the cut face of excavations or the sloping surfaces of fills.
C. 
Retaining walls or cribbing shall be required where needed to prevent the surface of fills from exceeding at any point the maximum allowable slope.
D. 
No fill shall be made so as to cause settlement, sliding or erosion of the soil.
E. 
No fill shall be made or placed adjacent to the bank of a channel so as to create bank failure or sliding.
A. 
General standards. In order to provide more suitable sites for buildings and other physical features, improve surface drainage and control erosion, the following general requirement shall be followed during the grading of any site.
(1) 
The yards of every structure shall be graded to secure proper drainage away from buildings and dispose of it without ponding, and all land within a development shall be graded to drain and dispose of surface water without ponding, except where approved by the Town Planning Board, during a developmental application process.
(2) 
All drainage provisions shall be of such design as to collect on-site runoff and carry surface waters to the nearest practical street, storm drain or natural watercourse. Where drainage swales are used to deliver surface waters away from buildings, the swales shall be sodded and shall be of such slope, shape and size as to conform with specifications of the town.
(3) 
Concentration of diffused natural water flow shall only be permitted in swales or watercourses.
B. 
Standards for large grading projects. The following standards and guidelines apply to any disturbance of surface soil which exceeds 5,000 square feet and shall be followed during the grading of such sites:
(1) 
Site grading shall be designed to establish building floor elevations and ground surface grades which:
(a) 
Allow drainage of surface water away from buildings and off-site.
(b) 
Minimize earth settlement problems.
(c) 
Avoid concentrating runoff onto neighboring properties where erosion or other damages will be caused.
(d) 
Keep earthwork and footings to a practical minimum, based on sound foundation design requirements.
(e) 
Provide usable outdoor space.
(f) 
Minimize erosion.
(g) 
Dispose of surface water by infiltration into the ground, only where year-round feasibility of this method has been proven for the site.
(2) 
Grading design shall use natural drainage ways for drainage where possible and shall not cause or increase erosion conditions within or adjoining the site. Grades shall be designed to retain original ground surface levels to the limits of the branch spread of trees and around other natural vegetation to be preserved in place.
(3) 
First floor grades shall be established which will:
(a) 
Avoid deep cuts and fills.
(b) 
Allow gravity sanitary sewer service.
(c) 
Avoid the need for long or repeated flights of steps.
(d) 
Minimize the need for banks, retaining walls or terracing.
(4) 
Grades shall not be designed which direct a concentrated flow of surface drainage over existing or proposed slopes.
(a) 
All earth slopes whose grades of five on one or steeper shall be planted with appropriate vegetative cover to minimize erosion.
(b) 
Existing slopes whose continuing stability is anticipated and which are covered by vegetation or supported by solid rock outcropping are acceptable.
(c) 
Occupant and visitor exposure to potential hazards such as rock slides or steep cliffs, created by existing slopes, shall be minimized by the installation of fences, walls or planting, as appropriate.
(5) 
Lawn preparation shall include a surface layer having a minimum depth of four inches comprised of surface soil with a known local capability of satisfactorily supporting lawn growth.
(a) 
Sodded areas shall have a minimum finished depth of four inches of sod and surface soil with a known local capability of satisfactorily supporting lawn growth.
C. 
Procedures for large grading projects. The following procedures apply to any disturbance of surface soil which exceeds 5,000 square feet.
(1) 
Grading which encompasses the movement of significantly large quantities of earth to alter the fundamental contours of the site shall be accomplished with due regard to the effective disposition of storm drainage and prevention of ponding or excessive soil saturation and erosion. Safe grades for access to the site shall be provided.
(2) 
The subgrade shall be established to the limiting dimensions, elevations and contours required by the grading plans and specifications.
(a) 
Remove all debris and objectionable material which may interfere with developing adequate subgrade support strength. Scarify and/or bench the original ground on sloping sites to prevent slippage of fill.
(b) 
Maintain all bench marks, monuments and other reference points.
(c) 
Protect areas under trees to remain and other areas not to be disturbed.
(3) 
The finished grade shall be smoothed to the surface of the required finish gradients and elevations.
(4) 
The minimum acceptable factor of safety with respect to sliding shall be 1.5 based on generally accepted methods of analysis. A stability factor greater than 1.5 may be necessary when the potential for catastrophic loss is present. The most adverse conditions concerning weight and strength of soil, unbalanced water pressure, percolating water, weight of equipment, structures or materials and other significant factors, such as the effects on soil strength and other soil properties and changes caused by dynamic loading from earthquakes, shall be reflected in the analysis.
(5) 
Wood and other vulnerable materials shall be protected from termites in those areas where damage has been experienced or may reasonably be anticipated. Soil poisoning is one of the methods for achieving the required protection. When soil poisoning is used, the rate of application of the approved chemicals should not be less than that recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture publication, entitled "Subterranean Termites, Home and Garden Bulletin No. 64." Soil shall not be treated when excessively wet or immediately after heavy rains in order to avoid movement of the toxicant from the site. Unless the treated areas are to be immediately covered, precautions shall be taken to prevent disturbance of the treatment. Chemical soil treatment shall not be used where there is a possibility of contamination of a water source or supply.
(6) 
Land development or site improvement where the reforming of the topography by fill is so extensive that building foundations are supported by fill shall be controlled fill and designed, compacted and tested in accordance with generally accepted good practice and placed under the supervision of a qualified soils engineer.
In considering and reviewing the application and in arriving at a decision, the Town Engineer shall be guided by and take into consideration the public health, safety and general welfare. Particular consideration shall be given to the following factors:
A. 
Soil erosion by water and wind.
B. 
Drainage.
C. 
Soil fertility.
D. 
Lateral support slope and grades of abutting streets and lands.
E. 
Land values and uses.
F. 
Such other factors as may bear upon or relate to the coordinated, adjusted and harmonious physical development of the Town of Boonton.
Prior to the review of any application for a permit or within 30 days of the denial of a permit, upon written request for a hearing made by the applicant to the Governing Body, an opportunity to be heard shall be granted within 30 days thereafter.
The following principles shall apply to the plan:
A. 
The stripping of vegetation, grading or other soil disturbance shall be done in a manner which will minimize soil erosion.
B. 
Whenever feasible, natural vegetation shall be retained and protected.
C. 
Drainage provisions shall accommodate increased runoff, resulting from modified soil and surface conditions, during and after development or disturbance.
D. 
Water runoff shall be minimized and retained on site wherever possible to facilitate groundwater recharge.
E. 
Land disturbance shall be done in a manner that shall not cause a change in slope which would result in said slope exceeding 10%.
If a permit is issued, the permittee shall conduct the soil filling or grading subject to the following terms and conditions:
A. 
The area shall be properly leveled off.
B. 
Only clean fill may be used. The fill shall not contain any materials which are considered to be toxic, harmful, dangerous or hazardous.
C. 
Grading shall conform to the contour lines and grades as approved by the Town Engineer.
D. 
Streets used shall be kept free from dirt resulting from such work.
E. 
All of the work described in this chapter shall be performed between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on any working day.
F. 
Adequate measures shall be taken to prevent erosion or the depositing of soil or surface runoff upon surrounding lands.
G. 
Burying of boulders shall be permitted only with the prior written consent of the Town Engineer and under the direction of the Town Engineer.
H. 
Any other expressed conditions or terms deemed necessary by the Town Engineer to achieve the purpose and objectives of this chapter.
A. 
No grading or filling permit shall be issued unless and until the applicant therefor shall have posted with the Town of Boonton a performance bond, in a form and with surety acceptable to the Governing Body, in such amount as the Governing Body shall determine, conditioned upon full and faithful performance by the principal, within the time specified in the application, of all of the work in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and of the permit issued pursuant hereto.
B. 
In ascertaining the rate upon which to compute the amount of the bond, the Governing Body shall take into consideration such risks and liabilities as may bear upon the proposed work to be performed, including but not limited to, the type and character of the soil; the extent of the area over which the soil moving operations are to be conducted; the extent and depth of the various cuts and fills, the extent to which the area of operations is wooded, the proximity of the proposed operations to streets, buildings, structures, natural or artificial streams or watercourses and general drainage conditions.
C. 
Before the holder of any permit shall proceed before the Governing Body with any application for any amendment or alteration of terms and conditions of any outstanding grading or fill permit, there shall be submitted to the Governing Body the written consent of the surety on said bond, approving said application for amendment or alteration and consenting to extension of the bond coverage thereto.
A. 
In addition to the filling fees required by this chapter, all applications submitted to the Town Engineer shall be accompanied by a deposit of not less than $200 or such other sum adequate to cover the cost of professional services in connection with the review of said application, including but not limited to, shorthand reporting and transcripts, review, inspection and reports of the Town Engineer, Town Planner, Town Attorney, Board Attorney and any other professionals whose services are deemed necessary with respect to processing the application by the approving attorney in order to assure compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
The township may draw against such funds to pay engineering fees as they become due and payable. The Town Clerk/Administrator shall keep a record of each engineering fee account, and any unexpended portion thereof shall be returned to the applicant without interest. If there are engineering expenses in excess of moneys deposited, the applicant shall, upon request, post additional funds to cover the engineering costs involved in the completion of the project.
A. 
Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter or fails to comply or adhere to the permit granted hereunder shall be subject to an action filed in the Superior Court for injunctive relief and/or damages for the restoration or correction of said violation or violations.
B. 
In addition, any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter or fails to comply or adhere to the permit granted hereunder shall be subject, upon conviction of such punishable offense, to be fined not exceeding $500 or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 30 days, or both said fine and imprisonment. Each and every day said violation continues shall be considered a separate offense.
A. 
The requirements of this chapter shall be enforced by the Construction Official who shall also inspect or require adequate inspection of the work. If the Construction Official finds existing conditions not as stated in applicant's plan, he may refuse to approve further work and may seek other penalties.
B. 
Nothing in this article shall be construed to prevent the town from instituting injunctive proceedings to restrain grading or filling.