Medford, MA Wetlands Ordinance
Status: Adopted on 5/3/05
(To view the entire 13-page document, please refer to source file)
Article II-Wetland’s Ordinance
The purpose of this Ordinance is to preserve and protect the wetlands, water resources, and adjacent upland areas within the boundaries of the City of Medford by controlling activities deemed by the Conservation Commission likely to have a significant individual and/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, rare species habitat including rare plant species, agriculture, aquaculture, aesthetics, recreation values, coastal storm flowage, and shell fisheries deemed important to the community (collectively, the "resource area values protected by this Ordinance"). This Ordinance 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 Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (G.L. Ch. 131 §40) and Regulations thereunder (310 CMR 10.00-10.99), subject, however, to the rights and benefits accorded to agricultural uses and structures of all kinds under the laws of the Commonwealth.
Except as permitted by the Conservation Commission or as provided in this Ordinance, no person shall commence to remove, fill, dredge, build upon, degrade, discharge into, or otherwise alter the following resource areas: any freshwater wetlands; marshes; wet meadows; bogs; swamps; vernal pools; isolated vegetated wetlands; bordering vegetated wetlands; banks; reservoirs; lakes; ponds of any size; rivers; streams; creeks; beaches; lands under water bodies; lands subject to flooding or inundation by groundwater or surface water; coastal wetlands; estuaries; salt marshes; and lands subject to tidal action, coastal storm flowage, or coastal flooding (collectively the "wetland resource areas protected by this Ordinance"), and certain adjacent upland areas (collectively the "adjacent upland resource areas protected by this Ordinance") as described in Section X. Said resource areas shall be protected whether or not they border surface waters.
Sec.87-33 Exemptions and Exceptions
The application and permit required by this Ordinance shall not be required for work performed for normal maintenance or improvement of land in agricultural use as defined by the Wetlands Protection Act Regulations at 310 CMR 10.04.
The application and permit required by this Ordinance shall not be required for maintaining, repairing, or replacing, but not substantially changing or enlarging, an existing and lawfully located structure or facility used in the service of the public to provide electric, gas, water, sewer, drainage, telephone, telegraph, or other telecommunication services, provided that written notice has been given to the Conservation Commission prior to commencement of work, and provided that the work conforms to any performance standards and design specifications in regulations adopted by the Commission.
The application and permit required by this Ordinance shall not be required for emergency projects necessary for the protection of the health and safety of the public, provided that the work is to be performed by or has been ordered to be performed by an agency of the Commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof; provided that advance notice, oral or written, has been given to the Commission prior to commencement of work or within 24 hours after commencement; provided that the Commission or its agent certifies the work as an emergency project; provided that the work is performed only for the time and place certified by the Commission for the limited purposes necessary to abate the emergency; and provided that within 21 days of commencement of an emergency project a permit application shall be filed with the Commission for review as provided by this Ordinance. Upon failure to meet these and other requirements of the Commission, the Commission may, after notice and a public hearing, revoke or modify an emergency project approval and order restoration and mitigation measures.
The conversion of lawn to uses accessory to existing single-family houses in existence prior to August 7, 1996, such as decks, sheds, and patios, are grandfarthered and/or exempted from the permit requirements in this Ordinance provided the activity is located more than 50 feet from the mean annual high-water line from a river or from a vegetated wetland, whichever is farther, and erosion and sedimentation controls are implemented during construction. The conversion of such uses accessory to existing single-family houses to lawn is also allowed. (Mowing of lawns in existence prior to the effective date of this Ordinance is not subject to jurisdiction under this Ordinance).
Other than stated in this section, the exceptions provided in the Wetlands Protection Act (G.L. Ch. 131 §40) and Regulations (310 CMR 10.00-10.99) shall not apply under this Ordinance.
Sec. 87-34 Repeal of Ordinances
Upon the acceptance of the foregoing Ordinance by the City and the publication as required by law of such thereof as shall be approved by the City Solicitor, all Ordinances heretofore existing, excepting the Zoning Ordinances, the rules and regulations of the Board of Health, Ordinances relating to plumbers and plumbing, and building regulations for inspection and construction of buildings, shall be annulled and repealed, provided that this repeal shall not apply to or affect any statute of the Commonwealth, and shall not revive any Ordinance in force before or at the time when the Ordinance repeal took effect.