It is the work of the Monterey Conservation Commission to locally administer the Wetlands Protection Act (WPA - MGL Ch 131, S 40). The WPA prohibits any filling, excavation or other alteration of the land surface, water levels, or vegetation in wetlands, regardless of ownership, without a permit from the local Conservation Commission. The WPA is interested in Flood Control, Prevention of Storm Damage, Prevention of Pollution, Fisheries, Ground water, Public or Private Water Supplies, and Wildlife Habitat. Additionally the Riverfront areas have been included as requiring protection under their own paragraph. The Conservation Commission also administers the local Scenic Mountain Act (SMA), in
effect since 10 November 2004.
Our responsibility under the WPA is for the review of project plans, including construction, renovations, alterations, additions, pruning, tree cutting, land clearing, river clean-up, any of which include activity in or within 100 feet of a Resource (any lake, pond, stream, swamp, or vegetated wetland) and within
200 feet of any River. Additionally we review project applications under the SMA for the same kinds of projects listed above. The SMA is for projects occurring above 1,500 feet of elevations and projects occurring on slopes of
15% or greater. Each project requiring a Building Permit shall fill in a CONSERVATION COMMISSION PROJECT REVIEW FORM FOR BUILDING PERMIT for review by the Concom. This preliminary review allows us to inform the applicant whether they must file under the WPA, the SMA, or not to file with us because we have no jurisdiction.
As always, if you wish to discuss your project informally, before filing with the Conservation Commission, we are happy to answer your questions.