The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 25, 2004


Close to a wetland? A ConsCom primer

When planning to build on, or otherwise alter, an area that includes a wetland and/or any portion of the 100-foot buffer zone that surrounds it, a landowner is required to proceed in one of two ways. Both call for a visit to the Conservation Commission office to file application forms that will later be presented at a public hearing.

On the one hand, the applicant or his representative may be advised to file a Request for Determination of Applicability (RDA) that typically includes a map and brief description of the proposed activity and asks the Commission to decide whether the data presented is sufficient to the nature and scope of the project or indicates the need for more extensive documentation and evaluation by the Commission. A Negative Determination of Applicability by the board indicates that the applicant is free to proceed without further ado. A Positive Determination of Applicability means that he/she must file more technically complicated, and therefore expensive, documentation, by way of a Notice of Intent (NOI)

If it is obvious from the start that a Notice of Intent will be necessary, the landowner will have been so advised by his engineer or the Conservation Administrator. In either case, The NOI will require maps showing the boundaries of any wetlands involved (as delineated by a wetland expert), plus detailed plans for construction work and/or landscaping.

Whereas the successful RDA seeker may or may not have been given a few simple conditions to be met during implementation of plans, the approved NOI applicant will always receive an official Order of Conditions that must be filed by him/her at the Registry of Deeds, and will be monitored by the Conservation Administrator. When the work has been accepted as complete and according to the approved specifications, a Certificate of Compliance is issued, removing the list of conditions from the deed.

2004 The Carlisle Mosquito