The inhabitants of the Town of Wendell, Franklin SS, Commonwealth of Massachusetts and all others that may be concerned therein, are hereby warned and notified that the following is a true copy of the recent amendment to the town's Wetlands Protection Bylaw as adopted by the Town of Wendell on March 16, 2017 and approved by the Attorney General on June 2, 2017.

The adopted Bylaw is 12 pages in length. The first paragraph of each section is presented here. The full text is available for review at the Town Clerk's Office or on demand via email. The intent of the authors was not to change the bylaw, but rather to bring it up to date with respect to language and content.


SECTION 1: Purpose:

The purpose of this Bylaw is to protect the wetlands, water resources, flood prone areas and adjoining upland areas in the Town of Wendell by controlling activities deemed by the Conservation Commission likely to have a significant or cumulative effect on resource area values, including but not limited to the following (collectively, the "resource area values protected by this Bylaw"):

SECTION 2: Jurisdiction

Except as permitted by the Conservation Commission or as provided in this bylaw, no person shall commence to remove, fill, dredge, build upon, construct septic tank leach fields upon, degrade, pollute, discharge into or otherwise alter the following resource areas (collectively the "resource areas protected by this Bylaw"):

SECTION 3: Conservation Zone
The Commission shall require that a fifty (50) foot wide strip of undisturbed soil and native vegetation, called the Conservation Zone, be maintained adjacent to any freshwater wetland, isolated wetland, marsh, wet meadow, spring, bog, swamp, bank, but not including riverfront area.  No work, structures, disturbance or alterations will be allowed within the Conservation Zone, except for minor activities, such as mowing, gardening, and pruning within existing lawn, garden or landscaped areas, as described in the Regulations adopted by the Commission pursuant to this Bylaw

SECTION 4: Exemptions and Exceptions

Existing Structures or Facilities

The applications and permits required by this Bylaw shall not be required for maintaining, repairing, or replacing an existing and lawfully located structure or facility:

SECTION 5: Applications and Fees

Where this Bylaw and the Wetlands Protection Act, G.L. Chapter 131, Sec. 40, and Regulations 310 CMR 10.00 have concurrent or co-extensive jurisdiction the Commission may accept the Notice of Intent (NOI), Abbreviated Notice of Intent (ANOI), Request for Determination of Applicability (RDA), Abbreviated Notice of Resource Area Delineation (ANRAD) and other forms and plans filed under the Wetlands Protection Act as the permit application and plans required under this Bylaw.  The Commission may describe, specify and amend the forms it will accept and issue under this Bylaw in the Regulations it adopts hereunder.

SECTION 6: Notice and Hearings

Any person filing a permit application with the Commission shall, at the same time, give written notice thereof (by certified mail with return receipt requested or by personal delivery in hand) to all abutters according to the most recent tax records of the assessors, including owners of land directly opposite on any public or private street or way, and abutters to the abutters within 300 feet of the property line of the applicant, including any in another municipality or across a body of water. The notice shall state a brief description of the project or other proposal and the date of any Commission hearing date, if known.

SECTION 7: Coordination with Other Boards

Any person filing a permit application or RDA with the Commission shall provide a copy thereof at the same time (by certified mail with return receipt requested, or by personal delivery in hand) to the Selectboard, Planning Board, Board of Appeals, Board of Health, and Building Inspector. The Commission shall not take final action until the above-listed boards and officials have had 14 days from receipt of notice to file written comments and recommendations with the Commission, which the Commission shall take into account but which shall not be binding on the Commission. The applicant shall have the right to receive any such comments and recommendations, and to respond to them at a hearing of the Commission, prior to final action.

SECTION 8: Permits, Determinations and Conditions

If the Commission after a public hearing, determines that the activities which are the subject of the application, or the land and water uses which will result therefrom, are likely to have a significant individual or cumulative effect upon the resource area values protected by this Bylaw, the Commission, within 21 days of the close of the hearing, shall issue or deny a permit for the activities requested. The Commission shall take into account the extent to which the applicant has avoided, minimized and mitigated any such effect. The Commission also shall take into account any loss, degradation, isolation, and replacement or replication of protected resource areas elsewhere in the Town and the applicable watershed, resulting from past activities, whether permitted, unpermitted or exempt, and foreseeable future activities in those areas.

SECTION 9: Regulations

After public notice and public hearing, the Commission shall promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this Bylaw, effective when voted and filed with the Town Clerk. Failure by the Commission to promulgate such rules and regulations or legal declaration of their invalidity by a court of law shall not act to suspend or invalidate the effect of this Bylaw. At a minimum these regulations shall reiterate the terms defined in this Bylaw, define additional terms not inconsistent with this Bylaw, and establish filing and consultant fees.

SECTION 10: Definitions

Except as otherwise provided in this Bylaw or Regulations of the Commission, the definitions of terms in this Bylaw shall be as set forth in the Wetlands Protection Act and in the Regulations thereunder, 310 CMR 10.00. The following terms shall apply in the interpretation and implementation of this Bylaw.

SECTION 11: Security

As part of a permit issued under this Bylaw, in addition to any security required by any other municipal or state board, agency, or official, the Commission may require that the performance and observance of the conditions imposed hereunder (including conditions requiring mitigation work) be secured wholly or in part by one or more of the methods described below:

SECTION 12: Enforcement

No person shall remove, fill, dredge, build upon, degrade, or otherwise alter resource areas protected by this Bylaw, or cause, suffer, or allow such activity, or leave in place unauthorized fill, or otherwise fail to restore illegally altered land to its original condition, or fail to comply with a permit or an enforcement order issued pursuant to this Bylaw.

SECTION 13: Burden of Proof

The applicant for a permit shall have the burden of providing by a preponderance of the credible evidence that the work proposed in the application will not have unacceptable significant or cumulative effect upon the resource area values protected by this Bylaw. Failure to provide adequate evidence to the Commission supporting this burden shall be sufficient cause for the Commission to deny a permit or grant a permit with conditions.

SECTION 14: Appeals

A decision of the Conservation Commission under this Bylaw shall be reviewable in the Superior Court in accordance with G.L. Ch. 249, Section 4.

SECTION 15: Relation to the Wetlands Protection Act

This Bylaw is adopted under the Home Rule Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution and the Home Rule statutes, independent of the Wetlands Protection Act, General Laws, Chapter 131, Section 40, and regulations (310 CMR 10.00) thereunder. It is the intention of this Bylaw that the purposes, jurisdiction, authority, exemptions, regulations, specifications, standards, and other requirements shall be interpreted and administered as stricter than those under the Wetlands Protection Act and regulations thereunder.

SECTION 16: Severability

If any section, paragraph, sentence, clause, provision, phrase, or word of this Bylaw shall be adjudged not valid, the adjudication shall apply only to the material so adjudged and the remainder of this Bylaw shall be deemed to remain valid and effective. Any such adjudication shall not invalidate any permit or determination which has previously been issued.

Attest, a true copy: Gretchen Smith, Wendell Town Clerk

NOTE: Claims of invalidity by reason of any defect in the procedure of adoption or amendment must be made within ninety days of this posting. Copies of the by-law and associated documentation may be examined and obtained at the Town Clerk Office, 9 Morse Village Road. Phone: (978) 544-3395 x2;

Post: 6/5/17
Remove post (14 days): 6/19/17
Deadline for claim of invalidity: 9/2/2017 (90 days)