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Construction on Steep Slopes

Construction on Steep Slopes

What is a "Steep Slope"? 

A Steep Slope is considered a slope area greater than 10 percent. The areas of Highlands designated as Steep Slopes include any properties south of Shore Drive and the Highlands-Sea Bright Bridge, including Blocks 1 through 29, inclusive, Blocks 34 though 38, inclusive, Blocks 40, 60, and 61, and Blocks 103 through 120, inclusive, as described by the Tax Assessment Map of the Borough of Highlands.

Why are Steep Slopes regulated?

The purpose of regulating these slope areas is to limit soil loss, erosion, excessive stormwater runoff, the degradation of surface water and to maintain the natural topography, drainage patterns of land, and to ensure the integrity of the slope.

What is regulated in slope areas?

All construction work and land disturbance conducted in a designated slope area is regulated pursuant to Highlands Steep Slope Ordinance. See Ordinance 21-84B[B] for exceptions.

How do I obtain approval to perform work in a Steep Slope Area?

An application for a slope area permit shall be made to the Highlands Construction Official by completing the Steep Slope Area Permit Application. A detailed plan and all required items listed in the Application, including payment, must accompany the Steep Slope Area Permit Application. 

If the project includes buildings or structures, including retaining walls, a Construction Permit Application must also be completed and filed with the Construction Official for review and approval. CLICK HERE FOR ALL FORMS RELATED TO THE UNIFORM CONSTRUCTION CODE CONSTRUCTION PERMIT APPLICATION

Who reviews my Application?

The Department of Buildings & Housing will review the Application for completeness and forward to the Borough Engineer for review and determination. Applications for buildings and structures will be reviewed by the Construction Official's Office.

Is there a Fee to file an Application?

An initial application filing fee of $425 must be made with the application, payable to the Borough of Highlands. Payments must be made at the time of Application to the Department of Buildings. If additional escrow fees are required, the applicant will be required to pay the amount equal to the estimated review fee, as determined by the Borough Engineer.

Are there any inspections involved?

Inspections by the Borough Engineer will be required before, during stabilization and upon completion of the work or disturbance, during and for two (2) years after complete stabilization, or for any other reasonable time, as determined by the Borough Engineer, to ensure the purposes of the Steep Slope Regulations are met. In the event the work requires a construction permit under the Uniform Construction Code, inspections from the Construction Official's Office will also be required.  

Are there Penalties for noncompliance?

Contractors or homeowners failing to comply with the Borough's Steep Slope Regulations may be punished by a fine up to two thousand ($2,000.00) dollars, or by imprisonment for a period not exceeding ninety (90) days; or a period of community service not exceeding ninety (90) days; or by both such fine and imprisonment or community service. See Section 1-5 of the Borough Code. Additionally, the Court may order any person convicted of violating the Steep Slope Regulations to pay the Borough all costs for and associated with necessary stabilization or corrective measures, as determined by the Borough Engineer.