1173.01  CHANGING LAND CONTOURS REGULATIONS.
   (a)   Applicability.
      (1)   No owner, developer, builder, applicant, or occupant shall remove topsoil except in conformity with the provisions of this Section.  This Section is applicable when an applicant is only seeking approval to remove topsoil, and the proposed activities do not require site plan approval pursuant to Chapter 1127, Development Plan Review Procedures.
      (2)   Basement or foundation excavations.  The provisions of this Section shall not be deemed or construed to apply to any excavation or removal for a basement or foundation for any proposed building for which a building permit has been issued and is in force and effect.  However, if such building is not commenced and carried forward, any excavation or removal made preparatory thereto for a basement or foundation shall be filled up and seeded.
 
   (b)   Changing Land Contour; Application Data; Performance Guarantee.  Inasmuch as the removal of topsoil, trees and other vegetation, loam, and, gravel, rock, stone, clay and other similar substances from land results in noise and the creation of large quantities of dust, which prove obnoxious to inhabitants in the vicinity thereof; creates erosion and drainage problems, swamps and lakes and frequently results in damage to adjoining properties by disturbing the substructure thereof and tends to have a disrupting effect on ground water supplies, and other similar dangers to public health and safety; results in unsightly and blighted areas unfit for other and useful purposes, thus retarding or preventing the development of desirable residential, and commercial areas, depressing property and other values in the neighborhood and permanently destroying the land, leaving it almost valueless for any purpose, creates street hazards of heavy trucks and other equipment on the streets, and of scattering earth and debris thereon; and unless properly planned, regulated and supervised, such removal has an adverse effect upon the public peace, health, safety and general welfare; therefore, any person, firm, corporation or other entity wishing to change the contours of land by grading, excavating or filling, or desiring to remove topsoil, trees and other vegetation, loam, sand, gravel, rock, stone, clay and other similar substances from land located in any area or place within the Village shall first, prior to commencing or continuing any such operation, file with the Village Engineer a written application for permission to carry on such operations, which application shall contain the following information, in lieu of the submission requirements in Chapter 1127, Development Plan Review Procedures:
      (1)   The name and address of the applicant and the name and address of the owner of the land if it is different from that of the applicant.
      (2)   A description of the land, with boundaries, upon which such operations are proposed to take place.  A map of the land, showing its location and dimensions and indicating what part or parts thereof on which it is desired to conduct grading, excavating, filling or removal operations, shall accompany the application.
      (3)   The method of operation to be employed; the time within which such work is to be commenced and completed; the existing and proposed topography of the land and its ultimate proposed use; the type and nature of refilling, reseeding or replanting proposed.  Such application shall also contain a statement that the applicant and the owner of the land will furnish a performance guarantee in an amount approved by the Village, if the Zoning Certificate is approved, for changing the contours of the land by grading, excavating, or filling, or for the removal of topsoil or loam; or if the Zoning Certificate is approved, for other removals in accordance with the provisions of this Section.
      (4)   The name and address of any person, firm, corporation or other entity who or which, it is contemplated, will do the actual work of grading, excavating, filling or removal.  If any such agreement, contract, lease or other arrangement is in writing, a copy thereof must be attached to the application; if such is not in writing, that statement shall be made in the application.
      (5)   Where deemed appropriate by the Village Engineer, any or all of the following additional information may be required:
         A.   The areas of the described premises that will be exposed at any one time;
         B.   The type of temporary vegetation and/or mulching that will be used to protect exposed areas of the described premises during the construction of any type of improvements thereon; or changes being made in the contours thereon; or in removal or destruction of topsoil, trees and other vegetation located thereon;
         C.   The locations, construction and maintenance of sediment basins (debris basins, desilting basins or slit traps) or other controlled measures on the described premises;
         D.   The type of permanent and final vegetation and structures that will be planted and installed on the described premises and the time within which such vegetation and structures are to be planted and installed;
         E.   A description of the type of the soil comprising the described premises;
         F.   For disturbed areas greater than 0.1 acres, an erosion and sediment control plan shall be prepared and submitted per Chapter 971 of the Codified Ordinances.
            (Ord. 2015-17.  Passed 5-13-15.)
 
   (c)   Application Procedures.
      (1)   The application shall be forwarded to the Planning Commission by the Village Engineer, together with a written report by him with respect to the statements contained therein and his recommendations thereon.  The Planning Commission shall review the application according to the procedures in this Section and in Chapter 1127, Development Plan Review Procedures.
      (2)   The Planning Commission may request a report from the Chagrin River Watershed Partners, Inc. or other such technical experts as necessary, stating their recommendations for adequate erosion and sediment control measures for the proposed grading, excavating, filling or removal operation.  After securing all such information as it deems necessary, the Planning Commission shall set the matter down for a public hearing and mail a notice thereof to the applicant and owner of the land at the address given in the application not less than ten (10) days prior to the public hearing, excluding the day of the mailing and including the day of the public hearing.  If, after such hearing, the Planning Commission determines that the granting of the application will not adversely affect the public welfare, peace, health, safety and convenience, it shall grant the application with such conditions relating to the method of grading, excavating, filling or removal of the land or area on which the operations are to be conducted, the terms of the Zoning Certificate, the amount of topsoil or loam to be respread on the land, the amount of the removal which may be permitted on the land, the refilling, reseeding or replanting of the land, the drainage after removal and such other conditions which the Planning Commission may deem necessary for the protection of the public health, safety, peace, convenience and welfare, which conditions shall be made a part of the Zoning Certificate and constitute limitations thereto.
      (3)   If the Planning Commission denies the application, the applicant or owner may appeal to the Board of Appeals pursuant to Chapter 1131, Appeals and Variances.
      (4)   If the application is granted, the Building Inspector shall issue a Zoning Certificate pursuant to Chapter 1129, Certificates, containing the restrictions imposed, if any, upon the posting of a performance guarantee acceptable to the Law Director, running in favor of the Village and conditioned upon the performance of the Zoning Certificate in accordance with its terms, in the amount fixed by the approving body, such performance guarantee to be signed by the applicant, the owner and a surety company, or two good and sufficient sureties satisfactory to the Mayor, when applicable.
         (Ord. 2016-30.  Passed 9-15-16.)
 
   (d)   Basement or Foundation Excavations.  The provisions of this Section shall not be deemed or construed to apply to any excavation or removal for a basement or foundation for any proposed building for which a building permit has been issued and is in force and effect.  However, if such building is not commenced and carried forward, any excavation or removal made preparatory thereto for a basement or foundation shall be filled up and replanted.
 
   (e)   Investigation Expenses to be Paid by Applicant.  At the time of submission of the written application under this Section 1173.01 for lot grading and topsoil removal, the applicant shall deposit with the Village Treasurer an amount of money as determined by the Village Engineer, to cover the cost and expense of such investigation as may be necessary to fully review such application and any accompanying maps, and report upon the same to the Planning Commission.  The cost and expense of such investigation shall be deducted from such deposit.  In case such expenditure exceeds the deposit, such excess shall be paid into the Village treasury by the applicant upon the request of the Clerk of Council.  In case such deposit exceeds such expenditure, the balance shall be refunded to the applicant.
   If the application is granted, the applicant shall reimburse the Village Treasurer for any expenses incurred in connection with Village supervision or inspection of the operation as outlined in the Zoning Certificate.  Statements for such expenses shall be submitted to the Zoning Certificate holder by the Clerk of Council and shall be subject to payment within thirty (30) days of receipt.  Failure to pay such statements shall constitute grounds for revocation of the permit.
 
   (f)   Permit for Minor Work; Fee.  All applications for grading and filling under this Section, when determined by the Village Engineer to be so minor, desirable and without potential harm to adjacent landowners and the public health, safety and general welfare, shall be permitted by him, in writing, subject to such conditions as he may require in the public interest.  The permittee shall notify the Village Engineer of the completion of the work, which shall then be inspected by the Village Engineer.  A fee for the Zoning Certificate shall be required from the applicant.  Such application need only contain so much information as the Village Engineer may require, need not be referred to the Planning Commission and no performance guarantee shall be required.
 
   (g)   Ponds.   Applications shall be filed with the Building Inspector and a Zoning Certificate issued before the creation of any pond.  In the event the proposed pond shall involve a change of land contour, then the provisions of this Section shall be followed, or if it is a minor project in the opinion of the Village Engineer, it shall be treated as under sub-section 1173.01(f).  In no event shall any portion of a pond proposed be permitted within fifty (50) feet of an abutting owner's property line.  Permission for the creation of a pond within fifty (50) feet of an abutting owner's property line may only be upon review and approval of a variance by the Board of Appeals upon such terms and conditions as it may impose after obtaining the written recommendations and report of the Engineer regarding such request.
 
   (h)   Landscape Mounds/Berms.  Notwithstanding any of the provisions of this Section regulating the changing of land contours, no landscape mounds or berms three (3) feet or greater above existing grade shall be permitted.
 
   (i)   Erosion and Sediment Control Plan.  In addition to the other requirements of this Section, an applicant shall conform to the regulations promulgated in Chapter 971.
(Ord.  2015-17.  Passed 5-13-15.)