ARTICLE XII. WETLANDS PROTECTION
The primary objective of the wetlands protection requirements of the By-Laws is to maintain and enhance the conservation and protection of all natural resources present within Devens.
- General Provisions
- The Act requires the Commission to exercise all the powers of a conservation commission relating to the enforcement in Devens of the Wetlands Protection Act, G.L. c. 131, sections 40 and 40 A, and the regulations promulgated thereunder by the Department of Environmental Protection at 310 CMR 10. The Commission shall administer its powers relating to the protection of wetlands in accordance with the Wetlands Protection Act and regulations issued by the Department of Environmental Protection thereunder. Resource areas protected under the Wetlands Protection Act include freshwater wetlands, rivers, streams, ponds, and lakes.
- The Commission shall include a wetlands protection section in the Regulations which will provide a detailed description of the procedures required to obtain a wetlands permit, as well as the enforcement powers of the Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection. This section of the Regulations shall be consistent with and based upon 310 CMR 10.
- The submission by an applicant pursuant to this wetlands protection by-law for a project involving wetlands, and the review of that Notice of Intent, shall be incorporated into the unified permitting procedure for Devens described in the By-Laws, particularly in the permitting procedure, Article III.
- Specific Provisions
- Lands within one hundred (100) feet of wetland resources are presumed important to the protection of these resources because activities undertaken in close proximity to wetlands and other resources have a high likelihood of adverse impact upon the wetland or other resource, either immediately, as a consequence of construction, or over time, as a consequence of daily operation or existence of the activities. These adverse impacts from construction and use can include, without limitation, erosion, siltation, loss of groundwater recharge, poor water quality, and loss of wildlife habitat. To protect water quality, groundwater recharge, and wildlife habitat, no alteration of the natural vegetation or substrate may be undertaken within twenty-five (25) feet of the bank of any stream, river, pond, any wetland bordering on these waterbodies, and any vernal pool certified by the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (collectively "Resource Areas"). Furthermore, no building shall be located within fifty (50) feet of these Resource Areas.
- Except for the twenty-five (25) foot and fifty (50) foot setbacks referenced in paragraph 1, the Commission may permit development within one hundred (100) feet of a Resource Area upon a demonstration by the applicant that work within the one hundred (100) foot area would not adversely affect the ability of the wetland to protect surface or groundwaters, public or private water supplies, water quality, wildlife habitat, or fisheries.
- The twenty-five (25) foot and fifty (50) foot setback requirements described in the preceding paragraph 1 will not apply to the construction of recreational facilities (bikeways, trails, docks, etc.), roads, streets, railsidings, aboveground or underground public utilities and infrastructure, detention basins or drainage structures, measures undertaken for the remediation of contaminated soils or groundwater, or removal of solid waste.