Town of Wendell, Massachusetts

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Home Town Government Zoning & Land Use Conservation Commission
Conservation Commission

altThe Wendell Conservation Commission is a three-member board established to administer the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (MGL Chapter 131, Section 40) and collaborate with various town departments on wetland issues. Wetlands and floodplains are protected because they play a vital role in serving the following public interests:

  • Protection of Public and private water supply
  • Protection of Groundwater supply
  • Flood control and storm damage prevention
  • Pollution prevention
  • Protection of fisheries and wildlife habitat

Understanding the Wetlands Protection Act (WPA):

The Wetlands Protection Act is the state law that ensures critical natural resources that serve public interests are protected. Wetland Resource Areas include:

  • "Buffer zone" - Any land within 100 feet of a wetland or bank of a stream, this is protected because of its importance to the wetland and to wildlife habitat

  • Floodplains - areas along streams or rivers that are flooded in major storms

  • Vegetated wetlands - areas where soils are wet and where wetland plants, such as red maple, skunk cabbage, cattails, cinnamon and sensitive fern occur

  • Wet meadows
  • Man-made ponds or ditches
  • Riverfront Area - All land within 200 feet of a river or perennially-flowing stream, measured horizontally from the top of the bank of the river or stream (not at an angle up a hill) - the "riverfront area" is protected by The Rivers Act

  • Bordering land subject to flooding - The area flooded by 100-year (or less) storm events

  • Isolated land subject to flooding - Isolated areas that flood and hold at least 1/4 acre foot, 6 inches deep at least once a year

Any building project that takes place in one of these Resource Areas or a buffer zone of a Resource Area requires a filing with the Conservation Commission.

A good regulatory definition of the term "wetland" may be found in the Federal Clean Water Act:

  • Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions.

  • As such, wetlands are defined -- or delineated -- according to three criteria:

    • Hydrophytic vegetation: water-tolerant plants that have adapted to wetland conditions

    • Hydric soils: water-saturated soils that have become oxygen deficient. Indicators of hydric Soils form after being inundated for a week or more during the growing season

    • Other indicators of the hydrologic regime: dominated by the presence of water through flooding or saturated ground, including intermittent stream channels, shallow rooting, etc.

Working Under the Wetlands Protection Act and Wendell Wetlands Protection Bylaw:

Any projects (i.e. tree clearing, earth work, new construction, percolation tests, septic fields, roadway/driveways, etc.) that involve work within wetlands or within resource areas within 100 feet of a wetland resource or 200 feet of a vernal pool will usually require a permit from the Conservation Commission. In addition, many building permits for these same projects require sign-off from the Conservation Commission.

If you are unsure if your project involves work in wetlands or adjacent resource areas, please contact the Conservation Commission and/or submit a Request for Determination of Applicability (RDA). The form and instructions can be found at: https://www.mass.gov/how-to/wpa-form-1-request-for-determination-of-applicability.

If you know that your project will involve work in wetlands or adjacent resource areas, please submit a Notice of Intent (NOI). The form and instructions can be found at: https://www.mass.gov/how-to/wpa-form-3-wetlands-notice-of-intent.

The MassDEP RDA and NOI forms can be used for filings under both the Wetlands Protection Act and Wendell General Wetlands Protection Bylaw.






Wendell Wetlands Bylaw 694Kb

Special Permit Application 44kb
References To Commonwealth of Massachusetts Websites
Wetland Law
Rivers Protection Act
 

FORMS
Wetland Protection Act
Form1 Request for Determination of Applicability
Microsoft Word Acrobat pdf
Form3 Determination of Applicability
Microsoft Word Acrobat pdf
Form4 Abbreviated Notice of Intent
Microsoft Word Acrobat pdf
Form 4a Abbreviated Notice of Resource Area Delineation
Microsoft Word Acrobat pdf
Form 7 Extension Permit for Order of Conditions
Microsoft Word Acrobat pdf
8a Request for Certificate of Compliance
Microsoft Word Acrobat pdf

NOI Wetland Fee Transmittal Form
Microsoft Word Acrobat pdf

Other Permits Reporting and Forms

 

Conservation Commission Minutes

Coming Events

AA Open Meeting
Sat Jul 21 @06:00PM - 07:00PM
Wendell Meditation Group
Sun Jul 22 @08:30AM - 09:30AM
AA Open Meeting
Sun Jul 22 @06:00PM - 07:00PM
Board of Health
Mon Jul 23 @07:00PM -
Broadband Committee Meeting
Tue Jul 24 @07:00PM -
Assessors Meeting
Wed Jul 25 @06:30PM -
Selectboard
Wed Jul 25 @07:00PM -
Fire Department Committee
Mon Aug 06 @08:00PM -
Road Commissioners
Tue Aug 07 @06:30PM -
Mahar Committee
Tue Aug 14 @07:00PM -

Old Home Day

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