No land-disturbing activity subject to the control of this ordinance shall be undertaken except in accordance with the following mandatory standard:
   (A)   Buffer zone.
      (1)   No land-disturbing activity during periods of construction or improvement to land shall be permitted in proximity to a lake or natural watercourse unless a buffer zone is provided along the margin of the watercourse of sufficient width to confine visible siltation within the 25% of the buffer zone nearest the land-disturbing activity.
      (2)   Unless otherwise provided, the width of the buffer zone begins and is measured landward from the normal pool elevation of impounded structures (lakes) to the nearest edge of the disturbed area and/ or five feet from the edge of the top of the bank of streams or rivers to the nearest edge of the disturbed area.  Natural or artificial means of confining visible siltation must be placed, constructed or installed outside the undisturbed buffer zone.
      (3)   For any watercourse, where more than one stream buffer width is imposed by City of Monroe Code of Ordinance or other local, state or federal law(s), rule(s), or regulation(s), the greater buffer width stipulated shall apply.
   (B)   Graded slopes and fills. The angle for graded slopes and fills shall be no greater than the angle which can be retained by vegetative cover or other adequate erosion control devices or structures. In any event, slopes left exposed will, within 14 calendar days of completion of any phase of grading, be planted or otherwise be provided with ground cover, devices, or structures sufficient to restrain erosion.
   (C)   Ground cover.  Whenever more than 12,000 square feet of land is uncovered or new residential development on an individual lot is initiated, the person conducting the land-disturbing activity shall install such sedimentation and erosion control devices and practices as are sufficient to retain the sediment generated by the land-disturbing activity within the boundaries of the tract during construction upon and development of said tract, and shall plant or otherwise provide a permanent ground cover sufficient to restrain erosion after completion of construction or development.  Provisions for a ground cover sufficient to restrain erosion must be accomplished within 15 working days or 60 calendar days, which is shorter following completion of construction or development.
   (D)   Prior plan approval.  No person shall initiate any land-disturbing activity on a tract if more than 12,000 square feet of land is to be uncovered, excluding single-family residential development in accordance with § 158.05(B), unless, 30 or more days prior to initiating the activity, a plan is filed with and approved by the City of Monroe Erosion Control Specialist.  The Erosion Control Specialist shall forward to the North Carolina Director of the Division of Water Quality a copy of each plan for a land-disturbing activity that involves the utilization of ditches for the purpose of dewatering or lowering the water table of the tract.
   (E)   Zoning permits.  Any person requesting a grading permit in association with a land-disturbing activity on a tract which involves the uncovering of more than twelve thousand (12,000) square feet of land or new residential development on an individual lot, shall be required to have an approved Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plan or ESC Installation and Maintenance Agreement in accordance with this ordinance.
(Ord. O-2002-18, passed 4-2-02; Am. Ord. O-2003-33, passed 6-17-03; Am. Ord. O-2011-12, passed 6-7-11)