Natural Resource Protection

Wetlands / Floodplains

The Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act and the Wellesley Wetlands Protection Bylaw prohibit altering land, water or vegetation in lakes, streams, wetlands, floodplains, or areas within 100 feet of wetlands (and 200 feet of perennial streams) without a permit from the Wellesley Wetlands Protection Committee. In addition, the Massachusetts Inland Restricted Wetlands Act (M.G.L. Ch. 131 s. 40A) protects 14 designated wetlands in Wellesley.

All development within floodplains is further regulated by the Town's Zoning Bylaws, Section XIVB (PDF), and relevant sections of the MA State Building Code (780 CMR).

Private Trees

Wellesley encourages the preservation and protection of sizeable trees on portions of private property during significant demolition and/or development activity under Zoning Bylaw, Section XIVE (PDF). The bylaw establishes requirements for submission of a Tree Protection & Mitigation Plan to the Building Department, in conjunction with a related permit application. For additional information, please review the Planning Board's Tree Bylaw Rules & Regulations (PDF).

Water Supply

Wellesley has established Water Supply Protection Overlay Districts (see Zoning Map (PDF)) to protect the prevent contamination of ground and surface water resources which provide water supply for the Town's residents, institutions, and businesses. The Town's Zoning Bylaws, Section XIVE prohibit certain uses in in Water Supply Protection Districts and require a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals for others.