Pepperell Wetlands Protection Bylaw
1. Purpose and Application: The purpose of this Bylaw is to supplement the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Wetlands Protection Act, to further protect the wetlands, related water resources, and adjoining land areas in the Town of Pepperell by controlling activities considered by the Conservation Commission as likely to have significant or cumulative effect upon resource area values, including but not limited to the following: public or private water supply, groundwater, flood control, erosion and sedimentation control, storm damage prevention, water quality, water pollution control, fisheries, wildlife habitat, and rare species habitat deemed important to the community. This Bylaw is intended to utilize the Home Rule authority of this municipality to protect additional resource areas, for additional values, with additional standards and procedures stricter than those of the Wetlands Protection Act (M.G.L. Ch 131,§40) and Regulations (310 CMR 10.00) there under.
The definitions and forms, as well as the plan, notice, and hearing requirements utilized under the Wetland Protection Act shall continue to be applicable, and no additional application forms will be necessary. The Pepperell Conservation Commission is hereby designated as the enforcing authority for all matters within the jurisdiction of this Bylaw.
2. Resource Protection Setback: In addition to the requirements of the Wetlands Protection Act, there shall be a 50-foot wide undisturbed, vegetated strip of naturally occurring plant species maintained between certified vernal pools (Certified by Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife) or wetland resource areas (310 CMR 10.02(1), excluding land subject to flooding and riverfront area) and activities, as defined in the Wetlands Protection Act Regulations. The purpose of the 50-foot undisturbed strip is to filter out pollutants and sediment before they reach waterways, to help with floodwater absorption, and to support wildlife habitat. This additional requirement shall apply to all activities subject to the Wetlands Protection Act, except the following:
a. Activities with either current Board of Health permits, non-expired Orders of Conditions or non-expired Determinations of Applicability as of May 6, 2002, or activities for which Notices of Intent or Requests for Determination have been submitted, but not acted upon, prior to May 6, 2002.
b. "Limited projects" as defined by the Wetlands Protection Act Regulations General Provisions 310 CMR 10.00. These projects, more particularly described in 310 CMR 10.53(3), include but are not limited to public utilities, public roadways, agricultural projects, water dependent uses, and access driveways and roadways.
c. "Exempt activities" as defined by the Wetlands Protection Act Regulations 310 CMR 10.58(6). This includes, but is not limited to, the maintenance of existing landscaping, such as lawn mowing or pruning.
d. Replacement wetland areas, as allowed under 310 CMR 10.55(4), contiguous to existing wetlands.
e. Emergency projects, as defined in 310 CMR 10.06.
f. Repairs to or replacement of an existing sewage disposal system, including required grading allowed under 310 CMR 10.03(3).
g. Activities on lawfully created building lots shown on a plan recorded in the Middlesex South Registry of Deeds on or before May 6, 2002. Such plan shall bear the endorsement of the Planning Board of the Town of Pepperell if created after September 1, 1957 when the Town of Pepperell voted to accept the subdivision control law. Activities on these lots shall meet the provisions of this bylaw to the fullest extent possible. It is not the intent of this section to preclude building on an existing, approved building lot.
h. Activities determined by the Conservation Commission to have no effect on resource area values. The burden of proof for such a finding is on the applicant.
3. Filing Fees: The applicant shall pay fees additional to those required by the Wetland Protection Act Regulations by check made out to the Town of Pepperell. The fees shall be applicable to all filings or requests under the Wetland Protection Act and this Bylaw presented to the Conservation Commission after May 6, 2002 in accordance with the following fee schedule. These additional fees are instituted to pay for the true costs of administering the Wetlands Protection Act and this Bylaw. All municipal projects are exempt from Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act fees. No such projects shall be charged fees under this Bylaw.
a. Request for Determination of Applicability, $50 for activity associated with existing single family residences, $100 for all other projects.
b. Notice of Intent, Category 1 (existing single family residence projects), $50 per activity.
c. Notice of Intent, Category 2, 3, 4, or 5, $100 per activity.
d. Amendment to an Order of Conditions, $100.
e. Extension of an Order of Conditions, $100.
4. Appeals: In the event that any person has been aggrieved by a decision of the Pepperell Conservation Commission under this Bylaw, or by its failure to act thereunder, such person may appeal under M.G.L. Chapter 249, §4.
5. Severability: The invalidity of any section or provision of this Bylaw shall not invalidate any other section or provision thereof, nor shall it invalidate any permit or determination which previously has been issued.
6. Relationship to the Wetlands Protection Act: This Bylaw is adopted under the Home Rule Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution and the Home Rule statutes, independent of the Wetlands Protection Act (M.G.L. Ch 131,§40) and Regulations (310 CMR 10.00) thereunder. Unless otherwise stated in this Bylaw the areas of jurisdiction, definitions, provisions, procedures, and performance standards of the Wetlands Protection Act (M.G.L. Ch 131,§40) and Regulations (310 CMR 10.00) shall continue to apply.