The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 1, 2009

Article 31: Wetlands bylaw changes

Article 31 of the Annual Town Meeting Warrant, titled “Wetland Protection General Bylaw Revisions,” proposes a small set of technical changes that correct a typo and update the reference to state regulations. The Conservation Commission submitted the article.

Commissions across the Commonwealth are charged with administering and enforcing the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (MGL Chapter 131 section 40) and its associated regulations (310 CMR 10.00). The law regulates development activities in or affecting water bodies and the floodplains and wetlands (such as swamps and marshes) that surround them. The purpose is to protect values such as water quality, flood prevention and wildlife habitat.

Municipalities may adopt wetlands bylaws or ordinances that impose standards stronger than those of the state law or regulations, though they may not conflict with or weaken these. Over half of Massachusetts cities and towns have adopted such strengthening measures. Most are based on a model created and periodically updated by the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions.

The proposed changes simply revise the Carlisle Wetlands Bylaw to reference the current Wetlands Protection Act Regulations, which became effective in May 2008.

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