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Land uses, including agricultural land uses, which occur adjacent to streams and/or sinkholes shall require an undisturbed buffer or filter strip along the stream or sinkhole. The requirement for a buffer applies to all streams and watercourses which are defined as a channel or conveyance of surface water having a defined bed and banks, whether artificial or natural, with intermittent or perennial flow.
A. The purpose of the buffer is to intercept sediment and pollutants from project runoff occurring overland before they reach the stream and/or sinkhole, thereby protecting local water resources and the environment.
B. The buffer width shall be a minimum of 50 feet measured from the stream bank or sinkhole to the area of the proposed soil disturbance. This buffer shall apply to each side of the watercourse where soil disturbance is proposed. If the watercourse marks the project boundary, the buffer requirement shall apply to only one side of the stream.
C. Where the subdivision and land development has a slope in excess of 8%, the following buffer widths shall apply to each applicable side of the watercourse.
D. The slopes of a site may not be averaged over the gross acreage. Only the area within 200 feet of the watercourse shall be considered for the purpose of slope calculation.
E. If the land on each side of the stream bank has different slope characteristics (as shown by the diagram) a different buffer width would be required on each side of the stream.
BUFFER WIDTH EXAMPLE
F. The buffer shall consist of existing or new vegetation or a combination thereof, as in the following order of preference:
(1) Existing hedgerow, woodlot, brush and/or uncultivated fields which are naturally occurring along the stream.
(2) A combination of existing vegetation (such as above) and newlyestablished vegetation.
(3) A newly established area of trees, bushes and grasses, where no vegetation existed prior to development.
G. Stream encroachment work or any development within 50 feet of a stream bank or wetlands must obtain a permit from DEP and the US Army Corps of Engineers. The applicant shall provide written determination from the applicable regulatory body or a copy of the required permit prior to final plan approval. [Ord.12/10/2001]
(Ord. 3/9/1993A, § 412; as amended by Ord. 12/10/2001)