Obtaining a Wetlands Permit
The Lincoln Conservation Commission is responsible for upholding the MA Wetlands Protection Act and Lincoln’s Wetlands Protection Bylaw and Buffer Zone Regulations. Click here to view the Conservation Commission’s page where you’ll find Commission Member information, and additional meeting information.
Any activity proposed within 100 feet of wetland resource areas (wetlands, ponds, or intermittent streams) or 200 feet from perennial (year-round) streams must be reviewed by the Conservation Commission. The Living with Wetlands brochure (PDF) describes more about the protective zones around ponds, streams and other wetland resources areas in Lincoln. For more details, please review Lincoln Wetlands Protection Bylaw and Buffer Zone Regulations below:
If you are planning a project that involves grading, filling, cutting, or building near a wetland resource area or have questions about which permit you should apply for, please contact the Conservation Department at 781-786-2612. Some important documents are below:
- 2023 Conservation Commission Meeting Schedule (PDF)
- Applicant’s Guide to the Wetland Permitting Process (PDF)
- Abutter’s Guide to Conservation Commission Permitting Process (PDF)
- DEP Wetland Application Forms - link to external site
- Lincoln’s Wetland Protection Bylaw Application
Which wetland permit should I apply for?
One of three wetland permit applications may be required, depending on the nature and scale of the proposed project and its potential impact on the nearby wetland resource.
- Administrative Approval- Certain minor activities (such as installing fencing, planting native species, digging a test pit, or removing a hazardous tree) may be eligible for Administrative Approval by Conservation staff. See the following policies for more information. Please contact the Conservation Office if you think your project may be exempt or so minor as to not require a full permit.
- Request for Determination of Applicability (RDA) - This Application is for minor projects effecting a small portion of the Buffer Zones that will have no impact on the Wetland Resource Area. It is the simplest and least expensive permit application procedure, one most homeowners can fill out on their own.
- An RDA results in a Determination of Applicability. Please review the Checklist for Filing a Request for Determination of Applicability (PDF) for town-specific requirements.
- Notice of Intent (NOI)- This Application is for projects involving significant work in the buffer zone or any work in a Wetland Resource Area. An NOI is a more detailed permit application that requires professionally engineered plans and results in a permit called an Order of Conditions (OOC).
- Please review the Checklist for Filing a Notice of Intent (PDF) or the Abbreviated Notice of Resource Area Delineation (ANRAD) Submission Checklist for a detailed list of what must be filed with your submission.
- NOIs may be filed using the eDEP Online Filing. Please be aware that an electronic and paper copy of the DEP NOI form as well as the Lincoln Wetlands Bylaw Application must be submitted to the Conservation Commission Department.
Applicants filing a Notice of Intent or RDA must notify all abutters (any landowner within 300 feet of the property line) by certified mail or Certificate of Mailing. To request a Certified Abutters list from the Assessor’s Office, click here.
- At the time of filing a wetland’s permit, the Applicant must send each abutter “Lincoln’s Notification to Abutters” form. Please include the exact date & time of the hearing which will be given to you at the time of submission.
NOI Applications must contain a DEP Fee Transmittal Form.
The Town of Lincoln has a separate filing fee (from NOIs and RDAs) under the Bylaw. Click here to review these fees.
An Order of Conditions must be recorded at the Middlesex Registry of Deeds (PDF) in Cambridge, or for registered land in the Land Court, no earlier than 10 business days after the issuance of the Order of Conditions by the Conservation Commission along with proof that no appeal of the Order of Conditions has been filed. The Registry fee for recording or registering shall be paid by the owner or applicant.
Proof of recording this original Order of Conditions must be brought back to the Conservation Commission before the applicant may apply for a Building Permit or commence work on the site.
Closing Out a Permit
NOI's must be "closed out" with a Certificate of Compliance to remove the cloud on the title. Upon completion of your NOI project, you must submit to the Conservation office:
- WPA Form 8A - Request for Certificate of Compliance - link to external site
- A signed and stamped as-built plan
- Letter from the engineer (or landscaper for landscaping only projects) stating that the project was completed in substantial compliance with the approved plans and conditions
- Other documents as required by your Order of Conditions (wetlands permit)
Other Wetland Related Laws and Policies
Although not administered by the Conservation Commission, there are two wetland-related zoning laws you should be aware of:
- The Surface Water Supply Protection Bylaw (Article XX)
- The Stormwater Bylaw is administered by the Planning Board (Article XXXII). Regulations can be found here.