Conservation Commission


  • Starting February 2021 until further notice meetings will begin at 7:00 p.m. (public hearings are assigned time slots - call for a time before submitting an application)
  • Second and Fourth Thursdays of each month
  • Meetings are held remotely via the Zoom Webinar Platform until further notice.   The Zoom Webinar ID can be found on the meeting scheduled linked on the side bar as well as on each Meeting Agenda posted at least 48 hours in advanced of the meeting.
    Charles River Room
    Public Services Administration Building
    500 Dedham Avenue
    Needham, MA 02492

Please confirm meeting dates and filing deadlines with the Conservation Office as meeting dates sometimes vary due to holidays. Meetings are open to the public and are typically held remotely via the Zoom Webinar Platform.


The Needham Conservation Commission is comprised of 7 volunteer members appointed by the Select Board to staggered 3-year terms. They are:

  • Dave Herer, Chair
  • Sue Barber
  • Reade Everett
  • Fred Moder
  • Peter Oehlkers
  • Alison Richardson
  • Polina Safran

You may also view the member list and term expiration dates.

General Purpose

The Conservation Commission administers the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (MGL Ch. 131 S. 40) and Regulations (310 CMR 10.00) and the Needham Wetlands Protection Bylaw (Article 6) (PDF) and regulations (PDF). The Commission also oversees the town's conservation lands including Ridge Hill Reservation./DocumentCenter/View/1755

Under the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act no one may "remove, fill, dredge, or alter" any of the land surface, water levels, or vegetation in wetlands, floodplains, "bordering vegetated wetlands" (BVWs), or other wetland resource areas without obtaining a permit from the local Conservation Commission. The Conservation Commission also has the authority to regulate activities in the "buffer zone" of upland that is within 100 feet of a wetland or stream, and the "riverfront area" within 200 feet of perennial rivers or streams.

If you are planning any landscaping, clearing, filling, excavation, demolition, or construction within a wetland or floodplain, within the 100 feet buffer zone, or within 200 feet of the Charles River or other perennial stream, whether or not the wetland resource is on your property. Please contact the Conservation Commission before you begin your project to determine if you will need a permit.

Unsure if your project lies within a wetland resource area? Please contact the Commission to find out if your proposed work is subject to the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act or the Needham Wetlands Bylaw and whether you will need a permit before you begin.

The commission will be pleased to help you determine the procedures that are applicable to your proposed activities and to work with you in order to best protect the wetland resource areas. Work done without a permit is subject to an enforcement order, which may include fines.Needham Wetlands Protection Bylaw (Article 6) (PDF)