(a)    Inasmuch as the removal of topsoil, trees and other vegetation, loam, sand, gravel, rock, stone, clay and other similar substances from land results in noise and the creation of large quantities of dust, which prove to be obnoxious to inhabitants in the vicinity thereof; creates erosion and drainage problems, swamps and lakes, frequently results in damage to adjoining properties by disturbing the substructure thereof, tends to have a disrupting effect on ground water supplies, and creates 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, commercial and industrial areas, depressing property and other values in the neighborhood and permanently destroying the land, leaving it almost valueless for any purpose; creates highway hazards due to the presence of heavy trucks and other equipment on the roads, and due to the scattering of earth and debris thereon; and, unless properly planned, regulated and supervised, 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 City, shall first, prior to commencing or continuing any such operation, file with the Inspector of Buildings a written application for permission to carry on such operations, which application shall contain the following information:
      (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 name and address of the applicant.
      (2)    The 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 on what part or parts thereof 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; and 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 shall furnish a cash performance bond in a sum not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) per residential lot included in the permit, if granted, for changing the contours of the land by grading, excavating or filling, or for the removal of topsoil or loam, or for other removals in accordance with these Codified Ordinances.
      (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 an agreement, contract, lease or other arrangement for such work is in writing, a copy thereof must be attached to the application; if such is not in writing, the information must be included in the application.
      (5)    Where deemed appropriate by the Inspector of Buildings, any or all of the following additional information:
         A.    The areas of the described premises that will be exposed at any one time;
         B.    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; and
         C.    A description of the type of soil comprising the described premises.
   (b)    The Engineer may request a report from the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District, stating its 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 notice thereof to the applicant and owner of the land at the addresses given in the application not less than three 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 Inspector of Buildings determines that the granting of the application will not adversely affect the public welfare, peace, health, safety and convenience, he or she 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 permit, 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 Inspector may deem necessary for the protection of the public health, safety, peace, convenience and welfare, which conditions shall be made a part of the permit and constitute limitations thereon.
   (c)    In the event the application is denied, notice thereof shall be mailed forthwith to the applicant and the owner of the land at the addresses given in the application.
   (d)    If the Inspector of Buildings denies the application, the applicant or owner may appeal to Council by filing a written notice of such appeal with the Clerk within thirty days from the date of the mailing of the communication sent by the Inspector to the applicant and owner, as provided in subsection (c) hereof. The Clerk shall then obtain from the Inspector the application, reports, recommendations, documents and minutes, or copies thereof, relating to the application and the action taken thereon by the Inspector and submit the same to Council. Council, by majority vote, may act to move upon the application, subject to the limitations and provisions applicable to the Planning Commission.
   (e)    If the application is granted, either by the Inspector of Buildings or by Council, the Inspector shall issue a permit containing the restrictions imposed, if any, upon the posting of a cash bond, running in favor of the City and conditioned upon performance in accordance with the terms of the permit, in an amount fixed by the approving body.
   (f)    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.
   (g)    At the time of submission of the written application, the applicant shall deposit with the Treasurer an amount of money as determined by the Inspector of Buildings, but not less than four hundred fifty dollars ($450.00), to cover the cost and expense of such investigation as may be necessary to fully review such application and any accompanying maps, and to report upon the same to the Inspector. The cost and expense of such investigation shall be deducted from such deposit. If such expenditure exceeds the deposit, the excess shall be paid into the Treasury by the applicant upon request of the Clerk. If such deposit exceeds the expenditure, the balance shall be refunded to the applicant.
   If the application is granted, the applicant shall reimburse the Treasurer for any expenses incurred in connection with City supervision or inspection of the operations as outlined in the permit. Statements for expenses shall be submitted to the permit holder by the Clerk and shall be subject to payment within thirty days of receipt. Failure to pay such statements shall constitute grounds for the revocation of the permit.
   (h)    All applications for grading and filling which are determined by the Inspector 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 or her, in writing, subject to such conditions as he or she may require in the public interest. The permittee shall notify the Inspector of the completion of the work, which shall then be inspected by the Inspector. The fee for the permit and the inspection shall be fifteen dollars ($15.00). Such applications need only contain so much information as the Inspector may require, and no bond shall be required. However, the penalty provisions of Section 1462.99 shall apply to any violation of any such permit that the Inspector issues.
(Ord. 1973-81. Passed 12-19-73.)