Town of Wilton, NH

Zoning Ordinance (2020)

9B.0 Gravel Excavation District (Adopted March 2006)

9B.1 Purpose

The purpose of this district is to provide reasonable and substantial opportunities for the extraction of earth materials while maintaining a safe, healthy, and harmonious atmosphere for all in the Town of Wilton. To this end, a large area of the town which is known to contain large deposits of easily extractable gravel, and where many of the lots have been used for gravel excavation in the past, is designated to allow the removal of earth materials.

The designated area permits excavation without significant impact to the public welfare because it is in a rural, sparsely populated part of the town, with convenient access to a state highway. The topography of the area, substantial buffer requirements, and the limitation on maximum open excavation areas minimize the detrimental effect of excavations on the visual character of the scenic Souhegan River / Greenville Road valley.

9B.2 District Location

The Gravel Excavation District encompasses the following areas within the Town of Wilton: (Amended March 2010)

  1. As delineated on the Town of Wilton Tax Map, the district includes Lots 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 36 on Tax Map E, and Lots 23 and 24 on Tax Map G. These lots fall in an area in southwestern Wilton located west of NH Route 31 (Greenville Road), east of Russell Hill Road and Kimball Hill Road, south of NH Route 101, and north of King Brook Road.

9B.3 Permitted Uses

The Gravel Excavation District is an overlay district. Uses permitted in this district are in addition to uses permitted in the underlying zoning districts.

Lots in the Gravel Excavation District may be used for the commercial taking of sod, loam, clay, sand, gravel, or such other naturally occurring unconsolidated materials that normally mask the bedrock, provided that the use meets the requirements of this ordinance and of the Excavation Site Plan Review Regulations established by the Wilton Planning Board. Washing, screening, and crushing of extracted materials utilizing small portable equipment is permitted, accessory to the extraction of those materials from the site.

9B.4 Prohibited Uses

Quarrying, excluding activities regulated under NH Revised Statutes Annotated (RSA), Chapter 12–E, Mining and Excavation, or crushing of bedrock, excavation of materials with explosives, or any other mining activity is prohibited. Stationary manufacturing plants are prohibited.

9B.5 Nonconforming Uses

Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to prohibit any excavation which is exempted from local permit requirements by N.H. RSA 155-E.

Existing excavations operating under a permit previously granted by the Wilton Planning Board may continue to operate under the terms of that permit.

9B.6 Requirements and Performance Standards

The standards of this section are in addition to any standards established in the Excavation Site Plan Review Regulations established by the Wilton Planning Board. Section 12.4(i) of this Ordinance establishes additional standards for excavations in the Wellhead Protection Area. Where there is a conflict between the provisions of this section, Section 12.4(i), and the Excavation Site Plan Review Regulations, the stricter standard shall rule. (Amended March, 2007)

9B.6.1 Setbacks and Buffers

All areas used for the excavation of earth materials shall be set back and separated by an undisturbed natural wooded buffer at least three-hundred (300) feet from all public roads except Webb Road and from all lot lines, except that:

  1. The setback may be reduced to twenty-five (25) feet from other lots in the Gravel Excavation District with the written permission of the lot owner.
  2. There is no setback requirement from lot lines between multiple lots containing land encompassed in a single excavation.
  3. Access roads may be constructed through the buffer area.

9B.6.2 Transportation

The transportation of earth materials removed from this district must be by a private access road to NH Route 31 (Greenville Road) or King Brook Road from NH Route 31 (Greenville Road) to Photon Way, subject to the Planning Board finding that such use does not compromise public safety, and not to any other public road. Where materials are proposed to be removed from a lot without frontage on NH Route 31 (Greenville Road) or King Brook Road, it is the responsibility of the excavator to obtain any necessary easements to construct an access road to NH Route 31 (Greenville Road).

9B.6.3 Maximum Open Area

  1. No actual excavation may exceed five (5) acres at one time.
  2. The Planning Board may incorporate specific conditions in the Excavation Site Plan Review Regulations establishing conditions under which it may permit the extension of the maximum open excavation area to ten (10) acres.

9B.6.4 Reclamation

  1. No slope in soil material shall be left steeper than 3 to 1 (three (3) horizontal feet for each one (1) foot of vertical drop). The Planning Board may approve a reclamation plan incorporating 2 to 1 slopes (two (2) horizontal feet for each one (1) foot of vertical drop) provided all of the following conditions are met:
    1. The steeper grade of 2 to 1 must be stable and must be able to support adequate forest growth;
    2. Reforestation of the 2 to 1 slope area with native tree species consistent with forestry best management practices (BMP) utilizing seedlings or young trees;
    3. Acceptable soil erosion and drainage control measures must be incorporated to stabilize the reclaimed area, according to best management practices (BMP), including but not limited to elevation platforms or benches at appropriate elevation intervals.
  2. All topsoil removed during the excavation shall be stockpiled on site, and shall be spread over the site during the reclamation of the excavated area or any portion thereof. Additional topsoil shall be brought from off-site, as required, to provide a minimum depth of four (4) inches. The excavator may apply to the Planning Board for permission to remove a portion of the stockpiled topsoil from the site, subject to a determination that the remaining material will be sufficient to cover the reclaimed area to a minimum depth of six (6) inches.