Conservation Commission Approval

Consider if you need Conservation Commission approval for your plans.

Are you planning construction, demolition, landscaping, cutting trees or brush within a wetland or floodplain; within 100 feet of a wetland or stream; or within 200 feet of the Charles River or another perennial stream?

All of these are designated "Resource Areas" and are protected under both the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act and Regulations and the Needham Wetlands Bylaw (Article 6) and Regulations. Both regulations are administered by the Needham Conservation Commission.

As of October 8, 2004, the State as increased the Wetland Filing Fee.

Determine the type of application you need to file.

Request for Determination of Applicability - If you are not sure if your work would come under the authority of the Conservation Commission, you should file this request. It is a request that the Conservation Commission determine if the work proposed requires a permit (some minor activities may not require a permit) or that the Commission determine if the work is within a Resource Area. Note that either a Negative Determination of Applicability or an Order of Conditions must be issued for work to commence.

Abbreviated Notice of Resource Area Delineation - This is an application to request that the Commission formally review and approve the delineation of Resource Areas at a site.

Notice of Intent - This is the application to request that the Commission approve work within a designated Resource Area.

Application for a Permit (Needham Wetlands By-law) (PDF) - This is the application to request that the Commission approve work under the Needham By-law within a designated Resource Area.

Submit your application materials.

Complete the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Forms (note that many of the State forms can be filed online).

Complete the Application for a Permit (Needham Wetlands By-law) (PDF) when filing a Notice of Intent.

Obtain a Certified List of Abutters within 300 feet of the property, and an Assessor's map showing these abutters from the Town Engineering Department, 470 Dedham Avenue, 1-781-455-7534. (Request Certified List of Abutters through Conservation Commission office, 470 Dedham Avenue, 1-781-455-7589)

Pay the State and attach Town filing fees. (See Conservation Agent, 470 Dedham Avenue)

Prepare a complete filing package containing this information and all plans and text required by the Application for a Permit (Needham Wetlands By-law) (PDF) and DEP regulations

Although not required, it is strongly suggested that applicants meet with the Conservation Officer to review the application for completeness, before moving on to Steps 7 and 8

Send a copy to each of the Board of Selectmen (PDF), the Planning Board, the Health Department, and the Building Inspector (by hand or certified mail). (Contact List) Send notification to all abutters (by hand or certified mail).

Send 1 copy to DEP Northeast Regional Office (by hand or certified mail), 1 Winter Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02108.

Send 8 copies to the Conservation Commission by hand to 470 Dedham Avenue or by certified mail to 1471 Highland Avenue, Needham, MA 02492.

Provide the Commission with an affidavit of service documenting that all copies of the application and/or notification letters were sent as required.