[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Freehold by Ord. No. O-80-22 (Ch. XXII of the Revised General Ordinances), as amended through Ord. No. O-86-3. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Environmental impact statements — See Ch. 142.
Floodplains and watercourses — See Ch. 166.
Land use — See Ch. 190.
Sewers — See Ch. 270.
Soil erosion and sediment control — See Ch. 282.
Soil removal and soil fill — See Ch. 286.
Water — See Ch. 351.
Sewage disposal systems — See Ch. 385.
Wells — See Ch. 394.
This chapter shall be known as the "Water Resources Protection Ordinance of the Township of Freehold."
The objective of this chapter is to permit development or construction upon lands with delicate hydrology subject to these regulations and to limit mound systems with ejector pumps as a means of septic disposal upon such lands. Such activity in those areas could result in substantial impairment to the water resources of the Township and the region, cause pollution from septic wastes and/or create consequential difficulties to structures constructed thereon. To minimize losses and damages, the Township's policy shall be to permit construction and development as well as related activities in those areas of the Township referred to, provided the water table is not such as to disqualify such activity pursuant to the standards and regulations of this chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AQUIFER (AQUIFER RECHARGE AREA)
- A water-bearing stratum used as the source of water supply.
- CONSEQUENTIAL DIFFICULTIES
- Such likely and foreseeable changes or occurrences in, upon or under the land and/or to the hydrologic condition of the site which would create or cause a situation sufficient to sustain a violation of the terms and conditions upon which a certificate of occupancy for a structure and its appurtenances would be issued.
- The erection, alteration, repair or renovation of any building or structure and the excavation, filling and grading of lots in connection therewith.
- The division of a parcel of land into two or more parcels, the construction, reconstruction, conversion, structural alteration, relocation or enlargement of any building or other structure, or of any mining, excavation or landfill, and any use or change in the use of any building or other structure, or land or extension of use of land, for which permission may be required pursuant to this chapter.
- FRESHWATER WETLANDS
- Land which consists of any soil type designated as poorly drained, very poorly drained and alluvial soils in the Soil Conservation Service surveys and/or which contains Atlantic white cedar swamps, hardwood swamps, pitchpine, lowlands, open bogs, ponds or spungs.
- ON-TRACT WASTE DISPOSAL
- Both conventional and nonconventional systems as defined and referred to in Chapter 385, Sewage Disposal Systems, of this Code.
- OPEN BOG
- A site with the following characteristics: seasonal high-water table at or above the surface with large amounts of organic matter, low fertility and extreme water acidity and where the ecological community is made up of sphagnum moss, cranberry cover, sheep laurel, ferns and the like.
- On-tract measurement of the horizontal and vertical movement of water generally expressed in minutes to the inch in a wet soil. In the case where the percolation rate tends to fall in the lower end of the range, i.e., five minutes or less, the potential impact of the proposed use will be analyzed with stricter scrutiny.
- The condition of water resulting from the introduction of substances of a kind and in quantities rendering it detrimental or potentially dangerous to the public health or unfit for public use.
- SEASONAL HIGH-WATER TABLE
- The highest level below which the soil is seasonally saturated with water as measured by any means acceptable to the Township Board of Health.
- SEWERAGE FACILITIES
- Equipment used for and in connection with treatment and/or transportation of sewage, including pipelines which transport wastewater across watershed ridge lines.
- A shrub thicket with a seasonal high-water table at or near the surface.
- THREATENED OR ENDANGERED SPECIES
- Those species or subspecies of wildlife indigenous to New Jersey which are threatened or endangered as determined by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and set forth in N.J.A.C. 7:25-11.1 et seq., as amended to date.
Any application for development or construction upon lands which are the subject of this chapter shall be made to the Planning Board.
Initially, the Health Officer shall advise the Planning Board if the site or any portion of it is subject to this chapter. Accordingly, the original application shall be submitted with hydrologic data for every fifth lot proposed for development, which information shall be obtained on proposed lots in as precise a mathematical sequence as possible. If the applicant proposes development on fewer than five lots, hydrologic data will be submitted on the site as a whole.
If and in the event the initial determination of the Health Officer demonstrates conditions on proposed lots which violate the standards of this chapter, the applicant continuing to seek approval shall revise the development plat to show no development on those lots or in those areas affected and/or shall resubmit the application with data on each and every proposed lot.
When acting upon such application, the Planning Board shall grant approval only when and if it determines that the development or construction:
In making its decision, the Planning Board shall consider:
The applicant shall have the burden of proof as well as the responsibility to provide the Planning Board and the Environmental Commission with the data necessary to achieve approval. The Planning Board may consult with the Environmental Commission, the Township Health Officer, the Board of Health, and such other state, county and municipal officials and agencies as it shall determine necessary to assist in making determinations pursuant to this chapter.
Each application shall be reviewed upon its own merit and a determination shall be made following analysis of the data as well as an on-site inspection. Applications for development and construction on sites or parts of sites falling into the following categories shall be approved only in accordance with § 355-4 of this chapter.
Standard Number 1. Sites or parts of sites which are dependent upon on-tract waste disposal (septic systems) and have a seasonal high-water table less than five feet below existing grade level.
Areas with seasonal high-water tables as referred to above have severe limitations for the use of on-site disposal systems regardless of the amount of fill and/or use of other tract enhancement methods. Land areas in Freehold Township with seasonal high-water tables less than five feet below the land surface are not usually suitable for septic tank operation. Proposed alternative systems and technologies are normally insufficient to avoid future consequential difficulties.
Standard Number 2. Sites or parts of sites which are dependent upon on-site waste disposal where percolation tests conducted in accordance with Township procedures indicate a percolation rate of less than five minutes to the inch.
Many of the soils within Freehold Township have a low potential for treatment and renewal of septic system effluents containing nitrogen and phosphates. Under these conditions, too fast a percolation rate can be as severe as a percolation rate which is too slow. The rapid percolation rate increases the susceptibility of groundwater to contamination. In order to maintain the quality of the valuable groundwater, service water resources and aquifer recharge areas of the Township of Freehold, a strict standard regarding percolation rate is necessary.
Standard Number 3. Sites or parts of sites the development of which will require a new sewerage or water facility which will result in the alteration of the hydrologic balance.
The intent of this standard is to control the depletion of groundwater reservoirs and recharge areas within each watershed within Freehold.
Standard Number 4. Sites or parts of sites which are determined to contain habitats which are essential to the survival of animals identified as "threatened" or "endangered" by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Classification of the habitat referred to above shall be made by the Freehold Township Environmental Commission in conjunction with the Monmouth County Environmental Commission and/or the New Jersey Rare and Endangered Species Commission.
Standard Number 5. Sites or part of sites located on or within 300 feet of freshwater wetlands.
Bogs, swamp forests, spung, white cedar swamps, and other freshwater wetlands play a significant role in the maintenance of environmental quality. These areas serve to retard runoff, purify water, provide for groundwater recharge, and provide an important habitat for many plants and animals, including rare, threatened and endangered species. Alteration of these sites often results in substantial impairment of their many natural resources, therefore, construction and development shall not be permitted directly on the portion of the site which falls into this category; provided, however, that public bridges, roadways, trails and utility transmission lines and distribution facilities shall be permitted in wetlands, provided that:
There is no feasible alternative route on site for the facility that does not involve development in a wetland;
The public need cannot be met by existing facilities or modification thereof;
The facility will not result in a significant adverse impact which would result in an irreversible effect on the ecological integrity of the wetland and its biotic components; and
Additionally, to ensure that development on adjacent land areas does not affect the integrity of freshwater wetlands, a buffer zone of not more than 300 feet may be required for the purpose of providing protection of the actual wetlands. Development may occur within the buffer zone, provided the applicant has demonstrated that the proposed development will not result in a significant adverse impact on the wetland.
[Amended 12-22-2015 by Ord. No. O-15-26]
The regulations herein are intended to complement the Standards for the Construction of Individual Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems as promulgated by the Division of Water Resources, New Jersey State Department of Environmental Protection, N.J.A.C. 7:9-2.1 et seq., as amended to date. The Planning Board shall be the sole forum for application made hereunder and may apply its general jurisdiction thereto.