Obtaining a Wetlands Permit
The Conservation Commission is responsible for reviewing and permitting all work (construction, cutting, grading, or new landscaping) in or near wetlands, ponds, and rivers in the Town of Webster under Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (310 CMR 10) and its implementing Regulations. Currently, Webster does not have a local wetlands bylaw; however, the Commission has a Wetlands Setback Policy.
Types of Filings
Any activity proposed within 100 feet of wetland resource areas (wetlands, ponds, or intermittent streams) or 200 feet from perennial (year-round) streams must be reviewed by the Conservation Commission. The Living with Wetlands brochure describes more about the protective zones around ponds, streams and other wetland resources areas in Webster. Property owners are responsible for knowing if there are wetlands on their property. One of two wetland permit applications will be required depending on the scale of the proposed project and its potential effect on the nearby wetland resource. Small-scale projects may be able to be permitted through a “Request for Determination of Applicability”. Larger projects will likely require an applicant to file a “Notice of Intent.” Certain 'minor' activities may be exempt or able to be approved administratively by the Conservation Agent.
If you are planning a project that involves grading, filling, cutting, or building near a wetland resource area and have questions about which permit you should apply for, please contact the Conservation Department at 508 949 3800 ext. 1002.
Hearing Schedule and Filing Deadlines
Request for Determination of Applicability (RDA)
This Application is for minor projects affecting a small portion of the Buffer Zones that will have no impact on the Wetland Resource Area. It is the simplest and least expensive permit application procedure, one most homeowners can fill out on their own. Types of projects that typically fall under an RDA are decks, removal of trees or installation of a shed. If a project requires a small excavator or a lot of soil disturbance it will probably fall under the Notice of Intent (NOI) category. The Commission will make a determination whether the RDA is sufficient for the project. The estimated amount of time to complete the process is 3 to 4 weeks.
Notice of Intent (NOI)
This Application is for projects involving significant work in the buffer zone or any work in a Wetland Resource Area. An NOI is a more detailed permit application that requires professionally engineered plans and, if approved, results in a permit called an Order of Conditions (OOC). Types of projects that typically fall under this heading are additions, new single family homes and most commercial projects. If there will be a lot of soil disturbance and or the use of machinery including mini–excavators an NOI is required. The estimated amount of time to go through the process is one to two months.
Applicants filing a Notice of Intent must notify all abutters (any landowner within 100 feet of the property line) by certified mail or Certificate of Mailing. Please contact the Assessors office to obtain a certified list.
An Order of Conditions must be recorded at the Worcester Registry of Deeds in Worcester, or for registered land in the Land Court, no earlier than 10 business days after the issuance of the Order of Conditions by the Conservation Commission. The Registry fee for recording or registering shall be paid by the owner or applicant. For new houses, the Order must be recorded under the street number that will be the new houses address. Street number to be obtained from the Assessor.
Proof of recording this original Order of Conditions must be brought back to the Conservation Commission before the applicant may apply for a Building Permit or commence work on the site.
Closing Out a Permit
To close out a permit, you must submit a Request for Certificate of Compliance. Upon receipt and recording of a Certificate of Compliance signed by the Conservation Commission at the Registry of Deeds, your deed (title) will be clear (there will be no encumbrances). If money was taken for a peer review deposit by the Town of Webster and not used the money will be returned at this time.