Obtaining a Wetland Permit

Introduction and Resources

The Natick Conservation Commission (NCC) reviews any activity proposed within 100 feet of Wetland Resource Areas (wetlands, ponds, intermittent streams) or 200 feet from perennial (year-round) streams under the State Wetlands Protection Act (310 CMR 10.00) and the Natick Wetlands Protection Bylaw (Article 30). 

If there is ever a question of whether you may have wetland resources areas or buffers that impact your lot, or if work you are proposing may require review and approval, please reach out to 508-647-6452 or crundelli@natickma.org

You can visit the Town's mapping website to see if your property contains or is near Wetland Resource Areas. Search by address using the search bar in the top right corner of the page, and use the "Themes" button just under the search bar to toggle "Natick Town Wetlands" layer on. Other resources for determining if there are wetlands jurisdiction on your lot include:

  • Massachusetts State Online Mapping Tool - MassMapper                                                                                        Use the search button in the top right corner to search for specific layers like "Wetlands," "Streams, "Flood Hazard Layers."
  • StreamStats                                                                                                                                                              This tool was developed by USGS to assist in consolidating data about streams and watersheds in one location. This tool is useful for determining if streams near your property are perennial or intermittent based on the defining features listed in 310 CMR 10.58(2)(a)(1)a-h.

It is important to note that when designing your project, the NCC enforces the following buffers under the Natick Wetlands Protection Bylaw (Article 30).

  • A 25-foot No Disturbance Zone from all Wetland Resource Areas in which no activities or work can occur including dumping of grass clippings and disturbance of existing vegetation.
  • A 40-foot No Build Zone from all Wetland Resource Areas in which no structures are allowed to be placed or constructed such as sheds.

Application Timeline and Process

  1. Review the information included on in the next section of this webpage to determine what permit you will need. If you need assistance, call the Community & Economic Development office at 508-647-6452.
  2. Review the MA Wetlands Protection Act and the Natick Wetlands Bylaw and its Regulations
  3. Submit one hard copy and one digital copy of the completed application to the Community & Economic Development office 16 days prior to an NCC meeting. The NCC meets the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month at 7 PM. A full list of meeting schedules, application deadlines, and revised materials submission deadlines is available here.
  4. Attend one or more scheduled NCC meetings to present your application. Sometimes the NCC can make a decision in one night. Other times they may request additional information, or want to conduct a site visit, and will continue your application to a future date. 
  5. Receive a decision from the NCC. If a permit is issued, be sure to read through the entire permit you receive and pay attention to any conditions you are required to abide by!

Application Types

Request for Determination of Applicability (RDA)

This application is for minor projects affecting a small portion of a Buffer Zone or within a resource area that is not likely to have a negative impact on the Wetland Resource Area. An RDA is requesting the NCC to make a determination if the proposed work is subject to a larger wetlands permit process (known as a Notice of Intent and described below).

The required materials for a complete RDA application include the following.

  • A completed WPA Form 1
  • Plans (sheet size may range from 8.5"x11" to 24"x36")                                                                                           Depending on the type of work, these plans may need to be formally engineered or surveyed.
  • A USGS locus map
  • Other materials applicable to the proposed work (e.g., stormwater calculations, planting plans, etc.)
  • A check for the local $100 filing fee, made out to the Town of Natick

When submitting your application, the Town should receive 1 hard copy with the check included, and 1 electronic copy. A hard copy of the complete application (minus the local filing fee check) must be submitted to MassDEP at 205B Lowell Street, Wilmington, MA 01887.

The timeline for a RDA is as follows.

  • Application is submitted and reviewed for completeness by staff. Once deemed complete, the applicant will be notified of their confirmed public meeting date.
  • A legal ad is placed in the local newspaper advertising the project and the public meeting information. This ad is placed by the Community and Economic Development Office at no cost to the applicant.
  • The NCC will meet and review the project. Attendance of the applicant or a representative of the applicant is required. The NCC may make a decision in 1 meeting, or may request additional information or a site visit and continue the public meeting to an upcoming meeting. 
  • The NCC will either issue a Negative RDA (don't let the name fool you, this is a good thing!) or a Positive RDA (you will need to submit a Notice of Intent application).

Additional information about the RDA application process can be found below. 

MassDEP RDA Information
Town of Natick RDA Checklist

Notice of Intent (NOI)

This application is for larger projects that could have a more significant impact on Wetland Resource Areas and the environment. These involve more detailed engineered plans and a more detailed review.

The materials for a complete NOI application can vary based on the project, but all NOI applications will need to include the following.

  • A completed WPA Form 3
  • Engineered plans, signed and stamped (sheet size may range from 11"x17" to 24"x36")                      
  • A USGS locus map
  • A detailed project narrative, including proof that all relevant performance standards have been met
  • Documentation for wetlands delineation
  • A certified list of abutters within 100' of the property boundaries for the lot(s) where work is occurring
  • A copy of the abutter notification - proof of abutter notification must be provided at the public hearing opening
  • A signed Affidavit of Service
  • Other materials applicable to the proposed work (e.g., stormwater calculations, planting plans, Riverfront Area alternatives analysis, cut and fill calculations, etc.)
  • Natick Fee Transmittal Form
  • NOI Fee Transmittal Form - include copy of this with the check for the State portion of WPA fee (see below) 
  • Fee checks
    • Natick Local Fee: This fee is calculated using the Natick Fee Transmittal Form and is based on the type of work proposed. This check should be made out to the Town of Natick.
    • WPA Fee: This total fee is calculated using the NOI Fee Transmittal Form and is based on the type of work proposed. The total fee is then split into 2 checks, the Town portion and the State portion.
      • Town portion: [(Total Fee)/2] + $12.50 - make check out to Town of Natick and submit with hard copy NOI application
      • State portion: [(Total Fee)/2] - $12.50 - make check out to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and mail to below address, and include a copy in the hard copy application submitted to the Town

MassDEP - Wetlands                                                                                                           P.O. Box 4062                                                                                                                     Boston, MA 02211

Make sure you send a copy of your complete application, supplemental materials, and scan of all checks to MassDEP at the below address!

MassDEP Northeast Regional Office                                                                              205B Lowell Street                                                                                                             Wilmington, MA 01887

The timeline for a NOI is as follows.

  • Application is submitted and reviewed for completeness by staff. Once deemed complete, the applicant will be notified of their confirmed public hearing date. Once the date is confirmed, the applicant should mail their abutter notifications (must be mailed a minimum of 7 business days in advance of the hearing).
  • A legal ad is placed in the local newspaper advertising the project and the public hearing information. This ad is placed by the Community and Economic Development Office at no cost to the applicant.
  • The NCC will meet and review the project. Attendance of the applicant or a representative of the applicant is required. The NCC may make a decision in 1 meeting, or may request additional information or a site visit and continue the public meeting to an upcoming meeting. 
  • The NCC will either issue an Order of Conditions (OOC) for the project with conditions that need to be met prior to the start of work on the site, during the construction period, and after work is complete, be sure to read the OOC carefully and reach out with any questions. This document must be recorded at the Registry of Deeds to be valid!
  • Once work on the project is complete and all conditions have been met, the applicant must file for a Request for a Certificate of Compliance (CoC), along with any additional close-out materials required by the OOC. There is a $50 filing fee for the CoC Request!

Additional information about the NOI application process can be found below. 

MassDEP NOI Information
Town of Natick NOI Checklist

Abbreviated Notice of Resource Area Delineation (ANRAD)

This application is used to confirm wetland boundaries in order to inform future development of land. Wetland boundary delineations confirmed through an ANRAD are valid for 3 years, and may be extended.

The required materials for a complete ANRAD application include the following.

  • A completed WPA Form 4a
  • Plans (sheet size may range from 11"x17" to 24"x36")                                                                                           Plans submitted must be surveyed plans that accurately display the wetland boundaries being reviewed.
  • A USGS locus map
  • Documentation for wetlands delineation
  • A certified list of abutters within 100' of the property boundaries for the lot(s) where work is occurring
  • A copy of the abutter notification - proof of abutter notification must be provided at the public hearing opening
  • A signed Affidavit of Service
  • ANRAD Fee Transmittal Form
  • Fee Checks
    • A check for the local $250 filing fee, made out to the Town of Natick
    • WPA Fee: This total fee is calculated using the ANRAD Fee Transmittal Form and is based on the linear feet of resource area delineated. The total fee is then split into 2 checks, the Town portion and the State portion.
      • Town portion: [(Total Fee)/2] + $12.50 - make check out to Town of Natick and submit with hard copy ANRAD application
      • State portion: [(Total Fee)/2] - $12.50 - make check out to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and mail to below address, and include a copy in the hard copy application submitted to the Town

MassDEP - Wetlands                                                                                                                      P.O. Box 4062                                                                                                                               Boston, MA 02211 

Make sure you send a copy of your complete application, supplemental materials, and scan of all checks to MassDEP at the below address!

MassDEP Northeast Regional Office                                                                                205B Lowell Street                                                                                                                 Wilmington, MA 01887