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Wetland Regulations Final May 23, 2006

BELCHERTOWN WETLANDS REGULATIONS, BWR 10 :00 

PURPOSE: The purpose of these regulations is to clarify and define the 1989 Belchertown Wetlands Protection Bylaw (hereafter referred to as the  Bylaw ), administered by the Belchertown Conservation Commission (hereinafter  Commission ). The Bylaw identifies and protects certain Wetland Resource Areas and the interests the general public has in these areas. These regulations establish a uniform process by which the Commission can review and regulate activities that affect the Resource Areas and interests identified by the Bylaw.  

In addition, the Commission wishes to provide a clear guidance to applicants regarding the polices that the Commission has determined are necessary to protect Wetland Resource Areas based on Belchertown's particular topography and hydrology, by the special value these Resource Areas have to Belchertown and to neighboring communities, and by the Commission's past experience with wetlands protection. 

POLICIES: 

  1. No Net Loss: It is the policy of the Belchertown Conservation Commission to follow the "No Net Loss" guidelines set forth by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Therefore, applicants who propose to alter Resource Areas under the Commission's jurisdiction must: 
     
    1. demonstrate that there is no practicable alternative,
    2. minimize impacts where they are unavoidable
    3. mitigate losses of Wetland Resource Areas, where applicable or appropriate, on at least a 2:1 basis, (2 parts replicated to 1 part lost). "Limited projects" are included in this requirement.
        
  2. No Net Change in Stormwater Runoff: It is the policy of the Belchertown Conservation Commission to require applicants to demonstrate that no significant change in off-site runoff will result from proposed work. Because increased runoff impacts land downstream and reduces natural groundwater recharge, the Commission may require measures (such as Stormwater detention basins) to prevent increased runoff. Direct discharge of runoff into a Resource Area will not be allowed. 
     
  3. Stormwater Management: The Town of Belchertown adopts the DEP Stormwater Management policy and all nine management standards. For the purpose of these Regulations, all Buffer Zones and Wetland Resource Areas will be considered critical areas and all drainage calculations and all storm water runoff to be treated for water quality must be based on the following calculation: 1 inch of runoff x total impervious area of post-development on the site.  

The Town of Belchertown will presume that projects that meet the nine Stormwater Management Standards satisfy regulatory requirements. When one or more of the Standards cannot be met, an applicant may demonstrate that an equivalent level of environmental protection will be provided.  

  1. Resource Areas: The Conservation Commission has determined that certain additional areas of jurisdiction are significant to the protection of interests identified in the Belchertown Wetlands Bylaw. The Commission presumes that the following additional Resource Areas are significant to those interests:  

1.                  Isolated Wetlands greater than 5,000 sq. ft.

2.                  Ponds greater than 5,000 sq. ft.

3.                  Ephemeral Pools. 

These presumptions are refutable and may be overcome upon a clear showing that said land does not play a role in the protection of interests identified in the Bylaw. In addition, it is the policy of the Commission to advise applicants on three non-regulated Wetland Resource Areas: 

1.                  Intermittent Streams up-gradient of Wetland Resource Areas

2.                  Isolated Land Subject To Flooding below 310 CMR 10:57 size thresholds

3.                  Isolated Wetlands less than 5,000 sq. ft.  

The applicant shall identify these areas at the site, locate them on the plans, avoid impacts to these areas and will mitigate unavoidable impacts with respect to drainage and flood control.  

5. Wetlands Delineation: Delineation of the boundary of a Bordering Vegetated Wetland

    under the Belchertown Regulations is governed by:

        The Massachusetts Regulations (310 CMR 10:55 (2) (c))

        DEP Wetlands Program Policy 95-1 (BVWs)

        The DEP Publication, entitled "Delineating Bordering Vegetated Wetlands under the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act", dated March 1995.

 

Where natural vegetation is absent as a result of mowing, grazing, or other disturbance, the presence of Hydric soils (soils that are annually saturated, as evidence by the observed groundwater, soil gleying, soil mottling or other redoximorphic features within 18" of the surface) shall provide positive determination of jurisdiction. In cases where natural vegetation is absent as a result of filling or draining, historic evidence and record may provide positive determination or jurisdiction.

Also for the purpose of these Regulations, Wetland plant communities, which are dominated by plants, rated as FACW or FACW+ by the Fish and Wildlife Service in the document entitled "National List of Plant Species That Occur in Wetlands: Massachusetts 1988" and which contain Obligate Wetland plants species, shall presumed to be underlain by Hydric soils.

 

6. Vegetated Buffer Strip: Development proposed in the Buffer Zone can negatively impact the abutting Resource Areas(s). Negative impacts, both from the "construction"  and "use" phase of the project can include erosion, siltation, loss of pollution attenuation, loss of groundwater recharge, reduced water quality and loss of wildlife habitat. A minimum 25ft. strip of continuous, undisturbed, indigenous vegetative cover, (no disturb area), along the Resource Area boundary within the 100 ft. Buffer Zone shall be maintained, in order to protect the adjacent Wetland Resource Areas, and provide wildlife habitat. All footing drains and drainage outlets must stay out of the 25ft. no-disturb area. In addition, the Conservation Commission requires all applicants to submit an alternative analysis, demonstrating need and justification for any work proposed within the 50ft. Buffer Zone. The applicant shall prove by a preponderance of the evidence that there are no practicable and substantially equivalent economic alternatives to the proposed project with less adverse effects on any Wetland Resource Areas. A practicable alternative means a measure that is available and capable of being done after taking into consideration cost, existing technology, and logistics in light of overall project purposes. A larger buffer may be required in sensitive areas, such as but not limited to, steep slopes, critical areas and highly erodable soils. 

7. Request for Determination versus Notice of Intent: Many times applicants are confused regarding when to file a Request for Determination and when to file a Notice of Intent for work in the Buffer Zone. For a project to be issued a Negative Determination, the Commission must be assured that the potential for alteration of a Resource Area is so insignificant as to not require the oversight provided by an Order of Conditions and subsequent Certificate of Compliance. Therefore, the Commission may typically consider issuing a Negative Determination to projects that meet the following minimum criteria: 

  • No alteration of a Wetland Resource Area
  • Less than 2,500 sq. ft. of alteration in the Buffer Zone
  • No work will occur within 50' of a Wetland Resource Area.
  • The slope within the buffer zone must be no steeper than 15% (6.7 to 1 slope)
  • Not in the Buffer of Endangered Species Habitat
  • A plan is included for permanent stabilization-including loaming, seeding, and mulching
  • Erosion control measures are maintained until permanent vegetation is established  
  1. Consultants: The Commission reserves the right, as stated in the Belchertown Wetland Bylaw, to require third party verification of all submittal information and to require an applicant to pay a fee for the reasonable costs and expenses borne by the Commission for specific expert engineering and other consultant services deemed necessary by the Commission to come to a final decision on the application. The Commission will hire at the applicant's expense a consultant(s) to review part or the entire submittal. This fee is called the "consultant fee". Such consultant fees should be reasonable and/or appropriate to the work undertaken. The specific consultant services may include, but are not limited to, performing or verifying the accuracy of Resource Area surveys and delineations; analyzing Resource Area functions and values, including wildlife habitat evaluations, hydro-geologic and drainage analysis, review applications and plans and researching environmental or land use law. Failure to compensate the Commission's consultant(s) in a timely manner will result in the application being deemed incomplete and/or the issued permit being null and void.

BWR 10:01 VALUES PROTECTED BY THE BELCHERTOWN WETLANDS BYLAW: 

The following are the values under the Belchertown Wetlands Bylaw:

        Protection of public and private water supply

        Protection of groundwater and groundwater quality

        Protection of surface water and surface water quality

        Flood control

        Storm drainage prevention

        Prevention of pollution

        Protection of fisheries

        Protection of wildlife habitat

        Erosion and sedimentation control

        Storm drainage

        Protection of agriculture and forestry

        Protection of aquaculture

        Recreation

        Preservation of open space

BWR 10.02 AREAS OF JURISDICTION: 

(I) Areas Subject to Jurisdiction under the local Bylaw: Except as permitted by the Conservation Commission or as provided for in the Bylaw, no person shall remove, fill, dredge, build upon, or alter the following RESOURCE AREAS:

(A) any freshwater Wetland, over 5,000 ft.2 in size, as determined by vegetational community, soil composition, and/or hydrologic regime, including Isolated Wetlands, and any marsh, wet meadow, bog or swamp;

(B) any pond, lake, river, any Perennial or Intermittent Stream;

(C) any land under such waters;

(D) any bank or beach;

(E) any land subject to flooding or inundation by groundwater, surface water, storm flowage;

(F) any Ephemeral Pools, Vernal Pools;

 

or within 100 feet of the above Resource Areas, an area known as the BUFFER ZONE to the Resource Areas.           

(F) any Bordering Land Subject to Flooding

(G) Riverfront Area, because the State has established a 200 ft. setback on each side of a perennial stream, river or brook, the Commission recognizes the need to protect this area. For the purpose of administrating these regulations, the Commission has adopted the States definition and jurisdiction of the Riverfront Area. 

(II) Activities Subject to Regulations under the Bylaw: 

(A) Activities Within the Resource Areas. Any activity proposed or undertaken within an area specified on BWR 10:02 (1) which, in the judgment of the Commission, will remove, fill, or alter an Area Subject to Protection Under the Bylaw is subject to regulation under the Bylaw and requires the filing of an Application for Permit (BWR 10:05 (2)). 

(B) Activities Within the Buffer Zone. Any activity proposed or undertaken within one hundred feet of an area specified in BWR 10:02 (I) (a)-(e) (hereinafter called the Buffer Zone) which, in the judgment of the Commission, will affect an Area Subject to Protection Under the Bylaw is subject to regulation under the bylaw and requires the filing of an Application for Permit.  

(C) Activities Outside the Areas Subject to Protection and the Buffer Zone. See 310 CMR 10:02 (2) (c).

BWR 10:03 GENERAL PROVISIONS: 

(I) Burden of Proof and Going Forward: It is the applicant's responsibility to note those requirements contained in these regulations which are in addition to those set forth in 310 CMR 10:03. 

(II) Incorporation: All of the procedures and requirements set forth in the Wetlands Protection Regulations of 310 CMR 10:00 et. Esq. are hereby incorporated and made a part of these regulations except where they differ from or depart from these regulations. Where these regulations differ from or depart from the State regulations, they shall take precedence over the State regulations. The applicant should first address the regulations at 310 CMR 10:00 et. Seq. and then supplement them with the Belchertown Wetlands Regulations.  

(III) Title V & Belchertown Board of Health Septic System Regulations:

(A) Preamble: the State Environmental Code (310 CMR 15:00 et. Seq.), administered locally by the Belchertown Board of Health, is a minimal public health regulation that may be supplemented at the local level. Where they concern septic-derived contaminants, the Belchertown Wetlands Regulations complement local Board of Health regulations, which are independently authorized and administered.  

(B) Septic System Location: Within the area of the Commission's jurisdiction, a septic system is considered to be properly sited only if all of the following conditions are met: 

(1) none of the septic components is located within a Resource Area as defined in the Belchertown Wetland Bylaw (BWR 10:02 (I) (A-D); and 

(2) the leaching facility of a disposal system is set back at least one hundred feet (100') from a Resource Area, except Land Subject to Flooding and the Riverfront Area, defined under the Bylaw and as required by local Board of Health regulations, except:

    1. the setback for areas which are defined as Resource Areas only under this Bylaw
    2. the set back required for the renovation, replacement, or maintenance of septic systems constructed prior to the date of these regulations, provided that no alternative location is available on the lot.  

If the proposed leaching facility setback is greater than fifty feet (50') and receives Belchertown Board of Health approval, the Commission will presume the design meets requirements for effluent impacts and the Commission will only review construction impacts. If the proposed leaching facility and setback is less than fifty feet (50") from a Resource Area under these regulations, Commission review will cover both effluent and construction impacts. 

The setback distance is to be determined as specified in 310 CMR 10:03 (3). The Commission shall determine the edge of the Resource Area for the Board of Health upon request.  

(IV) Presumption Concerning Point Source Discharge: See 310 CMR 10:03 (4).

a.  all footing drains and all stormwater outfalls must be at a minimum, at least  25ft.

  from any Wetland Resource Areas and must be shown on all plans. 

(V) Presumption of Significance: Each Area Subject to Protection Under the Belchertown Wetlands Regulations is presumed to be significant to one or more of the Values identified in BWR 10:01. The presumptions are refutable and are set forth in Part III of BWR 10:00. 

(VI) Presumption Concerning Application of Herbicides: See 310 CMR 10:03 (6). 

(VII) Fees: Same as 310 CMR 10:03 (7), except as stated below.

a. a Request for Determination of Applicability for any work on any lot other than a single family lot, shall be $50.00. 

(VIII) Savings: Should any portion of these regulations be declared invalid by a decision of the court, the legislature, or other body having jurisdiction, the remainder of these regulations shall remain in full force and effect.  

(IX) Reservation: These regulations should not be construed to limit the authority under the Belchertown Wetlands Bylaw. The Commission reserves the right to act in a manner consistent with the Bylaw upon any matter within its jurisdiction. 

(X) Effective Date: The effective date of these regulations shall be January 1, 1992. These regulations apply to all applications made on or after the effective date.  

BWR 10:04 DEFINITIONS:

The definitions applicable to the Belchertown Wetlands Bylaw shall be the same as set forth in the Wetland Protection Act, MGL  131, 40 and the Wetland Protection Regulations 310 CMR 10:00 et. Seq. except for the purpose of administrating these regulations, the Commission has adopted the following modifications and additional definitions: 

Alter: Alter means to change the condition of any area, either temporary or permanent, subject to jurisdiction under the Bylaw. Examples of alteration include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • removal, excavation or dredging of soil, sand, gravel, or aggregate materials of any kind;
  • changing or modifying pre-existing drainage characteristics, flushing characteristics, salinity distribution, sedimentation patterns, flow patterns, or flood retention characteristics;
  • drainage or other disturbance of water level or water table;
  • dumping, discharging or filling with any material which may degrade water quality;
  • placing of fill, or removal or material, which would alter elevations;
  • driving of piles, erection or repair of buildings, or structures of any kind;
  • placing of obstructions or objects in water;
  • destruction of plant life including cutting of trees;
  • changing water temperature, biochemical oxygen demand, or other physical, chemical or biological characteristics of surface and/or groundwater;
  • excavation for the purpose of percolation or deep hole testing or the crossing of a Resource Area with heavy equipment for this purpose;
  • any activities, changes, or work which may cause or tend to contribute to pollution of water or groundwater;
  • shading  

Alternative Analysis: The applicant shall prove by a preponderance of the evidence that there are no practicable and substantially equivalent economic alternatives to the proposed project with less adverse effects on any Wetland Resource Areas. 

ANRAD: Abbreviated Notice of Resource Area Delineation. The ANRAD (Form 4A) provides a procedure for an applicant to confirm precise boundaries of Wetland Resource Areas. 

Application: Notice of Intent, Request for Determination and Abbreviated Notice of Resource Area Delineation 

BMP: Best Management Practices means the most up-to-date technology or the best designs, measure, or engineering or bioengineering practices that have been developed and that are commercially available. 

Buffer Zone: Buffer Zone means that area of land extending one hundred (100) feet horizontally outward from the boundary of any Resource Area, except Land Subject to Flooding and Riverfront Area, (which have no Buffer Zones), and as described in Section 10.02 of these regulations. 

Commission: Conservation Commission means that body comprised of members lawfully appointed pursuant to MGL CH. 40 Sec. 8C. 

Conditions: means those requirements set forth in a written Permit issued by the Commission for the purpose of permitting, regulating, or prohibiting any activity that removes, fills, dredges, builds upon, or alters any Resource Area.  

DEP: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection 

Ephemeral Pool: means an isolated depression or closed basin, which can be isolated and have water year round. An Ephemeral Pool generally confines water during periods of high water table and high input from spring runoff, snowmelt, or heavy precipitation, and serves as Vernal Pool habitat. It is an essential breeding site for certain amphibians, which require isolated areas that are generally flooded for at least two continuous months in the Spring and/or Summer.  Most of these amphibians remain near the breeding pool during the remainder of the lifecycle. Many reptiles, birds, and mammals also feed here. 

Erosion Control: means the process and the prevention of the wearing away of land by running water, gravity, waves, wind, ice, abrasion and transportation.   

Extension Permit: means a written permission issued by the Commission extending the time within which an authorized activity shall be completed.  

Flood Plain: the area adjacent to a watercourse or a drainage way subject to flooding when the watercourse may overflow its normal channel. 

Hydric Soils: are those that are saturated, flooded, or ponded long enough during the growing season to develop anaerobic conditions in the upper part. For the purposes of these Regulations, "upper part" is defined as 6 inches for Somewhat Poorly Drained Soils. Poorly and Very Poorly Drained Soils are presumed to be Hydric, unless they have been artificially drained or otherwise altered. In such special cases, the "upper part" shall be defined as within 12 inches of the soil surface. Oxidized rhizospheres and mottling

within the "upper part" of the soil as defined above shall be considered as evidence of anaerobic conditions, and the soil shall be considered hydric. Also for the purpose of these Regulations, Wetland plant communities, which are dominated by plants, rated as FACW or FACW+ by the Fish and Wildlife Service in the document entitled "National List of Plant Species That Occur in Wetlands: Massachusetts 1988" and which contain Obligate Wetland plants species, shall be presumed to be underlain by Hydric soils.

 Isolated Wetland: means an area of at least 5,000 sq. ft where groundwater, flowing or standing surface water, or ice supports a community composed of at least 50% Wetland plant species as included or identified in generally accepted scientific technical publications. 

NOI: Notice of Intent means the written Application for Permit filed by any person (see definition below), intending to remove, fill, dredge, or alter any Area Subject to Protection under the Massachusetts Wetlands protection Act (M.G.L. Ch. 131, Sec. 40) or the bylaw.   

Ongoing Conditions: Special conditions set forth in a written Permit issued by the Commission for the purpose of permitting, regulating, or prohibiting any activity that removes, fills, dredges, builds upon, or alters any Resource Area and or Buffer Zone. These perpetual conditions must remain with the title/deed of the property and are include in the Certificate of Compliance for said property. 

OOC: Order of Conditions, means the written document issued by the Commission containing conditions which regulate or prohibit an activity in a Resource Area Subject to Protection under the Wetlands Protection Act or the bylaw.  

Open Space: any undeveloped area of land. 

ORW: Outstanding Resource Water. Waters designated as Class A public water supplies and Vernal Pools certified by the Natural Heritage Endangered Species program. 

Person: means any individual, group of individuals, association, partnership, corporation, company, business organization, trust, estate, the Commonwealth or political subdivision thereof to the extent subject to town bylaw, administrative agency, public or quasi-public corporation of body, the Town of Belchertown, or any other legal entity, its legal representatives, agents or assigns.

 Pond: means any open body of freshwater, either naturally occurring or man-made by impoundment, with a surface area observed or recorded within the last ten years of at least 5,000 sq. ft and which is never without standing water due to natural causes, except during periods of extended drought. For the purposes of this definition, extended drought shall mean any period of four or more months during which the average rainfall for each month is 50% or less of the ten year average for that same month. Basins or lagoons, which are part of wastewater treatment plants, shall not be considered ponds, nor shall swimming pools or other impervious man-made retention basins. 

Practicable Alternative: means a measure that is available and capable of being done after taking into consideration cost, existing technology, and logistics in light of overall project purposes. The scope of alternatives under consideration shall be commensurate with the type and size of the project. Alternatives may be based on cost, existing technology, proposed use and logistics in light of the overall project purpose. 

RDA: Request for Determination of Applicability means a written request made by any person to the Commission for a determination as to whether an area or activity is subject to the bylaw. 

Riverfront Area: as defined in 310 CMR 10:58 (2). Because the State has established a 200 ft. setback on each side of a perennial stream, river or brook, the Commission recognizes the need to protect this area. For the purpose of administrating these regulations, the Commission has adopted the States definition of the Riverfront Area. 

Vegetated Buffer Strip: a continuous buffer strip, undisturbed and in its natural state, between development activities in the Buffer Zone and the Resource Area to be protected, (see Policies under Vegetated Buffer Strip). 

Vernal Pool: defined as a confined basin depression which holds water in most years for two consecutive months during the Spring and Summer, does not support established breeding fish populations and has no permanent flowing outlet, (most of the time). Vernal Pools can be isolated depressions in upland or low pockets within Wetland communities. It is an essential breeding site for certain amphibians, which require isolated areas that are generally flooded for at least two continuous months in the Spring and/or Summer and are free from fish predators. Most of these amphibians remain near the breeding pool during the remainder of the life cycle

Water Dependant Use: means those uses and facilities that require direct access to, or location in, inland waters and which therefore, cannot be located away from those waters.  

BWR 10:05 Procedures: 

The following procedures shall apply to all filings under the Belchertown Wetlands Bylaw, (unless specifically stated). 

(I) Time Periods: See 310 CMR 10:05 (1) 

(II) Actions by Conservation Commission: See 310 CMR 10:05 (2) 

(III) Request for Determination of Applicability (RDA) 

(A) Explanation: Any person who desires a written Determination as to whether this

      Bylaw applies to an area, or work to be performed in an area, shall submit a written

      request to the Commission. This request, called a Request for Determination of

     Applicability, shall include description of the area and/or work to be performed and

     maps/plans as appropriate. 

(B) Filing Procedures: It is the applicant's responsibility to provide all of the information

      required for this review. The applicant must complete the Combination of Filing

      Form (Form A) and all information on the Request for Determination. The

     Commission may require additional information. 

1.      Return the original and one (1) copy by certified mail or hand delivery to:

Belchertown Conservation Commission

Lawrence Memorial Hall, 2 Jabish Street, P.O. Box 670

Belchertown, MA 01007 

2.      Mail a copy to:

DEP Western Regional Office

Division of Wetlands and Waterways Regulations

State House West, 4th Floor, 436 Dwight Street

Springfield, MA 01103

And

Landowner, when applicant is not the landowner. 

3.      Include an accurate description of the location (including Town Assessors Map and Lot #), a locus map consisting of the appropriate USGS topographic map with the property boundaries clearly identified.

A site map, including but not limited to the following; the boundaries of the proposed work, all existing and proposed structure, and the distance to Wetlands, Water bodies, or other Resource Areas to be protected, pre and post development contours, and the name and contact information of site map preparer. All applications will be deemed incomplete without a site identification of the parcel to be reviewed.

 

4.  When considering filing a Request for Determination for work in the Buffer

     Zone, and applicant must assure the Commission that the potential for

     alteration of a Resource Area is so insignificant as to not require the oversight

     provided by an Order of Conditions and subsequent Certificate of

     Compliance. Therefore, the Commission may typically consider issuing

     a Negative Determination when a project meets the following minimum

     criteria:

        No alteration of a Wetland Resource Area

        Less than 2,500 sq. ft. of alteration in the Buffer Zone

        A fifty foot (50') undisturbed, vegetated Buffer Strip is left between the proposed work and the Resource Area

        The slope within the buffer zone must be no steeper than 15%

        Leach field of a septic system is sited at least 100 feet from any Wetland Resource Area

        A plan for permanent stabilization is included – loaming, seeding, and mulching

        Erosion control measures maintained until permanent vegetation established

        Not in the Buffer Zone of critical areas. 

Any proposed activity or work not meeting the above referenced criteria must be submitted under a Notice of Intent filing (See BWR 10:05 IV). 

C. Public Hearing: The Commission shall hold a public hearing on the Request for Determination within twenty-one (21) days of receipt of the Request. Public notice shall be provided in the Belchertown Sentinel or other local paper at the applicant's expense. The Commission shall issue a written determination within twenty-one days (21) from the close of the public hearing.  

Prior to making a determination, the Commission may require the submission of additional data deemed pertinent to the Determination and shall inspect the property for which the Request was made. The Commission's Determination shall be issued on Form WPA Form 2 and will be combined with a Determination made under the Wetlands Protection Act and sent to Massachusetts DEP. In the event that the applicant is not the property owner, the Commission will require the property owners written permission to access the property. 

Resource Areas will be identified and delineated based on their definitions as previously defined and stated in these regulations. In cases where the natural vegetative community has been disturbed by the removal of the vegetative cover, or some other type of disturbance, the Commission may determine the boundary of a Freshwater Wetland based on the presence of hydric soils; and/or may defer determination of a Wetland boundary until the natural vegetation has re-grown.  

If a Positive Determination is issued, the applicant must file an Application for a Permit. A Positive Determination may also be issued to confirm the delineation for boundaries of Resource Areas and/or when the area is determined to be under jurisdiction, and/or when the proposed work requires a permit.  

If a Negative Determination is issued, it means that the area is not subject to jurisdiction or that the work will not alter an Area Subject to Protection. In appropriate situations, the Commission may require the recording of a Negative Determination at the Hampshire County Registry of Deeds, Proof of Recording must be submitted to the Commission prior to the commencement of any work, or the permit will be considered null and void. 

Incomplete applications will not be accepted for review, or the Commission may issue a Positive Determination, due to lack of sufficient information. This will require the applicant to file a Notice of Intent for, (See BWR 10:05 IV). 

The Commission may defer action on the Request when snow cover makes the determination of Resource Area boundaries infeasible. Under these circumstances, the applicant will be advised to request an extension and the Commission shall continue the public hearing and make a Determination at the first available opportunity. If the applicant refuses to request an extension, upon majority vote of the Commission, a Positive Determination may be issued.  

(IV) Application for Notice of Intent:

(A) Explanation. The role of the Commission is that of a reviewing agency. It is the applicants' responsibility to provide all of the information required in the application for a Permit necessary for proper review. It is in the applicant's interest to submit as complete and accurate a description of the project as possible to ensure that requests for additional information do not result in an unnecessary delay. 

(B) Filing Procedure. An Application for Permit consists of the completion of the Combination Filing Form (Form A), under the Belchertown Wetland Regulations and completion of a Notice of Intent form (WPA Form 3), as defined in (310 CMR 10:05 (4). An original and two (2) copies of the Application for Permits and accompanying plans and data shall be sent by mail or hand delivered to: 

            Belchertown Conservation Commission
            Lawrence Memorial Hall, 2 Jabish Street, P.O. Box 670
            Belchertown, MA 01007

The applicant shall send one copy of the Notice of Intent/Application for Permit and accompanying plans and data to: 

            DEP Western Regional Office

            Division of Wetlands and Waterways Regulations

            State House West, 4th Floor, 436 Dwight Street

            Springfield, MA 01103 

(C) Other Permits. The applicant is required to obtain or apply for all other permits, variances, and approvals required by any other applicable statute, bylaw, or regulation prior to, or concurrently with, filing an application under this Bylaw. This requirement shall include only those approvals, which are obtainable at the time the application is filed. 

(D) Submission Requirements. In addition to the submittal requirements outlined in Section III (B) (3) above, the following is required for an application to be reviewed:

        Completed Combination of Filing Form (Form A)

        Completed Notice of Intent and/or BRP WPA Form 3

        Locus Map, USGS Map

        Abutters List and Proof of Notification

        Wetland Fee Transmittal Form

        Town Assessors Map 

        Site Plan (scale of 1" = not more than 50') must be submitted. In addition, the following minimal submission will require the following features to be shown on the Plan: Item#:

1.  Title Box: date, owner, scale, north arrow

2.      Assessor's Reference: Map, Section, Parcel, Lot #

3.      Engineer's Stamp and Signature when required

4.      Boundaries of all Resource Areas as defined by the Belchertown Wetlands Regulations

5.      100' Buffer from Resource Areas

6.      Location, extent, and area of all present and proposed structures and paved areas

7.      Limit of Work (construction envelope)

8.      Location of Temporary Erosion and Sedimentation Control measures

9.      Distance (100' minimum) of Leaching Facility from Resource Areas (BWR 10:03 (III) (B) (2) a and b

10.  Existing contours

11.  Proposed new contours

12.  Soil Characteristics in representative portions of the site, including characteristics of Hydric soils and depth of peat and muck in wetlands Sampling sites shall be specified 

13.  The maximum groundwater elevation at the period of the year when the ground water table is at its highest elevation, including calendar dates of measurements, samplings, soil evaluations and data, percolation tests, if any

14.  Location of proposed Resource Areas to be filled or altered

15.  Amount (square feet) of proposed filled or altered Resource Areas

16.  Location of Replacement Areas

17.  100 year Floodplain, with elevations

18.  Amount of proposed fill in floodplain, including square ft. and cubic ft. measurements

19.  Location of compensatory storage areas

20.  Alternative analysis for the justification of any Resource Area fill,  alteration and/or work in the 50 ft. Buffer Zone to a Wetland. At a minimum, this analysis shall include the effects on all values listed in BWR 10:01; VALUES PROTECTED BY THE BELCHERTOWN WETLANDS BYLAW

21.  Cross sections showing slope, bank, and bottom treatment of each watercourse to be altered

22.  Existing natural drainage patterns and proposed alteration

23.Drainage easements and ways

24.  Location of proposed and existing water detention area and all existing and proposed storm drainage pipes

25.  Ditches, structures, culverts and outfalls, fully described with information on inverts, slopes, materials, entrance and outlet conditions, bedding in unstable soils, details of drainage structures, and end-walls, and other standard engineering data on such work

26.  Details of storm drainage outlets showing no direct discharge into a Resource Area

27.  If the project is proposed within the estimated habitat of a rare wetlands wildlife species, a copy of the completed application must be sent simultaneously to the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP;HB12.22)

28.  Aerial photographs are required for all projects other than a single-family dwelling

29.  Permanent Markers identifying the limit of work area

30.  Replication Plan and detail showing a 2:1 replication ratio. Replication construction activities must be supervised by a wetland specialist who shall be a professional with experience in Wetland replication, Wetland hydrology and a working knowledge of botany. 

Following the receipt of the above information, the Commission will schedule a site visit to view the proposed project in the field. For the Commission to complete their site visit the Wetlands must be flagged and the project staked 10 days prior to the public hearing. 

The following guidelines are intended to aid the applicant in deciding which plan items must be submitted to the Commission for review. For final clarification of what times will be required for a given project, please contact the Conservation Commission Office.

Engineering calculations:           

1.      Engineering calculations are required to show the effect of the proposed activity on soil and water, Calculations and watershed modeling shall normally be performed using a hydrograph analysis based on the techniques developed by the USDA, Soil Conservation Service. Calculations shall be made that show the impact for 2-year, 10-year, 100-year storms using the SCS Type II or III 24 hour rainfall, or other storms consistent with the Belchertown Planning Board policy (Subdivision Regulations, Sec. 5.4.8). A registered professional civil engineer or qualified hydrologist shall prepare the calculations. All plans and data submitted must be signed and stamped by a registered professional civil engineer or any other appropriate professional.  

2.  Engineering calculations are required to fully support the design of 
               
 compensatory flood storage areas and Stormwater management systems,
              
  including detention and/or retention basins and infiltration systems.  

3. The Town of Belchertown adopts the DEP Stormwater Management policy and
               
all nine management standards.  For the purpose of these Regulations, all Buffer
                Zones and Wetland Resource Areas will be considered critical areas and all
                drainage calculations and all stormwater runoff to be treated for water quality must
                be based on the following calculation: 1 inch of runoff x total impervious area of 
                post-development on the site. 

The Commission will presume that projects meeting the Stormwater Management Standards, satisfy regulatory requirements. When one or more of the Standards cannot be met, an applicant may demonstrate that an equivalent level of environmental protection will be provided.  

(1). No new Stormwater conveyances (e.g. outfalls) may discharge untreated
           
     Stormwater directly to or cause erosion in Wetlands or waters of the
          
      Commonwealth. 

(2). Stormwater management systems must be designed so that post-development      peak discharge rates do not exceed pre-development peak discharge rates. 

(3)    Loss of annual recharge to groundwater should be minimized through the use of infiltration measures to the maximum extent practicable. The annual recharge from the post-development site should approximate the annual recharge from the pre-development or existing site conditions, based on soil types. 

(4)    For new development, Stormwater management systems must be designed to remove 80% of the average annual load (post-development conditions) of Total Suspended Solids (TSS). It is presumed that this standard is met when: 

(a)    Suitable nonstructural practices for source control and pollution prevention are implemented;

(b)   Stormwater management best management practices (BMPs) are sized to capture the prescribed runoff volume; and

(c)    Stormwater management BMPs are maintained as designed. 

(5) Stormwater discharges from areas with higher potential pollutant loads require

     the use of specific Stormwater management BMPs. The use of infiltration

     practices without pretreatment is prohibited. 

(6)   Stormwater discharges to critical areas must utilize certain Stormwater

      Management BMPs approved for critical areas. Critical areas are Outstanding

      Resource Waters (ORW), shellfish beds, swimming beaches, cold-water

      fisheries and recharge areas for public water supplies.  

(7)   Redevelopment of previously developed sites must meet the Stormwater

      Management Standards to the maximum extent practicable. However, if it is

      not practicable to meet all the Standards, new (retrofitted or expanded)

      storm water management systems must be designed to improve existing

      conditions.  

(8)   Erosion and sediment controls must be implemented to prevent impacts during construction or land disturbance activities.

(9)    All Stormwater management systems must have an Operation and Maintenance plan to ensure that systems function as designed.  

Soil and Vegetation Data: This information is required to review Resource Area delineations and must also be provided to describe alterations to and replication of any Resource Areas. Minimum qualifications for submittal of this data will require a Wetland Specialist who shall be a professional with experience in Wetland science, Wetland hydrology and a working knowledge of botany. Minimum qualifications for submittal of soil data, will require a soil scientist with a minimum experience and working knowledge of soil morphology, geology and soil hydrology. 

Wildlife Habitat Evaluation: A Wildlife Habitat Evaluation will be required for all proposed alterations or fill of Wetland Resource Area, Riverfront Area or proposed work in the 25ft. no-disturb area. Qualifications of person submitting evaluations are defined in 310 CMR 10:60(1)(b). 

Replication: Where the presumption set forth above is not overcome, any proposed work in a freshwater wetland shall not destroy or otherwise impair any portion of said area. Notwithstanding this, the Commission may issue a Permit allowing work that results in the loss of up to 5,000 square feet of Wetland when said area is replaced in accordance with the following general conditions, as well as any additional conditions the Commission deems necessary to ensure that the replacement area will function in a manner similar to the area being lost:

a. The surface of the replacement area being created shall be double that of the

    lost area.

b. The groundwater and surface water elevation of the replacement area shall be

    approximately equal to that of the lost area.

c. The overall horizontal configuration and location of the replacement area with

    respect to the bank shall be similar to that of the lost area.

d. The replacement area shall have an unrestricted hydraulic connection to the

     same water body or waterway associated with the lost area.

e. The replacement area shall be located within the same general area of the water

     body or reach of the waterway as the lost area.

f. At least 75% of the surface of the replacement area shall be reestablished with

indigenous, non-invasive Wetland plant species within two growing seasons, and prior to said vegetative reestablishment, any exposed soil in the replacement area shall be temporarily stabilized to prevent erosion in accordance with U.S Soil     Conservation Service methods.

g. The replacement area shall be constructed in a manner that is consistent with all
     
    other general performance standards for each Resource Area described in these 
     
    Regulations.

h. Notwithstanding the above provisions, no project may be permitted that might 
    
    have adverse effect on: (1) habitat sites of rare plants, as well as vertebrate or 
         invertebrate species as identified on the Natural Heritage and Endangered

    Species Estimated Habitat Maps, on file with the Commission and identified under "Estimated Habitats of Rare Wildlife" (Section 10:59) of the state Wetlands Protection Act Regulations. 

Stream Crossings:  Roadways cross our streams in more than 30,000 places in Massachusetts. Recent research has shown that stream crossings, including culverts, have the potential to degrade streams and block fish and wildlife passage, segment and cut off valuable habitat and stop migration. All Intermittent and Perennial stream crossings must meet or exceed the general standards of the Massachusetts River and Stream Crossing Standards: Technical Guidelines. The Commission reserves the right to require Wetland crossings to meet the Stream Crossing Standards for critical areas.

 

Permanent Markers: The Commission reserves the right to require the installation of permanent markers, identifying the limit of work area. The design of these permanent markers can be concrete bounds, iron pins, fences, stonewall, shrubs, boulders, etc. These markers must be identified and located on a plan. The applicant is fully responsible for the installation of these permanent markers and shall instruct all agents to explain these markers to buyer/lessees/landscapers and all persons taking over the property from the applicant. Prior to issuance of a Certificate of Compliance, an as-built plan detailing the location of the permanent markers must be prepared and submitted to the Commission along with proof of recording said plan, at Registry of Deeds. 

V. Application for ANRAD- Abbreviated Notice of Resource Area Delineation (ANRAD) - The ANRAD (Form 4A) provides a procedure for an applicant to confirm precise boundaries of Wetland Resource Areas. It is the applicant's responsibility to provide the information required for the review of this application. At the Commission's discretion, larger projects generally will require the filing of an ANRAD.


 
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