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Design Criteria & Standards for an Environmental Features Setback Administrative Permit


Compliance with the applicable design criteria and standards, as determined by the environmental department director, shall be required for a minor project to be considered for approval by an administrative permit and may be required for other use permits by the entity with final approval authority in the absence of a demonstration by the applicant that compliance with a particular design criteria or standard is not feasible and prudent or is not necessary to assure that the operation will cause the least possible damage and encroachment or interference with the environmental features setback and the natural resources and natural processes within the watercourse and wetland areas in the township.

a. The mitigation area which shall be at least as large as the area of disturbance (1:1 mitigation ratio), shall not exceed 0.5 acres in size and shall be on the same site as the proposed operation for which a permit is required. Off-site mitigation may not be approved by an administrative permit.


b. Plans for mitigation are required and shall include all of the following:


  • A description of the topography, soils, hydrology, and vegetation.  
  • The acreage to be restored, created, or preserved by ecological type
  • Cut and fill volumes.
  • A description of the ecological types, hydrology, soils, and vegetation of the wetlands to be impacted.
  • A description of the adjacent protected resource (wetland and/or  watercourse.
  • Existing Conditions Plan that includes topographic information (1 or 2 foot contour intervals), roads, trails, structures, property lines, directional arrows, scale, and the exact size and boundaries of existing environmental features setback, wetlands, streams, and 100-year floodplain.
  • A plan view showing all of the proposed conditions of the mitigation site including all contour elevations (at 1 foot contour intervals), structures, the type and size of all proposed wetland areas, property lines, directional arrows, scale, the conservation easement area, and the proposed method of demarking the environmental features setback.
  • Cross-sections showing the existing and proposed grades.
  • Landscape Plan which includes a plan view, installation methods, planting list that specifies plant type, species list with scientific and common names, size, and quantity as well as distribution within the mitigation areas in accordance with the wetland/environmental mitigation manual.
  • Schedule and Construction Methods: A schedule and methods for completion of the mitigation site must be provided (e.g., initiation, planting, completion)

The site preparation and soil erosion/sedimentation control methods to be used during construction should be described.

  • Long-term Protection Plan: A preservation notice and an accompanying recordable size site plan indicating the wetland, environmental features setback area, and 100-year floodplain must be provided.

c. Only native/indigenous trees, shrubs, grasses, sedges, forbs, vines and other herbaceous plants approved by the environmental department director pursuant to the wetland/environmental mitigation manual, may be planted in floodplains, floodways, wetlands, watercourses, woodland or tree preservation areas and environmental features setback areas.


d. The location of structures (permanent or temporary) is not allowed within recorded and/or township established preservation areas or easements

e. No direct discharge of storm water, sump water or wastewater is permitted to wetlands, watercourses, woodlands/woodland preservation areas and environmental features setback areas.


f. Seawalls must meet the following design standards:

  • Any type must be installed at or above the ordinary high water mark of a watercourse.
  • Existing vertical and horizontal contours of the shoreline shall be maintained.
  • Vertical seawalls (steel or vinyl) are not permitted where vertical walls do not currently exist.
  • Boulder seawalls will be installed on a 1:1 slope (45 degree angle), approved geotextile fabric shall be installed behind the proposed seawall, and approved stone backfill shall be used to provide adequate drainage.
  • Four (4) to eight (8) inch diameter natural cobblestone must be placed (minimum width of twelve (12) inches) at the toe of the entire length of the seawall.

g. Impervious surfaces can not exceed 25% of an environmental features setback area and must be constructed such that runoff is directed away from watercourse and wetlands or to a native plant area to provide the maximum infiltration of storm water and runoff as possible.

h. Trees within the environmental features setback can be trimmed to a height of 12 feet and herbaceous and/or shrubs can be cut to a minimum height of 4 feet for creation of a viewshed.

i. Beach sanding must meet the following design standards:

  • The purpose of the fill is for the creation, improvement, or restoration of swimming areas and beaches.
  • The fill is placed above the ordinary high water mark.
  • The fill is 10 cubic yards or less and is completed as one complete project.
  • The material is from a source approved by the environmental department director and is clean, nonpolluting, free from debris, organic materials, and waste metal products.
  • The total area filled shall not exceed 25% of the environmental features setback.

j. Driveways must meet the following design standards:

  • Any upland on the property or other alternatives, such as obtaining a permanent easement for access from adjacent upland if available or a shared driveway shall be utilized to the greatest degree possible.
  • The location of the driveway is at the least damaging place on the property and creates the minimum wetland impact.
  • No ditches may be placed in the wetland in association with the driveway.
  • The driveway must terminate at a buildable upland site.