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(1) Wetlands of the village are indispensable and fragile resources.
(2) In their natural state, wetlands reduce pollution and nutrients from a broad range of sources, store and convey flood waters, reduce erosion, provide wildlife nesting and feeding areas, provide habitat for plants, provide outdoor recreation opportunities, provide buffers, reduce the effects of adjacent light and noise sources and provide education and scientific study opportunities.
(3) Wetlands play a critical role in water resource protection and watershed management.
(4) The village, therefore, wants to ensure that no further loss of wetland functions and acreage occur within the village and that any activities in wetlands will not increase hazards.
(5) The village also wants to ensure integration of wetland protection into its local comprehensive land use plan and development, ecosystem management and storm water management plan.
(B) Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the following definitions apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
HABITAT LINKAGE. Corridors to help plants and animals migrate. These linkages include streams, riparian corridors or any conservation corridor that provides a physical habitat link.
WETLANDS. Those areas that are permanently or seasonally inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. WETLANDS generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, fens and similar areas. These areas are commonly shown on the National Wetland's Inventory Map.
(1) Unless exempted under division (G) herein, no person may conduct or cause to be conducted a regulated activity within or affecting a wetland without a permit from the village. Any person proposing to conduct or cause to be conducted a village regulated activity shall file an application for a permit with the village. Ten copies of the application shall be submitted. The applicant shall provide within ten days of filing a permit application a written notice of the permit application to the owners of each tract of property adjacent to the property containing the wetland that is the subject of the permit. The applicant shall also post a notice of the proposed permit, within ten days of the filing of the application, in a local newspaper of general circulation.
(2) A permit applicant shall include the following information in the application:
(a) A map of the area that will be affected by the activity, including wetland and water boundaries for the area affected and the existing uses and structures;
(b) A description of the proposed activity, including its purpose, the location and dimensions of any structures, grading or fills, drainage, roads, sewers and water supply, parking lots, storm water facilities, discharge of pollutants and onsite waste disposal;
(c) A description of any public benefit to be derived from the proposed project;
(d) A description of the entire parcel owned by the applicant, including a topographical survey of the property and a sketch map indicating the location of the wetland on the parcel;
(e) A description of any natural hazards at the site, including flood, erosion and soil bearing capacity hazards, and an indication of how the applicant will avoid increasing hazards on other lands and avoid hazard losses associated with the proposed activity;
(f) An explanation of other alternatives the applicant has considered, why the proposed activity cannot be located at other sites, and why other alternatives cannot be used to fulfill the desired purpose of the proposed activity;
(g) The names and addresses of adjacent landowners as determined by the current tax assessment roles and a description of adjacent uses and their distance from the proposed activity; and
(h) Proposed measures to reduce the impact of the proposed activity on wetland and habitat linkage functions and values and to compensate for impacts.
(3) The village may require additional information where that information is needed to determine the compliance of the proposed activity with the criteria for issuance of a permit. Where informational deficiencies are apparent in the application, the village shall advise the applicant of the need for additional information within 30 days of the receipt of the application.
(4) As part of the permit application process, the applicant shall notify, within ten days, by certified mail other state, federal and local government entities that may have jurisdiction over the proposed activity, as well as any other persons or entities that have requested to receive notification of wetland permit applications from the village. All people and entities so notified shall have 30 days from the date of the applicant's notification to provide comments to the village.
(5) The village shall also hold a public hearing concerning the permit application if the proposed activity may have significant impact upon wetland resources.
(6) The village shall issue, conditionally issue, or deny a permit within 120 days of receipt of a permit application unless the permit applicant has failed to supply needed information or additional information gathering is needed to determine the compliance of the permit with regulatory criteria.
(7) In granting a permit, the village may impose conditions that must be carried out to meet the goals of this Code and the permit criteria. The village may suspend or revoke a permit if it finds that the applicant has not complied with the conditions or limitations set forth in the permit. The village may require a bond in an amount and with surety and conditions sufficient to secure compliance with the conditions and limitations set forth in the permit.
(8) (a) A permit applicant shall submit a fee to the village when submitting an application to the village for a regulated activity. The village shall deny any permit application that does not include the appropriate fee.
(b) The amount of the fee shall be $1,000 for each acre pro rata that will be affected by a regulated activity. However, no fee shall be due from any entity listed in ILCS Ch. 415, Act 5, § 12.2(e) of the Environmental Protection Act, as currently enacted or later amended.
(c) All fees collected by the village under this section shall be deposited into the Village Wetlands Protection and Maintenance Fund.
(D) Criteria for issuance of permits.
(1) The village shall issue a permit when it finds that the proposed activity is in the public interest.
(2) In determining whether a proposed activity is in the public interest, the village shall consider the goals of this Code and any more specific criteria for permit issuance adopted by the village. The village shall also consider the impact on habitat linkage. To find that a proposed activity is in the public interest, the village must find that:
(a) There will be no net loss of wetland function within the village. At a minimum, this shall require findings that there will be no net loss within the village of:
1. Wetland habitat for breeding, nesting, foraging, resting or protection of any species, including those species on the federal or state list of threatened, endangered or rare species;
2. Storm water and floodwater retention capacity;
3. Groundwater recharge capacity;
4. Ability to improve water quality through sedimentation, filtration, biological treatment or other functions;
5. Recreational opportunities such as hunting or fishing, hiking and the like; and
6. Habitat linkage system.
(b) There will be no net loss of wetland acreage;
(c) The proposed activity will not cause flooding, erosion or other hazards that will threaten other landowners or the public;
(d) An adequate upland buffer will be provided to protect remaining wetland acres from sediment, pollutants and other threats. This buffer must be at least 50 feet, except as otherwise provided in the criteria adopted by the village. The buffer width for a development site may be varied to a minimum of one-half of the required buffer width provided that the total required buffer area is achieved;
(e) The state has certified that the proposed activity will not cause or contribute to a violation of any state water quality standards;
(f) The proposed activity will not otherwise threaten health and safety, cause nuisances, impair public rights to the enjoyment and use of public waters, or threaten a rare or endangered plant or animal or a unique ecosystem;
(g) There is no reduction in the buffering of adjacent light and noise sources; and
(h) Any adverse impacts will be minimized. In evaluating the impact of the proposed permit, the village shall consider the cumulative effect of existing and reasonably anticipated future activities upon wetland resources. The village shall consider any irreversible and irretrievable commitment of resources that will result from the proposed activity, and the relationship between short-term uses of the environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity. The village shall also consider any proposed impact reduction and compensation measures only after determining that there are no practicable alternatives to the proposed activity and that the measures are consistent with this Code.
(E) General permits.
(1) In carrying out its functions relating to regulated activities, the village may, after notice and opportunity for public hearing, issue a general permit on a category of regulated activity if the village determines that the activities in that category are similar in nature, will cause only minimal adverse environmental effects when performed separately, and will have only minimal cumulative adverse effect on the environment. Best management practices shall be prescribed for activities regulated by a general permit. Any general permit issued under this division shall:
(a) Be based on the guidelines set forth in this Code; and
(b) Set forth the requirements and standards that will apply to the activity authorized by the general permit.
(2) No general permit issued under this subsection shall be valid for a period of more than two years after the date of its issuance.
(3) A general permit may be revoked or modified by the village if, after opportunity for public hearing, the village determines that the activities authorized by the general permit have an adverse impact on the environment or the activities are more appropriately authorized by individual permits.
(F) Creation, restoration and compensation; mitigation banks.
(1) The village shall encourage private landowners, other agencies, land trusts and others to restore wetlands in order to achieve the long-term goal of a net gain in wetland resources and habitat linkages. The village shall identify possible restoration sites in cooperation with other organizations if available.
(2) When a permit applicant proposes wetland restoration, creation or enhancement to compensate for damage to a wetland, the village shall consider the risk of failure of the impact reduction and compensation measures and may require that permit applicant to implement measures prior to undertaking the proposed activity.
(3) The village may not accept as an impact reduction or compensation measure any measure that creates or restores, on a pro rata basis, less than one acre of wetland for every one acre of wetland disturbed by a regulated activity within the village. In deciding whether the compensation ratio proposed by the project applicant is sufficient to provide no net loss of wetland functions and acreage, the village shall consider.
(a) The sensitivity of the wetland type;
(b) The success of other efforts to restore this wetland type;
(c) The length of time it will take before a compensation wetland will become fully functioning;
(d) The degree of difficulty that will be encountered in creating or restoring wetland hydrology in this setting;
(e) The adequacy of the overall project design;
(f) The threats, if any, posed to the compensation wetland by pollution or other activities;
(g) The adequacy of proposed protection and management measures for the proposed compensation wetlands;
(h) The extent to which monitoring and mid-course correction capabilities are proposed;
(i) The extent to which bonds or other assurances are provided to insure long-term success;
(j) The reduction of habitat linkage; and
(k) Any other factors the village determines to be relevant.
(4) The village may use the compensation ratios established under the Illinois Interagency Wetland Policy Act of 1989, being ILCS Ch. 20, Act 830, and its implementing regulations and guidelines to establish minimum compensation ratios under this Code. However, all compensating shall be within the village limits and shall not result in a loss of habitat linkages. Compensation activities can not be performed outside the immediate sub-watershed where the regulated activity will occur. Compensatory activities shall occur within the village, in the same general area and habitat linkage as that of the wetland to be affected by the permitted activity.
(5) The village may also authorize permit applicants, in appropriate circumstances, to compensate for loss of wetland functions by utilizing wetland mitigation banks. The village may authorize a permit applicant to use a bank if there is no practicable onsite alternatives and using the bank will provide a net benefit in wetland functions and acreage within the village. The village may permit some combination of onsite impact reduction, compensation measures and offsite mitigation banks.
(1) Except as provided in division (G)(2) below, the following activities are not prohibited by or otherwise subject to regulation under this Act:
(a) Normal farming, silviculture or ranching activities such as plowing, seeding, cultivating, minor drainage, harvesting for the production of food, fiber and forest products and upland soil and water conservation, practices;
(b) Maintenance, including emergency reconstruction of recently damaged parts, of currently serviceable structures such as dikes, dams, levees, groins, riprap, breakwaters, causeways, bridge abutments or approaches and transportation structures;
(c) Construction or maintenance of farm or stock ponds or irrigation ditches, or the maintenance, but not construction of drainage ditches;
(d) Construction of temporary sedimentation basins on a construction site that does not include any regulated activities within or affecting a wetland; and
(e) Construction or maintenance of farm roads, forest roads or temporary roads for moving mining equipment, where the roads are constructed and maintained in accordance with best management practices to assure that flow and circulation patterns and chemical and biological characteristics of wetlands are not impaired, that the reach of wetlands is not reduced, and that any adverse effect on the aquatic environment will be otherwise minimized.
(2) Any regulated activity having as its purpose bringing a wetland into a use to which it was not previously subjected, where the flow or circulation of waters may be impaired, or where the reach of the wetlands shall be reached, shall be required to have a permit.
(H) Administrative appeals. Any permit applicant who has been denied a permit in whole or in part, and any person who participated in the permit proceeding and who is aggrieved by a decision of the village to grant a permit in whole or in part, may appeal the decision to the Village Board within 30 days of the permit grant or denial.
(I) Penalties: enforcement.
(1) A person who directly or through any employee or agent knowingly violates this Code or any rule established under this Code is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. Each violation of this Code shall be a separate offense, and in the case of continuing violation, each day's continuance shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense.
(2) A person who violates this Code or the rules promulgated under this Code or causes a violation by his or her employee or agent shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $50,000 for the original violation and an additional civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for each day during which any loss of wetland functions caused by the violation continues. The penalty shall be recovered in an action brought by village staff. In determining the appropriate civil penalty to be imposed the court may consider any matters of record concerning mitigating or aggravating factors for determining the penalty, including, but not limited to, the following:
(a) The duration and gravity of the violation;
(b) The presence or absence of due diligence on the part of the violator in attempting to comply with the requirements of this Code and the rules promulgated under this Code or to secure relief as provided by this Code;
(c) Any economic benefits received by the violator from the violation of this Code;
(d) The amount of monetary penalty that will serve to deter further violations by the violator and to otherwise aid in enhancing voluntary compliance with this Code by the violator and other persons similarly subject to this Code; and
(e) The number, proximity in time, and gravity of previously adjudicated violations of this Act by the violator.
(3) The village may terminate a permit if the holder violates any conditions of the permit, obtains a permit by misrepresentation or fails to disclose relevant facts.
(4) The village, may, institute a civil action in circuit court for an injunction or other appropriate legal action to restrain a violation of this Code or of any rule adopted under this Code. In the proceeding, the court shall determine whether a violation has been committed or is likely to occur, and shall enter any order it considers necessary to remove the effects of the violation and to prevent the violation from occurring, continuing or being renewed in the future. An order may include a requirement that the violator restore the affected wetland area, including a provision that, if the violator does not comply by restoring the wetland or habitat linkage within a reasonable time, the village may restore the wetland or habitat linkage to its condition prior to the violation and the violator shall be liable to the village for the cost of restoration.
(5) Any penalty assessed pursuant to this Code, including costs of wetland or habitat linkage restoration and any restoration requirements, shall be recorded by the clerk of the court as a lien against the land and shall not be removed until the penalty is paid or the restoration is completed.
(6) All costs, fees and expenses in connection with an enforcement or restoration action shall be assessed as damages against the violator.
(7) All penalties collected by the village under this section shall be deposited into the Village Wetlands Protection and Maintenance Fund.
(8) Enforcement actions under this section may be concurrent or separate.
(J) Village Wetlands Protection and Maintenance Fund. All fees collected by the village pursuant to this Code shall be deposited into the Village Wetlands Protection and Maintenance Fund, which is hereby created as a special fund in the village budget. In addition to any money appropriated from the General Revenue Fund, the Village Board shall appropriate moneys in the Village Wetlands Protection and Maintenance Fund to the Park Fund in amounts deemed necessary to implement this Code and maintain wetlands within the village.
(K) Preemption. Nothing in this Code shall be construed as a limitation or preemption of any statutory or regulatory authority arising under the Environmental Protection Act or ILCS Ch. 55, Act 5, § 5-1062 of the Counties Code.