The first thing you should do is contact the Greenfield Planning Office. The Conservation Commission staff can explain the law more completely to you and its effect on the particular project you have in mind. The next step is to submit a formal application, known as a Notice of Intent to the Conservation Commission. The Commission will set a time within 21 days for a public hearing in the Greenfield Recorder at your expense. Once the public hearing is closed, the Commission must issue its decision, known as an Order of Conditions, within 21 days. If you or other interested parties are unhappy with the Order of Conditions, the Order may be appealed. Under the state Act, appeal is first to the regional office of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) which will consider the appeal and issue what is known as a Superseding Order. Further appeal of this Order is possible, first to the DEP, and then to Superior Court. To determine if you have wetlands on your property or for small projects located only in the 100-foot buffer zone, there is a simpler, alternative application process. A landowner or other interested party may submit a form known as a Request for Determination of Applicability to the Commission. The Commission must hold a publicly advertised meeting within 21 days to discuss the matter and issue a decision. For projects with no wetlands impact, the applicant is given permission to proceed as soon as the appeal period is over.
Appears in: Planning & Development FAQs