Protecting Harwich's Resources
The Conservation Commission is composed of 7 members who are appointed by the Board of Selectmen. They are volunteers who meet bi-monthly. They review projects under their jurisdiction and make decisions regarding the Massachusetts Wetland Protection Act and the Harwich Wetland Protection By-law. There are also staff members, a Conservation Administrator and a Conservation Administrative Secretary located on the second floor of Town Hall.
The Conservation Commission has jurisdiction over all wetland resources which involves a Buffer Zone of at least 100 feet from a Resource Area and may involve a Buffer Zone of 200 feet if the Resource is a river or a stream. Permission must be granted by the Commission for activities within Resources and/or Buffer Zones prior to any work.
|WHAT IS A RESOURCE AREA?
- Coastal Bank and Inland Bank
- Coastal Dune
- Flood Plains
- Ponds, Lakes, Streams, Rivers, Ocean
- Land Beneath Water Bodies
- Wetlands, Bogs, Swamps, Salt Marshes
- Pollution Prevention
- Public Water Supply
- Private Water Supply
- Groundwater Protection
- Flood Control
- Storm Damage Control
- Land Containing Shellfish
- Protection of Wildlife Habitat
What Activities Require Permission?
- Filling & Removing
- Dredging or Re-grading
- Clearance of Vegetation
- Planting & Cutting
- Docks, Piers, Seawalls
SEEK ADVICE BEFORE YOU ACT
Seek advice from Conservation Administrator, an Engineer or Land Surveyor, Attorney
Refer to an existing site plan of your property
If your property lies within the jurisdiction of the Conservation Commission, this does not automatically preclude work being done.
The Conservation Commission may issue an Enforcement Order and/or fines for unauthorized work or work that is beyond permitted limits.
Cooperation between property owners, contractors, engineers and the Conservation Commission is necessary to protect our wetland resources.
There are two types of applications:
- Request for Determination of Applicability (RDA) – This filing allows the Conservation Commission to make a determination whether or not the proposed work will have any adverse impact on the Resource. If there is no impact, the Commission will issue a Negative Determination and the work may proceed.
- Notice of Intent (NOI) – A Notice of Intent is for projects of a larger scope that are proposed in areas protected under the regulations. If the project is approved, the Commission will issue an Order of Conditions.
- Abbreviated Notice of Intent (NOI)
Applications and assistance with filing may be obtained at the Conservation Office. For more information on whether your property or the work you intend to do is within an area requiring approval of the Conservation Commission, please contact the Conservation Office at:
732 Main Street
Harwich, MA 02645
Brochure is Courtesy of Harwich Conservation Commission