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Frequently Asked Questions

 

It is likely the Conservation Agent or Director from your town has informed you that wetlands or other resource areas are located on your property.  The next step is to hire a wetland scientist to determine if in fact there area any resource areas on your property.

 

How do you determine if there are any wetlands or resource areas on my property?

 

Who has to file with the local Conservation Commission?

 

What is the Request for a Determination of Applicability?

 

What is a Notice of Intent?

 

How do I know what to file?

 

Where can I obtain additional information?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you determine if there are any wetlands or resource areas on my property?

 

To determine if any wetlands are located on your property a site visit must be performed.   Vegetated wetlands occur in transitional areas between uplands and water bodies and seldom have clear edges.   The boundary is determined for regulatory purposes.  The property is evaluated for indicators of hydrology and these indicators include vegetation, soils, and the presence of water.  If there are wetlands located on your property the wetlands will be flagged with blue ribbon and metal tagging.

 

Who has to file with the local Conservation Commission?

 

If the work your proposing is located within 100 ft of a wetland or 200 ft of a perennial stream a filing is required with the local Conservation Commission and Department of Environmental Protection.  There are (2) types of filings; Request for Determination of Applicability and a Notice of Intent.

 

What is the Request for a Determination of Applicability?

 

This is a filing with the local Conservation Commission to review the proposed work to determine if a secondary filing or Notice of Intent is necessary.  In general a Request for Determination of Applicability is filed when the proposed work is at least 50 ft from the resource area.  A Request for Determination of Applicability is relatively simple, inexpensive and easy to file.

 

What is a Notice of Intent?

 

A Notice of Intent is a filing to determine if the proposed work will alter or is likely to alter a resource area as determined by the local Conservation Commission.  A Notice of Intent may be filed without any preliminary filings and the applicant often works with professional engineers or other consultants.  This type of filing is complex, requires detailed plans, abutter notification, advertisement in the local newspaper, and has associated fees.

 

How do I know what to file?

 

This can vary with the town you are working in, as some towns are more stringent than others.  Many towns have local wetland by-laws in addition to the State Wetland Protection Act regulations.  Your best bet is either to discuss your options with the local Conservation Director or Agent and/or hire a professional.

 

Where can I obtain additional information?

 

We’ve provided a variety of helpful links that will provide you with forms, instructions, and regulations.  Please see the Mass DEP link to download the applicable forms and instructions.  In addition, there are links to aerial Orthophotos that can be helpful in determining if there is a wetland on your property.  A link to individual town web sites are helpful in determining if your town has any local by-laws.  Of course, you can always call our office for free consultation.