Beach Haven Ordinance Regulates Soil Disturbances

Jan 10, 2018

An ordinance introduced by the Beach Haven Borough Council will control land disturbances on residential and commercial properties.

Prior to the ordinance, matters involving soil and sediment control fell under the authority of the Ocean County Soil Conservation District.

“And it involved larger properties in town,” said Sherry Mason, borough manager. “The main purpose of this is to protect our stormwater systems, so that we don’t get a buildup of soil and sediment that has to keep getting vacuumed out.”

Or as the ordinance says, “the purpose of this chapter is to control soil erosion and sediment damages and related environmental damage by requiring adequate provisions for surface water retention and drainage and for the protection of exposed soil surfaces in order to promote the safety public health, convenience and general welfare of the community.”

The ordinance defines land disturbance as “any activity involving the clearing, grading, transporting, filling and any other activity which causes land to be exposed to the danger of erosion. Land is defined as any ground, soil or earth including marshes, swamps, drainageways and areas not permanently covered by water within the borough.”

In addition, all soil erosion and sediment control plans shall be reviewed by the borough engineer and approved when in conformance with “standards for erosion and sediment control.”

The ordinance lists numerous general design principles for controlling and minimizing soil erosion. For example, temporary seeding, mulching or other suitable stabilization measures shall be used to protect exposed critical areas during construction or other land disturbance.

“Whenever feasible, natural vegetation shall be retained and protected,” it said.

The ordinance requires silt barriers to be installed and maintained during all stages of disturbance activity.

“The streets adjacent to any site must be swept and maintained after each work day, if necessary, in order to remove soil, sediment and other debris caused by the disturbance activity,” the measure states.

A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for the next meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 7 p.m. (borough hall is closed Monday, Feb. 12, for Presidents Day).  —E.E.


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