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Town of Smithfield, RI
Providence County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Smithfield 9-22-1970; amended 10-10-1979; 3-28-1989 (Ch. 16, Art. III, of the 1985 Code of Ordinances). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Soil erosion and sediment control — See Ch. 299.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 316.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
EARTH REMOVAL
The extraction or removal of any sand, gravel, loam, topsoil, stone, clay or shale, from deposits on any tract of land excluding, however, extracting, removing, digging, mining or quarrying limestone, limerock or granite and excluding operations of a sand and gravel plant in operation upon passage of this act and the immediately surrounding 20 acres of industrial zoned land upon which said sand and gravel plant is located and excluding also earth removal involved in the process of grading land:
A. 
For the construction of a building for which a building permit has been issued;
B. 
For the construction of a roadway; or
C. 
For a subdivision in accordance with a plat or plans approved by or in accord with an ordinance of the Town or any duly authorized board or authority thereof.
ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS OFFICER
That person appointed by the Smithfield Town Council to serve as the Environmental Affairs Officer or such other person designated by the Smithfield Town Council to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
RESIDENTIAL USE
Any zoning district in which a single-family dwelling is an unconditionally permitted use.
TOWN
The Town of Smithfield, Rhode Island.
ZONING BOARD OF REVIEW
The Zoning Board of Review established by the Town of Smithfield.
Any person or entity violating any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of $100 for each offense, such fine to inure to the Town.
This chapter shall not be deemed to limit by implication or otherwise any ordinance enacted pursuant to the authority of G.L. 1956, Title 45, Chapter 24.
The Environmental Affairs Officer may bring an action in the name of the Town in Providence County Superior Court to restrain any violation of or to compel compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
This chapter is adopted pursuant to the authority granted by Chapter 19 of the Public Laws of Rhode Island 1970, as amended by Chapter 493 of the Public Laws of Rhode Island 1988, and any other enabling authority. The purpose of this chapter is the promotion and preservation of the public health, safety and general welfare and in order to effect uniform regulation within the Town for earth removal as herein defined.
[Amended 2-1-2000]
With respect to earth removal operations on any tract of land, such tract now or hereafter being in a residential use area as herein defined, or within 50 feet of such district, the following regulations shall apply:
A. 
The hours of earth removal operations shall be restricted to the period between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on any Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday, except if a legal holiday.
B. 
Earth removal operations may not be conducted on Sundays or on any legal holiday or for hours prior to 7:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m., except by special exception issued by the Environmental Affairs Officer.
C. 
No initiation or lateral expansion of earth removal shall be made within a distance of the greater of 25 feet of the boundary of the tract of land upon which earth removal is to be carried on adjacent to residential use property or within 50 feet of any dwelling.
D. 
The boundary of any tract of land upon which earth removal is being conducted adjacent to developed residential property shall be fenced; such fencing shall be five feet in height and of such construction as to effectively control access to the area in which such earth removal is being conducted.
E. 
Calcium chloride and/or water shall be applied to all non-hard-surfaced roads to be used for vehicular ingress or egress to the tract of land upon which earth removal is conducted, and to the regularly traveled roads within any such tract of land. Such applications shall be made at intervals and in amounts sufficient to prevent observable dust from rising from the road surface.
F. 
Adequate drainage shall be provided to prevent the permanent collection and stagnation of surface or underground waters and the flooding or erosion of surrounding property.
Upon any land now or hereafter located within any use area other than residential, the following regulations shall apply:
A. 
Calcium chloride or oil shall be applied to all non-hard-surfaced roads to be used for vehicular ingress or egress to the tract of land upon which earth removal is conducted, and to the regularly traveled roads within any such tract of land. Such applications shall be made at intervals and in amounts sufficient to prevent observable dust from rising from the road surface.
B. 
Adequate drainage shall be provided to prevent the permanent collection and stagnation of surface or underground waters and the flooding or erosion of surrounding property.
C. 
When earth removal operations cease, all slopes on any tract of land upon which earth removal has been conducted shall remain at the natural angle of repose, and said tract will not be subject to erosion by wind or water.
Upon special application containing a statement indicating the applicant's reason for seeking a revision and after a showing that the literal enforcement of this chapter will work a hardship, the Zoning Board of Review may grant an exception to any terms or requirements of this chapter upon a finding that such exception will not result in a substantial depreciation of surrounding property.
A. 
Real property acquired or leased prior to July 1, 1970, for the purpose of earth removal and held for such purpose on the effective date of this chapter shall be considered in use for earth removal whether or not extraction has been actually commenced, and a license for earth removal on such property shall be issued pursuant to this chapter upon compliance with the requirements and prerequisites herein subject, however, to any ordinance enacted pursuant to the authority of G.L. 1956, Title 45, Chapter 24. To qualify under this subsection, the following conditions shall be considered as conclusive evidence that such real property was acquired or leased and held for the purpose of later mineral extraction:
(1) 
Such real property was acquired or leased prior to July 1, 1970; and
(2) 
Such real property was acquired or leased by an individual, corporate or otherwise, engaged at the time of acquisition in the business of mineral extraction; and
(3) 
Such real property, or the substantial portion of such property, has not been permanently developed for any residential, commercial (other than farm or agricultural) or industrial purpose; and
(4) 
Such real property contains mineral deposits of a demonstrable economic value; and
(5) 
On or before December 31, 1969, the owner or lessee of such tract of land shall have filed in the office of the Town Clerk a statement setting forth his intention to engage in earth removal on such tract of land and describing the same.
B. 
The provisions of this section shall not apply to any tract of land for which the statement of intention provided for in Subsection A(5) hereof is not filed as provided herein, and any such tract of land shall not be considered as acquired, leased or held for the purpose of earth removal.
Appeals from the decisions of the Environmental Affairs Officer to the Zoning Board of Review shall be taken in the same manner as other appeals to the zoning board and the procedure as to notice and hearings shall be the same insofar as the same are consistent with this chapter.
The Town shall substantially comply with the provisions of this chapter when engaging in earth removal for Town purposes.
Earth removal shall not be commenced or conducted without a license for the same having first been issued by the Environmental Affairs Officer.
Prior to the issuance of a license pursuant to § 182-12, application for the same shall be made to the Environmental Affairs Officer for his inspection and approval. Such application shall contain:
A. 
A plan prepared by a registered engineer setting forth the existing contours of the tract of land and, based upon classifications of preliminary samples of the material to be removed, the plan must also show:
(1) 
The final contours of the tract of land upon completion of earth removal operations; and
(2) 
The type of ground cover to be planted or applied upon completion of earth removal operations to effectively control wind and water erosion; provided, however, if suitable fertile ground cover existed at the beginning of earth removal, then the plan shall show that enough of said ground cover is to be held in reserve and reapplied for a minimum thickness of three inches;
B. 
The opinion of a registered engineer that, upon completion of earth removal operations, all slopes on such tract, as set forth in the plan referred to in Subsection A of this section shall remain at the natural angle of repose; and
C. 
A bond in the amount of $2,000 for each acre of such tract of land to insure compliance with the requirements of this chapter.
Upon the submission of a license application which meets the requirements of § 182-13, the Environmental Affairs Officer shall consider the same and, upon his approval thereof and the payment of a license fee of $25, shall issue a license for earth removal on that portion of the tract of land specified in such approved application. Such approval by the Environmental Affairs Officer shall be based upon his finding that the application as presented is in proper order and that adherence to the required plan contained therein will, upon completion of earth removal operations on such portion of the tract of land, provide that:
A. 
All slopes shall remain at the natural angle of repose;
B. 
Such portion of the tract will not permanently collect stagnant water; and
C. 
There shall be ground cover of a type and thickness sufficient to effectively control wind and water erosion.
If the licensee shall fail to complete the plan contained in the approved application within the time specified therein, then, in addition to action against the licensee's bond, the Town, after 30 days' written notice to the licensee, is authorized to undertake and complete the plan. In the event of such undertaking by the Town, the owner of the tract of land shall reimburse the Town for its necessary expenses in connection therewith and such expenses shall constitute a lien upon the entire tract of land of which any portion has been specified in an approved application.
Any license for earth removal issued pursuant to this chapter may be revoked by the Zoning Board of Review, after notice and hearing, for violation of any of the provisions of this chapter.
By written notice directed to, and served upon the violator, the Environmental Affairs Officer may order that any activity conducted in violation of this chapter be ceased immediately.