Town of Southborough, MA
Worcester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Southborough 4-10-2006 ATM by Art. 44.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building construction — See Ch. 62.
Wetlands protection — See Ch. 170.
Zoning — See Ch. 174.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 244.
Editor's Note: This bylaw also repealed former Ch. 85, Earth Removal, adopted as Art. IXA of the 1983 Code.

§ 85-1 Purpose.

This bylaw is intended to provide regulation for the filling of land and the removal of our valuable natural resources, including sand, gravel, stone, soil, loam, sod, clay and mineral products to protect land, water, scenic and historic resources.

§ 85-2 Definition.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
The removal of earth materials from a lot or parcel, including, but not limited to, sand, gravel, stone, soil, loam, sod, clay and mineral products.

§ 85-3 Applicability.

The filling or removal of materials consisting of more than 400 cubic yards or stockpiling of materials consisting of more than 100 cubic yards of sand, gravel, stone, soil, loam, sod, fill and mineral products to or from a lot or parcel not in public use shall require an earth removal permit granted by the Board of Selectmen unless such removal is:
At the site of, incidental to, and in connection with, the necessary excavation, grading and construction of a building, structure, parking areas and appurtenant driveways pursuant to an approved subdivision, special permit or site plan decision by the Planning Board; or
Pursuant to a building permit issued by the Building Inspector on a site on which the earth removal work is occurring on an existing or proposed slope of 15% or less; or
For the purpose of gardening, landscaping, construction of walkways, patios, driveways or similar purposes, swimming pools, installation, repair or replacement of septic systems and wells when approved by the Board of Health, providing the earth removal work is on an existing or proposed slope of 15% or less; or
For the purpose of the construction and associated grading of a street that has been approved by the Planning Board; or
For the purpose of public works activities related to the maintenance or improvement of public land or buildings, the maintenance, reconstruction or resurfacing of any public way; or the installation of drainage structures or utilities that have been approved by the appropriate authorities; or
For the removal of earth materials undertaken in connection with a sand and gravel operation or similar enterprise where such activity is allowed by zoning; or
For the removal of earth materials undertaken in connection with an agricultural use if the removal is necessary for or directly related to planting, cultivating or harvesting or the raising or care of animals; or
In accordance with the terms of an order of conditions or determination of applicability issued by the Conservation Commission pursuant to MGL c. 131, § 40, or the Southborough Wetlands Protection Bylaw, Chapter 170 of the Code of the Town of Southborough.

§ 85-4 Application and procedure.

The Board of Selectmen (hereinafter "the Board") shall be the permit granting authority for the issuance of an earth removal permit. Such permit applications shall be submitted, considered, and issued only in accordance with the provisions of this bylaw.
Any person who desires an earth removal permit shall submit an earth removal plan prepared and stamped and signed by a professional engineer registered in Massachusetts, or a registered land surveyor, as appropriate, showing existing and proposed topography at a scale of one inch equals 20 feet, including:
The boundaries and topography of the property, including contours at a two-foot interval specifically indicating the areas with slopes 15% or greater on which the earth removal is proposed to occur;
The size and location of all existing and proposed buildings, structures, driveways and parking areas on the site and the location of all structures on abutting properties within 50 feet of the property lines of the parcel;
A plan and narrative description of the method of removal, including the means proposed to provide erosion and sedimentation control, to protect groundwater, to control dust, and to protect abutting properties and/or adjacent areas; and
A planting plan to ensure permanent revegetation of the site unless the disturbed area will be covered by gravel, hardscape or a building or structure.
Based upon the size or character of the project, including the volume of earth materials to be removed, area of disturbance and the percent slope on which the work is to occur, the Board may require additional information or an impact statement or may waive some or all of the requirements of the earth removal permit application.
The Board shall hold a public hearing within 60 days of receipt of an application for an earth removal permit. Notice of said hearing shall be given, at the expense of the applicant, by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in Southborough and by written notice to all abutters and abutters to abutters within 300 feet.
The applicant shall make all requests for waivers in writing. The Board may require the applicant to submit supporting technical information and documentation to demonstrate why such waiver/s should be granted. The Board's decision to grant or deny waivers shall be in writing and shall set forth the reasons for the grant or denial.

§ 85-5 Findings and conditions of approval.

The Board shall not approve an application for an earth removal permit unless it finds that, where applicable, all of the following requirements will be met:
Reasonable measures shall be employed to minimize adverse impacts on wildlife habitats and corridors, natural or historic landscape features, and scenic vistas and views;
There shall be no net increase in the rate of stormwater runoff from the site;
There shall be no net increase in the volume of stormwater runoff across the boundaries of the site unless provisions have been made to tie into the public storm drains, where available, with the approval of the appropriate parties or authorities or the Board has determined that all reasonable provisions have been made to minimize any changes in stormwater runoff at the site;
There shall be no adverse impacts to groundwater resources in terms of quantity or quality;
There shall be no adverse impacts to abutting properties from any change in volume of stormwater runoff resulting from earth removal, including erosion, silting, flooding, sedimentation or impacts to wetlands, groundwater resources or wells;
The duration of exposure of disturbed areas due to removal of vegetation, soil removal, and/or regrading shall be set forth in a written time table and approved by the Board;
Where the site is not proposed to be covered with gravel, hardscape, or a building or structure, a planting plan to ensure permanent revegetation of the site has been approved;
Areas to be planted shall be loamed with not less than six inches compacted depth of good quality loam and seeded with turf grass seed or other appropriate ground cover in accordance with good planting practice;
Dust control shall be used during grading operations if the grading is to occur within 500 feet of an occupied residence or place of business, school, playground, park, cemetery, or place of worship; and
Throughout the duration of the earth removal process a gravel apron of 15 feet wide and at least 25 feet long shall be required at any site access from a paved public way to prevent unstable material from being transported onto the roadway by vehicle tires.
The Board may require a cash performance guaranty to ensure compliance with these requirements or to reclaim the site. The form of the bond shall be approved by the Board upon the recommendation of Town Counsel and the Town Treasurer, as appropriate. With the approval of the Board and upon the recommendation of Town Counsel and the Town Treasurer, as appropriate, the applicant may substitute an irrevocable letter of credit or performance bond in lieu of the cash performance guaranty. Any performance bond or letter of credit shall be executed and maintained by a financial institution, surety, or guaranty company qualified to do business in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

§ 85-6 Requirements and limitations.

Based upon the nature of the application the Board may impose reasonable requirements or limitations to minimize the impacts, if any, on abutting properties or uses.
The Board may deny an earth removal permit if it determines the requirements of this bylaw are not met, or the intent of the application is to circumvent other provisions of the Town's bylaws or regulations.
No permit issued pursuant to this bylaw shall be effective for more than one year from the date of issue. A request to extend said time limits shall be made in writing to the Board at least 30 days prior to said expiration date. After consideration of the request for extension, the Board may grant or deny such extension, and require any appropriate changes to this approval. Notice of a request to extend said time limits, shall be made by written notice at the expense of the applicant, to all abutters and abutters to abutters within 300 feet.
The failure of the Board to act upon any application for an Earth Removal Permit for a period of 90 days after receipt thereof shall constitute approval of the application.

§ 85-7 Enforcement.

The Board or its authorized agent and the Town of Southborough shall have the power and duty to enforce this bylaw, its regulations, decisions, orders, violation notices, and enforcement orders issued pursuant to this bylaw, and may pursue all civil and criminal remedies for such violations.

§ 85-8 Severability.

Any determination that a particular provision or set of provisions in this bylaw are invalid or unenforceable shall not render ineffective, unenforceable, or inapplicable the remainder of this bylaw.