Duties & Responsibilities
The Conservation Commission is responsible for protecting Williamsburg's natural resources. The Conservation Commission administers and enforces the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act and the Massachusetts Rivers Protection Act. These laws protect ponds, rivers, streams, wetlands, floodplains, vernal pools, and other sensitive environmental resources. Projects near these resources require review and approval by the Commission.
The Conservation Commission administers and enforces state wetlands regulations and works to protect the town’s natural resources.
With few exceptions, the Commission meets the second and Fourth Thursday of each month in the Planning Room of the town offices. Meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. Office hours Wednesdays 10:00 -12:00.
Any alteration of wetlands, buffer zones or riverfront areas should be described in a Request for Determination of Applicability (RDA) and submitted to the Conservation Commission. In certain cases, a Notice of Intent (NOI) may be required. The applicant is responsible for the cost of posting the notice of public hearing concerning the RDA or NOI. For guidance on publishing the required legal notice please refer to the "Legal Notice of Public Meeting Template for Applicants" under 'Addditional Links' above. Submittals should be made at least two weeks prior to a target meeting date.
The Request for Determination of Applicability (WPA Form 1) may be obtained from the Commission Secretary or from the MA. DEP website:
Building permit applicants are advised that any projects within wetland buffer zones or within 200 feet of a perennial stream or river must be approved by the Williamsburg Conservation Commission.
The granting of a building permit does not confer or imply any approval with respect to wetland regulations.
If there is a possibility that the project is within these jurisdictional areas, it is the responsibility of the applicant to file a Request for Determination of Applicability (WPA- Form 1) with the Conservation Commission. As part of the submission please include a plan or schematic that shows the following: structures on the lot, location of proposed work and the distance to wetlands or other resource to be protected, the general vegetation types and drainage direction, elevations and contours (if available). In locus maps, provide street names and show a "north" arrow on the lot. Plan title and date is to be referenced on the application.
The applicant is responsible for sending a copy of the RDA to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection office in Springfield. Click here for the form.
To facilitate scheduling, applicants are requested to EMAIL the completed WORD version of the form or scan/email the filled out PDF version to the Commission Chair. see link above.