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Woburn Conservation Commission Policies
The following policies have been adopted by the Woburn Conservation Commission (“the Commission”) with regard to activity or intent to do work in or near wetlands in the City of Woburn. 
Policy #1
Work Within 50 Feet of a Resource Area
The Commission has established a Policy that would cause any person proposing groundwork within 50 feet of a Resource Area to file a Notice of Intent (or Abbreviated Notice of Intent) as opposed to a Request for a Determination of Applicability.  

Policy #2
Minor Work Within 50 Foot Zones From Resource Area
The Conservation Administrator shall be allowed to: (1) sign-off on building permit applications for additions, pools and decks between 100 and 150 feet of a wetland resource area, and (2) make site-specific decisions as to whether or not a permit from the Commission is required for projects within 50 and 100 feet of a wetland resource area. 

Policy #3
Revised Plans
If during the course of the public hearing, the applicant requests to provide a revised plan, the Commission will not issue an Order/Permit until a copy of the plan has been received, reviewed and approved by the Commission.  

Policy #4
Resource Area Determinations
When a determination regarding the status of a resource area cannot be made by the Administrator or any member of the Commission, it is the Policy of the Commission to have the petitioner engage the services of a professional botanist and/or wetland scientist to make that determination.  If, in the professional opinion of the botanist/ wetland scientist, the area is not a resource area, then the petitioner shall file a Request for Determination of Applicability that shall include a report of that finding.  If the area is determined to be a wetland resource area, then the petitioner shall file in accordance with Policy  #1  

Policy #5
Agenda Limits Policy
The Woburn Conservation Commission has established a Policy by which meeting agendas are limited to a total of 7 public hearings.  All items submitted after the agenda is full will be placed on the next available agenda.  

Policy #6
25-Foot No Disturb Zone
The Conservation Commission will expect proposals not to locate any alteration or disturbance of land closer than 25 feet to a wetland boundary.  Special justification will be required for any proposal that seeks a lesser distance.  Applications for lesser distances will be required to show in detail that no damage occurs to the adjacent wetland.   

Policy #7
Evidence of Abutter Notification
Evidence of notification of abutters shall be submitted by 12:00 Noon at least three (3) business days prior to the scheduled hearing.  This evidence shall include:  one hundred percent (100%) of the “white” certified mail slips (evidencing attempted notification), and all of the certified mail receipt “green cards” (evidencing receipt of notification), received by that date.  Any remaining green cards that are returned to the applicant shall be submitted to the Commission at the meeting or as soon as practical before hand. 

Policy #8
Outstanding Violations
Regarding enforcement actions for wetland resource area, riverfront, and/or buffer zone infractions it shall be the Policy of the Conservation Commission to require the property owner to complete the remediation of violations including the submission of “after-the-fact” filings, with appropriate fees.  Enforcement action shall not be lifted from the property until the violation has been remedied to the satisfaction of the Commission, and all applicable fines have been paid.  No new submittals for the subject site will be accepted or reviewed by the Commission while enforcement action is in place.  

Policy #9
Submittal Deadlines
All filings shall be submitted to the Commission by 12:00 Noon, at least ten (10) business days prior to a scheduled public meeting in order to be placed on the agenda for that meeting.  In the case of public hearings which have been opened and continued, all additional and/or revised information shall be submitted to the Commission by 12:00 Noon, at least five (5) business days prior to the date of the public meeting to which the hearing was continued, or the Applicant will be expected to consent to the further continuation of the scheduled public hearing to the next available Commission meeting date which is at least 5 business days after said submission is or will be made.

Policy #10

Peer Reviews
To properly administer the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act, as well as the City of Woburn Wetlands Ordinance, the Woburn Conservation Commission shall require Peer Review of Notices of Intent (NOI) and Requests for a Determination of Applicability (RDA) for the following categories:              
  1. Commercial and/or Industrial projects (sites);            
  2. Residential, Industrial, or Commercial Subdivision roadways
  3. Residential Subdivisions creating three or more parcels.
Applicants will be expected to consent to a continuation of the Public Hearing to allow sufficient time for the Commission to receive and fully review the comments and recommendations of the Peer Review. The Commission will not close the Public Hearing for the NOI / RDA until the peer reviewer has completed their work to the satisfaction of the Commission.

Policy #11
Kiosk Postings 
Requests for postings to be displayed in the kiosks on Conservation Land shall be submitted to the Conservation Commission for approval.  The Commission has the sole discretion to approve postings for official public information releases, postings about approved organized events on Woburn Conservation Lands, and information about the Conservation Commission or Conservation Commission activities.  The Commission may reject postings if they are larger than 11 inches by 17 inches or deemed by the Commission to be in poor taste or poor condition.  The Conservation Commission shall not allow postings of commercial advertisements, political advertisements, illegal activities, or hate-related materials.  The Commission shall not allow postings of information regarding fundraising or service clubs unless they are related to Commission approved organized events on Woburn Conservation Land. 

Policy #12
Peer Review List Additions & Deletions
  • A firm or individual seeking to be added to the Woburn Conservation Commission’s list of acceptable peer reviewers shall make a written request to the Commission asking to be included on the peer review list.  The request shall include: contact information; information about qualifications including professional certifications, registrations, licenses, relevant experience (including experience with peer reviews); knowledge of the Wetland Protection Act Regulations; and knowledge of the Massachusetts Stormwater Management Standards.  References may be requested by the Commission. 
  • The Conservation Commission shall review requests for inclusion on the peer review list based on the information submitted and the criteria listed herein.  The Commission shall determine which reviewers may be added to the Peer Review List.  The Commission shall from time to time review and update the Peer Review List, and may limit the number of reviewers on the list if the list becomes overly long.   
  • Any peer reviewer wishing to be removed from the list should send a written request for removal from the list.
  • Criteria for acceptance on the Peer Review List:
    • Individuals performing a review of wetland delineations and restoration plans shall have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in wetland science, botany, soil science, wildlife biology, environmental science, ecology, or a related field.  Advanced degrees and wetland scientist certification are preferred.
    • A Massachusetts Registered Professional Engineer will be required for the review of engineering design and calculations (including compliance with stormwater management standards).
    • Reviewers shall be knowledgeable of the Wetlands Protection Act and its Regulations, and competent to perform a comprehensive review of the wetland filing for completeness and compliance with the performance standards set forth in the Regulations (310 CMR 10.00) and compliance with applicable Stormwater Management Standards.  Experience is preferred.
    • Reviewers shall be competent to make a complete review of the wetland filing for compliance with the Woburn Wetlands Ordinance and its regulations.
    • Reviewer shall be available in person to attend Commission meetings, as required.
  • Reasons for removal from the Peer Review List:
    • Unsatisfactory past review.
    • Reviewer no longer meets criteria to be on Peer Review List.
    • Reviewer has requested removal from the Peer Review List.