General Bylaw Article 3-12

Earth Removal

Sec. 1. General Information

Sec. 1A.

No person shall remove any soil, loam, subsoil, sand, gravel, stone or rock from land not in the public domain without a written permit from the Board of Selectmen

Sec. 1B.

No permit shall be issued until written application has been made to the Board of Selectmen stating for what purpose and to what extent such material is to be removed.

Sec. 1C.

A public hearing shall be held no less that fourteen, nor more than thirty days following the receipt of a properly submitted application.

Sec. 1D.

Applicants for a removal permit related to construction, alteration, or removal of an approved building, may be exempted from the requirements of a public hearing, a log of soil borings, and such other operational and restoral standards deemed not applicable by the Board of Selectmen.

Sec. 1E.

Permits may be granted for one year. Two subsequent annual renewal permits may be granted by the Board of Selectmen without a public hearing.

Sec. 1F.

Permits may be revoked for failure to adhere to requirements after written notice to the permit holder defining the violation and establishing a reasonable time requirement for correction of the violation.

Sec. 1G.

All permits granted will be subject to the following Operational and Restoral standards unless specifically exempted by the Board of Selectmen.

Sec. 2. Operation Standards

Sec. 2A.

No excavation, not intended for approved building purposes, will be closer than 200 feet to an existing public way unless specifically permitted by the Board of Selectmen. No excavation will approach neighboring lot lines closer than 500 feet where excavation is not permitted. Natural vegetation shall be left and maintained on the undisturbed land for screening and noise reduction purposes.

Sec. 2B.

Hours of operation shall be between 7:00 A.M. and sunset on weekdays and Saturdays only and loaded trucks may leave prescribed premises only within such hours.

Sec. 2C.

All loaded vehicles shall be suitably covered so as to prevent contents from spilling or blowing from the load.

Sec. 2D.

Any spillage that may occur on a public way is the responsibility of the permit holder, and shall be removed promptly upon notification of same by the Highway Director. If, for reasons of safety, it becomes necessary for the Town to clean up and remove such spillage, the cost shall be charged to the permit holder and shall be assessed as a lien against the performance bond.

Sec. 2E.

The active gravel removal operation shall not exceed a total area of 5 acres at any one time.

Sec. 2F.

All access ways leading to public ways shall be treated with stone or other suitable materials that comply with the provisions of the State Right to Know Law, to reduce dust and mud for a distance of 200 feet back from said public way.

Sec. 2G.

Access roads shall be constructed at an angle to the public ways or constructed with a curve so as to help screen the operation from public view.

Sec. 2H.

The permit holder shall be liable for any damage to public ways caused by trucks entering or leaving the removal site.

Sec. 2I.

During operations, when an excavation is located within 200 feet of a residential area or public way and where the excavation will have a depth of more than 15 feet with a slope in excess of 1:1, a fence at least three feet high shall be erected to limit access to this area.

Sec. 2J.

No area shall be excavated so as to cause accumulation of free standing water. Permanent drainage shall be provided as needed in accordance with good conservation practices. Drainage shall not lead directly into streams or ponds.

Sec. 2K.

All topsoil and subsoil may be stripped from the operation area and stockpiled for use in restoring the area after the removal operation has ceased.

Sec. 2L.

Any temporary shelters or buildings erected on the premises for use by personnel or for the storage of equipment, shall be screened from public view as much as possible. These structures shall be removed from the premises within thirty days after they are no longer needed.

Sec. 2M.

The Board of Selectmen or their agents shall be free to inspect the premises at any time.

Sec. 2N.

No excavation shall be allowed within 50 feet of a natural stream.

Sec. 3. Restoration Standards

Sec. 3A.

No slope shall be left with a grade steeper than 2:1 (50%).

Sec. 3B.

All debris, stumps, boulders, etc. shall be removed from the site and disposed of in an approved location. Changed 10/02

Sec. 3C.

Following excavation and as soon as possible thereafter, ground levels and grades shall be established as shown on the completed topographical plan.

Sec. 3D.

Retained subsoil and topsoil shall be re-spread over the disturbed area to a minimum depth of four inches. This soil shall be treated with three tons of lime per acre and 1,000 pounds 10-10-10 fertilizer per acre and seeded with a grass or legume mixture prescribed by the Conservation District. Trees or shrubs of prescribed species will be planted in order to provide screening, natural beauty, and to reduce erosion. The planted area shall be protected from erosion during the establishment period using good conservation practices.

Sec. 3E.

Upon completion of the operation, the land shall be left so that the natural storm drainage leaves the property at the original natural storm drainage points and so that the area of drainage to any one point is not increased.

Sec. 3F.

Within six months of termination of removal operations all equipment, buildings, structures and unsightly evidence of operations shall be removed from the premises.

Sec. 4. Bond Requirement

No permit shall be issued until a performance bond or assignment of account has been posted with the Town in the amount of $1,000 per acre of operation. Said bond will be released only after the land has been restored as outlined under the Restoration Standard Section.

Sec. 5. Penalty

A person violating any of the provisions of this By-Law shall be fined in accordance with the schedule set forth below, and each day that such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense:

  • First Offense (first day) $ 50.00
  • Second Offense (second day) $100.00
  • Third and subsequent Offenses (third day and following days) $200.00

and in addition to any civil or equitable enforcement of this By-Law, the Town, by its appropriate officer, board, department may pursue the non-criminal procedure outlined under M.G.L. Chapter 40, s. 21D and seek a fine in accordance with the maximum allowed under said.


Last Updated 07/2020