A Site Alteration is defined as any alteration to the existing grade of land through the movement, removal or placement of Fill. Any alteration to the grade of the land including filling, dumping, extracting or moving soil must be performed in compliance with the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville's By-law 2017-017-RE, which regulates Site Alterations.
For the purposes of this By-law, Fill is defined as topsoil, soil, rock, stone, clean concrete without coating, free of rebar and free from contamination, sod or turf; either singularly or in combination and scientifically demonstrated inert material. All Fill must meet the applicable Site Condition Standards, must not contain putrescible materials, must be free of termites and invasive species, including the eggs and seeds of such species and must pass a slump test as outlined in the General Waste Management provisions contained in Ontario Regulation (O.Reg.) 347.
The main purpose of the By-law is to avoid creating drainage problems and ensure that ground water and the environment is protected from contaminated material. The Town is aware that earth moving companies (that dig or push earth) have approached residents in York Region and Durham Region offering Fill for free. If you are contacted by someone wanting to supply you with Fill for your property, there are certain things you should know:
- Altering the grade of your property could change the way water flows on and off. Water that doesn't flow properly can cause problems for yourself or your neighbours, such as basement flooding, ponding, erosion and sedimentation during spring thaws or rainstorms.
- Contaminated soil can negatively impact the ground water and environment, affecting wells, ponds, rivers, streams, and lakes.
- Once the soil is delivered onto the owner's property, it becomes their responsibility for the cost of the contaminated soil clean up.
When do you need a permit?
- If more than 200 cubic meters (approximately 20 dump truck loads) of Fill will be moved, added, or removed on a property, Property Owners must obtain a permit to Fill
- Creating a man-made pond.Building a berm or retaining wall.
- Moving/ re-routing your driveway.
- Any work that alters the Existing Grade of land.
When is a permit not required?
- If the total cut and Fill volume is less than 200 cubic meters in a 12 month period.
- For specific land uses such as those related to normal farm practices and garden centers (see By-law for limitations).
Property owners should become familiar with the Town's Site Alteration By-law to determine personal obligations and risks. Guidelines for Application of a Site Alteration and Fill Permit will aid in understanding the requirements.