[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Schenectady 2-9-1970 by Ord. No. 15274. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 228.
Article I General Land Excavations
Article II Streets and Sidewalks
This article may be known and cited by the following short title: "An Ordinance Providing for Safeguarding of Land Excavations."
It is the purpose and intent of this article that it shall apply to excavations made where not covered by the Building Code or general ordinance relative to excavations on streets and public grounds, and it is further the intent of this article to supplement the provisions of said Building Code and the general ordinance relating to excavations on streets and public grounds.
Excavations regulated by this article shall not be commenced until a permit therefor has been obtained from the City Engineer. Applications for permits shall be in such form as may be prescribed by the City Engineer and shall be accompanied by a plot plan on which is indicated the location of the plot, the exact location of the proposed excavation and the area and depth of the excavation.
Any excavation made for the purpose of taking soil, earth, sand, gravel or other material shall be made in such a manner as will prevent injury to neighboring properties, to the street which adjoins the lot where such excavations are made and to the public health and comfort.
[Amended 8-16-1993 by Ord. No. 93-34]
It shall be unlawful for any excavation regulated by this article to exceed a depth greater than five feet below or be embanked by a height greater than 10 feet above the grade of the street or streets adjacent thereto, as may have been established by the Council of the City and shown upon the City Map, unless the side walls of such excavation are maintained at an incline of not less than 45º horizontal or the side walls are supported by piling or other retaining equipment equal to that specified for building excavations. Such excavation shall be properly drained as long as the excavation remains.
Regulations for contractors, plumbers, plumbing contractors or companies and work standards shall be promulgated by the Department of Engineering and Public Works and shall be given to all licensed plumbers, plumbing contractors or companies in the City of Schenectady, and said parties are said to be primarily responsible for general land, street and sidewalk excavation in the City of Schenectady. Failure to comply with these rules and regulations shall result in penalties as authorized by the Schenectady Code §§ 151-7A and 151-11 or other law. Said regulations to incorporate the fee mandate of § 151-9 and responsibilities and accident protection found in § 151-11 of the Code and insurance requirements found in § 151-10.
[Amended 8-16-1993 by Ord. No. 93-34]
Guards and fences shall be provided along the open sides of excavations, except that, in the discretion of the City Engineer, such guards or fences may be omitted from any side or sides other than such as are adjacent to streets or public passageways. Suitable means of exit from excavations shall be provided. This section shall be read and enforced with § 151-11, Responsibilities; public convenience; accident protection, of the Code, which shall apply to general land excavations.
[Amended 6-2-1986 by L.L. No. 3-1986; 8-16-1993 by Ord. No. 93-34; 12-27-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-20]
Any person, company or business entity found not in compliance with this chapter shall be subject to immediate revocation of permit privileges for the job being performed and suspension of all future work privileges until the job is brought into compliance, a stop-work order, recovery of cost of materials, labor and inspection fees at prevailing rates and forfeiture of any permit fee and/or deposit.
Failure to comply with the terms of this chapter shall be a violation as defined by the Penal Law of the State of New York and shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 15 days for each day of violation, or by both such fine and imprisonment, or by a penalty of not less than $350 nor more than $1,000 for each day of violation to be recovered by the City in a civil action.
A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which noncompliance with the terms of this chapter occurs or continues unabated after the time limit set for abatement of the violation.
Any person issued a notice of violation pursuant to any provision of this chapter shall be subject to an administrative fee of $50, and such administrative fee shall be charged against the land upon which the notice of violation was issued as a municipal lien or such administrative fee shall be added to the tax rolls as an assessment or levied as a special tax against said property or recovered in a civil suit against the person to which the notice of violation was issued.
It shall be unlawful for any person to dig up or into or tunnel under or undermine or cut or in any way destroy the pavement of any public street in the City without first having obtained a written permit from the City Engineer.
[Amended 6-22-1981 by Ord. No. 80-164; 8-16-1993 by Ord. No. 93-34]
At the same time a permit required by this article is obtained; the owner or contractor shall pay to the Director of Finance the sum of $250 for a permit fee to cover the cost of inspection. Said amount of money deposited with the Director of Finance as hereinbefore provided shall be added to the item of street repairs in the subdivision of the annual budget of the Department of Engineering and Public Works.
[Amended 1-13-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-1; 12-27-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-20]
At the time a licensed plumber, plumbing contractor or plumbing contracting company applies for a permit required by this article; if work is required within a City right-of-way, said party will be required to apply for the appropriate permit in the Department of Engineering, and said party may be required, at the discretion of the Department of Engineering, to post a performance bond or cash deposit equal to the estimated cost of restoration and/or repavement based on the following criteria:
[Amended 12-27-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-20]
If the applicant has had a permit revoked in the City of Schenectady or other adjoining municipality for a period of one year prior to the current request for permit.
Number of times required to reexcavate or repave prior jobs.
If the applicant has a voluntary or involuntary bankruptcy proceeding pending.
If the applicant has been convicted of a felony within the last five years.
Said deposit or bond shall be returned or released upon the satisfactory completion of the job.
In the event the work affecting any public facility and subject to a permit issued by the City Engineer is not completed prior to the expiration of the permit, the permit shall have to be resubmitted and all associated fees paid.
[Added 4-11-2005 by Ord. No 2005-4; amended 12-27-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-20]
For excavations conducted in any area of the City right-of-way, the excavator will be required to obtain a permit from the Department of Engineering.
[Added 12-27-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-20]
A street-cut permit shall be needed for excavation in the paved street area at a fee of $250.
An off-road permit shall be needed for the area outside of paved streets excluding sidewalks at a fee of $100.
A sidewalk permit shall be needed for the area within the sidewalk at a fee of $50.
Major excavation as determined by the City Engineer shall be subject to an additional charge of $4 per square foot of excavation plus the original application fee.
The major excavation permittee shall be required to meet with the City Engineer to discuss scope of work and necessary conditions prior to application.
[Amended 8-16-1993 by Ord. No. 93-34]
Each applicant hereunder, upon the receipt of a permit, shall provide the City with an acceptable certificate of insurance indicating that he is insured against claims for damages for personal injury as well as against claims for property damage which may arise from or out of the performance of the work, whether such performance is by himself, his subcontractor or anyone directly or indirectly employed by him. The permittee shall also provide coverage for the City in like manner. Such insurance shall cover collapse, explosive hazards and underground work by equipment on the street and shall include protection against liability arising from completed operations. The amount of the insurance shall be prescribed by the City Engineer in accordance with the nature of the risk involved; provided, however, that the liability insurance for bodily injury in effect shall not be in an amount less than $1,000,000 for each person and $2,000,000 for each accident and, for property damages, an amount not less than $250,000 with an aggregate of $500,000 for each injury. Public utilities and authorities may be relieved of the obligation of submitting such a certificate if they are insured in accordance with the requirements of this article.
[Amended 8-16-1993 by Ord. No. 93-34; 12-27-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-20; 5-9-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-10]
In the excavation, cut or opening of any street or public ground for any purpose, the owner, excavator, public utility or plumber, plumbing contractor or company will be held responsible for the trench they open, and public safety and convenience shall be duly regarded and conserved by the construction of such bridges across open trenches as may be required and, thereafter, placement of amber signal lights, signs and barricades in conspicuous places sufficient for public safety and all other such means of protection as may be necessary must be provided. Barricades shall include the excavator's name and emergency telephone number. Guidelines found in the New York State Department of Transportation Traffic and Safety Division Manual of Uniform Traffic Devices must be adhered to. Any person, company or business entity found not in compliance with this chapter shall be subject to immediate revocation of permit privileges for the job being performed and suspension of all future work privileges until the job is brought into compliance, a stop-work order, recovery of cost of materials, labor and inspection fees at prevailing rates, and forfeiture of any permit fee and/or deposit paid.
All permit holders making excavations in any street or public ground must permanently repair excavation sites to the standards and details of the Department of Engineering. All permit holders must guarantee their permanent restoration work for a period of five years from the City's date of acceptance of the permanent restoration. All permit holders are required to completely reexcavate, refill, and repave any permanent restoration work that sinks or buckles for a period of five years following the City's date of acceptance. Upon receiving notification of any permanent restoration work that sinks or buckles, the City Engineer, on five days' written notice, may require the permit holder to completely reexcavate, refill and repave the excavation site to the standards and details of the Department of Engineering. Where a permit holder fails or refuses to completely reexcavate, refill and repave the excavation site within five days after written notice is sent, the City Engineer may perform such restoration at the expense of the permit holder. In the event of an emergency where permanent restoration work sinks or buckles, the City Engineer may, without notice, effect such restoration at the expense of the permit holder. The Corporation Counsel may institute an appropriate action or proceeding at law against such person, corporation or other entity for recovery of the costs and administrative expenses of such restoration by the City Engineer, plus any penalties prescribed by this chapter and the costs of such action or proceeding.
Within 30 days from project completion, all excavations and areas of disturbance made within a City street or public ground must be repaired or restored to the standards and details of the Department of Engineering. In the event winter weather conditions prevent permanent repair or permanent restoration, all excavations and areas of disturbance must be restored to winter conditions. At the conclusion of winter conditions, permanent restoration must be performed in accordance with the standards and details of the Department of Engineering.
[Amended 6-2-1986 by Ord. No. 3-1986]
No tunneling of streets will be allowed except by special written permission from the Superintendent of the Water Department and the City Engineer and under the following conditions:
Tunnel excavations shall be as small as is practicable and shall be entirely refilled with concrete, carefully rammed, and such tunneling must be done under the direct supervision of an inspector of the Water Department.
The cost of the inspector's service shall be paid by the plumber or person to whom the permit is granted, and such inspection shall not release the plumber or other person from any liability for violation of this Code.
Such permission shall be subject to the further condition that the person to whom it is granted will at all times comply with this Code and all existing laws and ordinances, and it is subject to revocation by the Superintendent of the Water Department at any time.