Soil Erosion is a major contributor to pollution in waterways. Uncontrolled soil runoff during inclement weather (i.e., wind and rain) can move off-site into lakes and streams. The run-off can also travel through ditches or pipes and across properties, depositing into creeks, streams or wetlands. The run-off creates a hazard that can harm the plants, fish and other creatures living there.
The State of Michigan enacted legislation (Part 91 of Public Act 451) to address the negative effects of soil erosion, and the Kent County Road Commission (KCRC) has the authority to enforce the state‘s soil erosion program for Kent County communities, except for the following cities: Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Rockford, and Walker.
A Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Permit from KCRC is required by a property owner when a project:
Permit for New Construction
When constructing a home that meets SESC requirments, a builder must obtain a permit from KCRC to protect the environment from soil erosion.
When a new property purchase includes a soil erosion permit, the new property owner should:
Complete a Permit Transfer Information Form. This form is completed by both the builder/initial permit holder and the new property owner. The form transfers the permit and its requirements to the purchaser of the property until the lot has permanent vegetation and landscaping in place, according to the plan the builder/initial permit holder submitted for the permit.
If a yard does not have a lawn and landscaping, it is up to the property owner to ensure proper soil erosion controls are in place:
Control measures that a property owner must manage depend on the slope and nature of the site and include, but are not limited to:
KCRC will send a letter explaining that the property is not in compliance. The needed fixes will be listed in the letter and the property owner will be given five (5) days to correct the issues.
If the issues are not corrected, the property owner is subject to any or all of the following:
When the property owner believes that all permanent vegetation is in place (90% growth, 1-inch tall on every square foot of disturbance), he/she can request a final completion inspection from KCRC.
If the site remains permitted for longer than what was initially written on the permit application, the permit holder will need to pay renewal fees in three-month increments until permanent vegetation is in place and the final completion inspection is complete an the permit is closed.