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Earth Removal By-law
A. The jurisdiction governing the removal of soil, loam, sand, gravel, stone or other earth material is hereby established under the control of the Earthworks Board (“Board”).
B. No person, firm or corporation shall remove any soil, loam, sand, gravel, stone or other earth material from any land in the town not in public use without first obtaining a permit therefor, from the Board as provided in the following sections. A permit shall be granted only by an affirmative vote of a simple majority of members of the Board.
C. The definition of removal as used herein shall mean stripping, digging or excavating the foregoing material and removal from one lot or parcel and transported to another.
D. A permit shall be required under this by-law for the removal of soil, loam, sand, gravel, stone, or other earth material:
1. In the course of development and operation of any sand, gravel, loam or rock pits.
2. In the course of construction or enlargement of any ponds, lakes, waterways and other bodies of water.
3. In the course of constructing, widening, relocation, change of grade or repair of any and all streets, roads, and other ways both public and private.
E. Exemptions:
A permit shall not be required under this by-law for the removal of soil, loam, sand, gravel, stone and other earth materials:
1. In the course of construction of a residential building for which a building permit has been issued and to the installation of walks, driveways, cesspools, septic tanks, leaching fields and other appurtenances to said building provided that the quantity of material removed does not exceed that displaced by portion of said building and appurtenances below the finished grade.
2. In the course of customary use of land for a farm, garden or nursery.
3. In the course of excavation in the regular operation of a cemetery.
4. Any construction or installation of utilities by the Rutland Water Department or Department of Public Works.
The above exemption do not cover removal of earth materials from the premises involving topographical changes or soil stripping or loam stripping activities, nor shall tentative or final approval of a subdivision plan be construed as authorizing the removal of earth material from streets on the subdivision plan.
F. Applications
1. All applications for permits shall be in writing on a form prescribed by the Board and shall consist of the following information:
a. Location of proposed earth removal site or sites
b. Name and address of owner of land involved
c. Name and address of the petitioner or petitioners
d. Names and addresses of the abutting property owners, including those across the street
e. Type of earth material to be removed
f. Depth of excavation
g. Area of excavation
h. Purpose for earth removal
i. Destination of earth material removed
j. Method of removal
k. Method and routes of transportation
l. Duration of removal operations
m. The finished level and scoping
n. Disposition of all rocks, boulders, stumps, and brush
o. Permission from the petitioner and/or land owner for the Board or its representatives and other town officials to enter said land at any time for inspections to determine compliance with the conditions set forth in the permit.
2. The Board may at its discretion require any or all but not limited to the following additional information and documents to accompany the application.
a. A viable plot plan of the land involved, prepared and signed by a registered land surveyor or professional engineer. Such plan shall show all structures, property lines, vegetative cover, presence and relationship of all water courses, wet areas, drainage, ponds, lakes, streams, and all other bodies of water including all sources of water supply both public and private. Topographic lines at (5) five foot grade intervals carried (100) one hundred feet beyond the limits of the proposed excavation must be included. In the case of an application for the continuation of an existing removal operation the Board may require that said plan shall include all areas where past earth removal was conducted.
b. A viable plan prepared as the foregoing plot plan showing topographic lines at (5) foot grade intervals after the completion of the proposed excavation, and reloaming of the area is completed. The plan shall also include the watercourses, drainage, wet areas, streams, ponds, lakes and all other bodies of water including any and all sources of water supplies both public and private. Included shall be complete information as to the regarding, reloaming, and reseeding of said areas.
c. Estimated quantities of each substance to be excavated as calculated by a professional engineer.
d. A statement from an engineer as to the estimated loam within the area and the average depth thereof.
e. The amount of loam which will be required to provide a loam cover at least (4) four inches compacted upon termination of the removal work and what amount will have to be brought on to the site for such purpose and its origin.
f. Documentation from the applicant as to the availability of loam from the site and from off the site for final cover and approximate cost thereof.
g. Estimate and analysis by an engineer of amounts and types of grass seed, plants, and other plantings required to repair the site and the cost of performing such work.
h. All costs for the above information and documents shall be borne by the petitioners.
G. Conditions
The Board may impose conditions on any permit it grants under this By-law including but not limited to:
1. The method of operation
2. Days and hours of operations:
a. Will be determined so as not to create a nuisance in the immediate area of removal nor along the public and private ways said earth materials are to be transported
3. Buffers:
a. A 300 foot minimum buffer or as determined by the Board shall be imposed and maintained
along any and all ways both public and private.
b. A 300 foot minimum buffer or as determined by the Board shall be imposed and maintained
along any and all sources of water supply both public and private
c. A 100 foot minimum buffer or as determined by the Board shall be imposed and maintained
along any and all wet areas, streams, ponds, lakes and all other bodies of water not used as sources of water supply either public or private.
d. A 100 foot minimum buffer or as determined by the Board shall be imposed and maintained
along the boundaries of said earth removal area and any and all adjoining properties.
4. Grading
a. The proper grade must be maintained throughout the course of earth removal so as to prevent
any “Land sliding” or earth shifting. If this grade is impossible or impractical to maintain as
determined by the Board, a suitable fence must be erected so as to prevent the entry of person
or persons to the earth removal site.
b. All areas from which earth has been removed must upon completion be regraded so as to
prevent any “land sliding” or earth shifting. Areas as determined by the Board must be
reloamed with a minimum of (4) four inches compacted, reseeded, and replanted as
determined by the Board so as to prevent any erosion, and to return said area to its original
aesthetic state.
5. Protection:
a. Proper protection as determined by the Board must be provided and maintained at all times
during the earth removal project to prevent any and all erosion, siltation, flooding or any
other damage to wetlands, the water table, streams, ponds, lakes and all other bodies or water, including sources of water supplies both public and private. Also to any and all street, roads and ways and to any and all adjoining properties, both public and private.
6. Drainage:
a. The course or configuration of any drainage or waterway either natural or man made shall
not be diverted or changed in any manner, before, during or upon completion of said earth
removal except by prior determination by the Board. No excavation or grading shall take
place so as to cause the accumulation of free standing water.
7. Transportation
a. All streets, road and ways used must be kept clean and clear of all debris during and after
earth removal progress, costs of which shall be borne by the applicant.
8. Bonding:
a. The Board may request as a condition that the applicant furnish a performance bond, of cash
certified check or a surety company to the Town as obligee in a penal sum to be fixed by said Board as it shall deem sufficient to cover the cost of the performance of all the conditions, limitations, and safeguards may be imposed by said Board in connection with the removal of the particular earth substances for which the permit has been issued.
b. The bond, check or cash deposit shall be held by the Town Treasurer for (1) one year after
termination of the earth removal project or until all conditions of the permit have been
completed to the satisfaction of the Board. If after (18) eighteen months from the issuance of
the permit all conditions as required in the permit have not been completed (especially
grading and seeding), the Board will use the monies to comply with the originally stated
9. The Board shall at its discretion impose additional conditions it deems necessary in unusual circumstances for the protection of wetlands, water tables, streams, ponds, lakes, and all other bodies of water including any and all sources of water supply, both public and private. Also, for the
protection of the health and safety of the residents of the town and their rights to use and enjoy their properties.
10. No permit shall be issued under the provisions of this by-law for a period of more than (1) one year, though permits may be renewed without a hearing at the discretion of the Board.
11. Corrective measure may be required of the applicant to restore areas of past removal operations in the case of an application for continuation of an existing removal operation.
H. Loan
1. Loam shall be removed only for use within the town
2. No surplus loan shall be removed from any land having less than (8) eight inches of loam in its natural state.
I. No permit for earth removal shall be issued if in the opinion of the Board such removal or transportation will:
1. Endanger the general public health, safety, or convenience, or constitute a nuisance.
2. Result in detriment to or depreciation of neighboring properties or interfere with owners or occupants in the normal use and enjoyment of said properties by reason of noise, dust, vibrations, traffic and drainage conditions.
3. Endanger the recharge of water table.
4. Endanger the habitat of wildlife in any form.
J. No permit shall be issued hereunder until a public hearing has been held by the Board after first giving (14)
fourteen day notice of the time and place of the hearing in a newspaper having general circulation in the
Town of Rutland and by mailing notice thereof to the applicant and all abutters. The applicant shall pay all
costs incident to the foregoing advertising and mailing requirements.
K. Failure to comply with any or all of the conditions of the permit will result in immediate recession of the
permit. Pending completion of an investigation by the Board into the compliance of non-compliance of
any or all conditions of said permit issued pursuant to this article, the Board may suspend all rights
incidental to said permit. The suspension or revocation of an earth removal permit shall not relieve the
holder of an earth removal permit shall not relieve the holder of the permit of his or her obligations
thereunder except at the discretion of the Board.
L. Fees
The Board may charge reasonable fees for making an application for an earth removal permit.
M. Fines
Whoever shall violate any or all these provisions shall be punished by a fine of ($50.00) fifty dollars for the first offense, ($100.00) one hundred dollars for the second offense and ($200.00) two hundred dollars for each subsequent offense.
N. The Board shall record all proceedings and decisions handled by the Board members in a book kept for that purpose and shall file in the Office of the Town Clerk a copy of all proceedings and decisions and the said Town Clerk shall keep a proper index thereof.
O. This By-Law shall take effect upon its approval by the Attorney General and publication as provided by law, provided however that any continuous earth removal activities in actual legal working operation on May 13, 1978, may continue unaffected by the law until October 1, 1978. Permits for operation of the latter activities will be required after Oct. 1, 1978.
P. If any provisions of this By-Law shall be held invalid or unconstitutional, such validity or unconstitutionality shall not be construed to affect validity or unconstitutionality of any of the remaining provisions.

Adopted May13, 1978  Approved with deletions by Attorney General September 5, 1978  Posting requirements met September 14, 1978
Amended May 6, 2017   Approved with comments by Attorney General August 9, 2017 Posting requirements met August 17, 2017

Town of Rutland 250 Main Street, Rutland, MA 01543   Disclaimer   Nondiscrimination Statement
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