Model Wetlands and Wildlife Habitat Bylaw and Regulation
Cape Cod Commission Model Bylaws and Regulations
Model Wetlands and Wildlife Habitat Bylaw and Regulation
Barnstable County contains extensive areas of both fresh water and coastal wetlands. These areas include red maple swamps, Atlantic white cedar swamps, bogs, fresh and salt marshes, and wet meadows. One out of every four acres on Cape Cod is wetland. These wetland resources are important to both the environment and the economy of Cape Cod. They provide important natural functions including ground water recharge, attenuation of pollutants, and wildlife and fisheries habitat, and they are a significant destination for residents and visitors seeking outdoor recreation opportunities including beaches, birdwatching opportunities, fishing and other water sports. Wetland areas are also important for shellfishing, cranberry production and other resource-related industries on Cape Cod. In addition, wetlands and waterbodies and their buffer areas are often areas which have a high likelihood of possessing archeological significance.
Most towns on Cape Cod have enacted non-zoning ("home rule") wetlands bylaws to further protection of local wetlands resources beyond that provided for in the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act. Many towns have also adopted local wetlands regulations pursuant to these bylaws. Because there is so much variety among these bylaws and regulations and because the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions has published a "model" wetlands protection bylaw, the Cape Cod Commission focused its efforts on creating a model bylaw and regulation language to assist towns achieve consistency with provisions included in the Regional Policy Plan. These include: protection of isolated wetlands and vernal pools, limiting wetland alteration and replication, charging fees for consultants to assist with project review, and protecting wetland buffer areas. Also included is a sample wildlife habitat protection bylaw. Communities considering a complete rewrite of their local wetlands bylaw may want to consult the MACC model for other useful procedural language.
In many cases, amendments to local wetlands bylaws will be needed to insert these provisions. This is accomplished by majority vote at town meeting. A public hearing on these bylaw amendments is not required to be held prior to town meeting although the Conservation Commission may wish to hold one. The bylaw will be reviewed by the Attorney General's office once it has passed, but becomes effective immediately. Wetlands bylaws generally specify the process for adoption and amendment of local bylaw regulations. This is most often accomplished simply by vote of the Conservation Commission at a public meeting, usually after a public hearing on the proposed regulations. Communities differ on philosophy with regard to what information should be included in bylaws versus regulations. This model contains recommendations for the content of each, but these can be reworked based on local preference.
Addition of these provisions to local wetlands bylaws and regulations will help communities better protect Cape Cod's sensitive wetland resources as well as demonstrate that the local bylaw is more protective than state law. In DeGrace v. Conservation Commission of Harwich , 31 Mass. App. Ct. 132 (1991), the Massachusetts Appeals Court refused to honor a local bylaw which mirrored the state law, saying the local legislation was pointless unless it went further than the minimum set by the state law.
Please note that the model bylaw and regulation language provided below differs in organization from the other model bylaws prepared by the Cape Cod Commission. The language that follows allows towns to "pick and choose" individual bylaw and regulation provisions for incorporation as stand alone provisions to existing wetland and wildlife habitat bylaws and regulations.
I. Protection of Vernal Pools /Isolated Wetlands
Commentary: Many of the Cape's wetlands occur as isolated kettle holes that do not meet the size thresholds for protection in the Wetlands Protection Act and do not border on other water bodies. The Regional Policy Plan encourages communities to protect all wetlands greater than 500 sq. ft. in area whether they border on waterbodies or not. Many of these isolated areas are also vernal pools which serve important wildlife habitat functions. There is virtually no protection for the vast numbers of vernal pools located outside the boundaries of wetland resource areas. In addition, vernal pools that are not certified by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program do not receive protection under the Wetlands Protection Act. The local wetlands bylaw should give the Conservation Commission authority to protect isolated wetlands and vernal pools in its "Jurisdiction" section regardless of size, location, or certification. Based on this bylaw language, regulations can provide further definition of these areas as well as enumerate performance standards for their protection.
A. Bylaw language
Jurisdiction: Except as permitted by the Conservation Commission or as provided in this bylaw, no person shall commence to remove, fill, dredge, build upon, degrade, discharge into, or otherwise alter the following resource areas: any freshwater or coastal wetlands; marshes; wet meadows; bogs; swamps; vernal pools; banks; reservoirs; lakes; ponds of any size; rivers; streams; creeks; beaches; dunes; estuaries; the ocean; lands under water bodies; lands subject to flooding or inundation by groundwater or surface water; lands subject to tidal action, coastal storm flowage, or flooding; and lands abutting any of the aforesaid resource areas (collectively the "resource areas protected by this bylaw"). Said resource areas shall be protected whether or not they border surface waters.
B. Regulation Language
The term "vernal pool" shall refer to a seasonal fresh water body contained in a confined basin depression that holds water for a minimum of two consecutive months in most years, is free of adult fish populations, and provides breeding habitat for amphibians and invertebrates and other important habitat. Vernal pools include those areas mapped and certified by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program as well as those areas identified in the field as eligible for certification by a professional wildlife biologist or other expert.
The term "freshwater wetlands" shall include all wetlands whether or not they border on a waterbody. For the purposes of this bylaw, all bordering vegetated wetlands, as well as all isolated vegetated wetlands encompassing at least 500 sq. ft. in area, shall be protected.
B.2 Performance Standards:
a) No project shall be permitted which will have an adverse effect on a vernal pool or any naturally vegetated land area within 350' of a vernal pool by altering topography, soil structure, plant community composition, hydrologic regime and/or water quality in such a way as will result in any short-term or long-term adverse effect upon the vernal pool. No diversion of any new stormwater runoff into the vernal pool shall be permitted. The 350' buffer may be reduced in size where the applicant can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Conservation Commission that a narrower buffer will adequately protect the vernal pool and its associated habitat. However, this buffer shall not be less than 100'.
b) No alteration of any isolated vegetated wetland shall be permitted. No alteration of any area within 100' of any isolated vegetated wetland shall be permitted except as described below (see Section B below).
Note: The town of Mashpee has a detailed discussion of isolated wetlands in its wetland regulations. This includes definitions, boundary, critical characteristics and presumption of significance, and performance standards. A similar section is included for vernal pools.
II. Wetland Buffers/Expansion of Conservation Commission Jurisdiction Beyond 100'
Commentary: The Wetlands Protection Act does not provide direct protection for buffer areas surrounding wetlands that provide important functions, including mitigating stormwater impacts, sedimentation and erosion control, removing nutrients, and recharging groundwater. Research has documented the increase in nitrogen and phosphorus loading to wetlands as adjacent watershed areas are cleared of vegetation. Buffer areas play an important role in minimizing impacts of adjacent land uses and separating them from wetlands. Buffer areas also have important wildlife habitat value.
In order to provide protection for wetland buffer areas, the "Jurisdiction" language contained in Section 01.0 above, includes "lands abutting... resource areas." In addition, the following bylaw language is recommended. The case of Fafard v. Conservation Commission of Reading 41 Mass. App. Ct. 565 makes it clear that if a Commission wants to protect buffer areas the bylaw should provide authorization for it to do so. Commissions may expand their jurisdiction beyond 100' where appropriate by inserting language within the bylaw establishing such authorization. For example, Commissions may want to expand their jurisdiction to protect land along rivers to mirror or expand upon the protection offered to the 200' Riverfront Area in recent amendments to the Wetlands Protection Act and regulations. Other areas that a town might consider for expanded jurisdiction include, but are not limited to extremely sensitive areas such as: land within 350' of vernal pools, land within 300' of coastal plain ponds, land within 300' of wetlands designated as estimated habitat for rare species by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program and lands within Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs).
A. Bylaw language
Lands within 200 feet 1 of rivers, ponds and lakes, and lands within 100 feet of other resource areas, are presumed important to the protection of these resources because activities undertaken in close proximity to resource areas have a high likelihood of adverse impact to these resources, either immediately, as a consequence of construction, or over time, as a consequence of daily operation or existence of the activities. These adverse impacts from construction and use can include, without limitation, erosion, siltation, loss of groundwater recharge, poor water quality, and loss of wildlife habitat. The Commission therefore may require that the applicant maintain a strip of continuous, undisturbed vegetative cover within this area, unless the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Commission that the area or part of it may be disturbed without harm to the values protected by the bylaw.
In the review of areas within 200 feet of rivers and streams, and within 100 feet of other resource areas, no permit issued hereunder shall permit any activities unless the applicant, in addition to meeting the otherwise applicable requirements of this bylaw, has proved by a preponderance of the evidence that 1) there is no technically demonstrated feasible alternative to the project with less adverse effects and that 2) such activities, including proposed mitigation measures, will have no significant adverse impact on the areas or values protected by this bylaw. The closer an activity is proposed to a resource area, the more scrutiny will be given to the potential impacts of a proposed project.
Any activity proposed or undertaken outside of the resource areas protected by this bylaw, as specified above, shall not be subject to jurisdiction of the Conservation Commission unless in the judgment of the Conservation Commission, said activity will result or has resulted in the alteration of a resource area protected by this Bylaw. "
B. Regulation Language
B.1 Presumption: Where a proposed activity involves work within 200 feet of [resource area]; the Commission shall presume that such area is significant to the interests specified in the Bylaw. This presumption is rebuttable upon clear and convincing evidence that the buffer area does not play a role in the protection of said interests (wetland values) protected by the Bylaw.
B.2 Performance Standards: No activity which will result in the alteration of land within 200 feet of [resource area] shall be permitted by the Conservation Commission with the following exceptions:
a) planting of native vegetation or habitat management techniques designed to enhance the wetland values protected by the Bylaw;
b) construction and maintenance of unpaved pedestrian access paths not more than 4' in width;
c) maintenance of existing structures, utilities, stormwater management structures and paved areas;
d) construction and maintenance of water dependent structures and uses;
e) vista pruning and removal of dead and diseased vegetation consistent with Conservation Commission standards;
f) construction of new utility lines where the proposed route is the best environmental alternative;
g) septic system maintenance and, if a system has failed, repair/replacement meeting state/local standards where the maximum feasible buffer is maintained;
h) construction of accessory structures/uses associated with lawfully existing single family houses where the Conservation Commission finds that alternatives outside the buffer area are not available; the size and impacts of the proposed structure/use have been minimized; and the structure/use is located as far from the resource as possible;
i) Where a buffer area is already altered such that the required buffer cannot be provided without removal of structures and/or pavement, this requirement may be modified by the Conservation Commission provided that it finds that the proposed alteration will not increase adverse impacts on that specific portion of the buffer area or associated wetland and that there is no technically demonstrated feasible construction alternative;
j) Where a lot is located entirely within buffer area, the Commission may permit activities within the buffer area when the applicant has demonstrated that the proposed work has been designed to minimize impacts to the buffer area. As mitigation, the Commission may require the applicant to plant or maintain a naturally vegetated buffer of the maximum feasible width given the size, topography, and configuration of the lot.
III. Wetland Alteration/"Replication"
Commentary: The Wetlands Protection Act currently bans filling and alteration of salt marshes, but no similar protection is provided for inland wetlands. An unlimited amount of wetland may be filled to provide access to upland portions of a site. In addition, the Act permits alteration of up to 5000 sq. ft. of wetlands if the wetlands are "replicated" elsewhere on the site. However, numerous studies have suggested that wetland replication (conversion of upland to manmade wetland) does not adequately replace the complex natural functions and productivity provided by the altered natural wetlands. The preface to the Wetlands Protection Act regulations also recognizes that the functions served by vegetated wetlands cannot be replicated in their totality by engineering means. In response, the Regional Policy Plan prohibits the alteration of wetlands in most circumstances and does not recognize replication as an acceptable form of mitigation.
A. Bylaw Language
Alteration of resource areas protected by this bylaw shall not be permitted except that the Conservation Commission is authorized to permit, in its discretion, wetland alteration necessary for water dependent uses, public projects, or the construction and maintenance of utilities. Where such alteration is unavoidable, it shall be minimized and the Conservation Commission shall require mitigation sufficient to ensure the protection of the wetland values in this Bylaw. In order to promote the wetland values and interests of this bylaw, no wetland alteration shall be mitigated by or compensated for in any way by the creation of a substitute or artificial freshwater wetland, coastal wetland, marsh, meadow, bog, swamp, pond or any land subject to tidal action, coastal storm flowage or flooding.
B. Regulation Language
Pursuant to the Wetlands Bylaw, the Conservation Commission will not permit wetland alteration except in the following circumstances:
- water dependent uses and structures;
- construction of new utilities and operation and maintenance of existing utility lines;
- public projects
In all cases where wetland alteration is permitted, the Conservation Commission must find that there is no feasible alternative to the proposed construction, that the amount of wetland alteration is the minimum necessary to accomplish the goals of the project , and that acceptable mitigation has been provided to foster the values and interests protected by the Wetlands Bylaw. Acceptable mitigation includes: permanent protection of wetlands and buffer areas on-site or off-site by conservation restriction or donation in fee; or other methods which, in the opinion of the Conservation Commission, will sufficiently enhance wetland protection in the Town of _____ to compensate for the proposed wetland alteration.
IV. Consulting Fees
Commentary: Many communities desire to assess applicants for the cost of professional review of proposed plans, since this cost is often not covered by application fees and can vary widely based on the type of project proposed. Consulting fees must be authorized by a local bylaw before they can be assessed by a community. The town must clearly specify what these fees can be used for, how they are assessed, and what the maximum fee can be. Any unexpended portions must be returned to the applicant, although a portion could be retained during a monitoring period. Revolving funds must be separately authorized by a vote of town meeting and reauthorized annually. MACC recommends the following language: "Will the Town hereby accept the provisions of G.L. Ch. 44, Section 53E 1/2 for purposes of administering the consultant fee provision of the Wetlands Protection Bylaw, and further that the Conservation Commission may expend same without appropriation for expenses reasonably related to its duties and responsibilities as provided above; that expenditures from same shall not exceed [$ amount] in Fiscal Year _____; that the Conservation Commission will report to the next annual town meeting on receipts and expenditures of the revolving fund; that any balance in the revolving funds shall revert to surplus revenue unless otherwise voted by town meeting; and that the revolving fund in order to continue in existence need be reauthorized by each subsequent annual town meeting."
A. Bylaw language
"Upon receipt of a Notice of Intent or Request for Determination of Applicability, the Commission is authorized to require an applicant to pay a fee for the reasonable costs and expenses borne by the Commission for specific expert engineering and other consultant services deemed necessary by the Commission to come to a final decision on the application. The fee is called the "consultant fee." The specific consultant services may include, but are not limited to, performing or verifying the accuracy of resource area survey and delineation; analyzing resource area functions and values, including wildlife habitat evaluations, hydrogeologic and drainage analysis; and researching environmental or land use law.
The Commission may require the payment of the consultant fee at any point in its deliberations prior to a final decision. If a revolving fund for consultant expenses is authorized by town meeting, or by any general or special law, the applicant's fee shall be put into such revolving fund, and the Commission may draw upon that fund for specific consultant services approved by the Commission at one of its public meetings. Any unused portion of the consultant fee shall be returned to the applicant unless the Commission decides at a public meeting that additional services will be required.
The exercise of discretion by the Commission in making its determination to require the payment of a consultant fee shall be based upon its reasonable finding that additional information acquirable only through outside consultants would be necessary for the making of an objective decision. Any applicant aggrieved by the imposition of, or size of, the consultant fee, or any act related thereto, may appeal according to the provisions of the Massachusetts General Laws.
The maximum consultant fee charged to reimburse the Commission for reasonable costs and expenses shall be according to the following schedule:
|Project Cost||Maximum Fee|
|Up to $100,000||$500|
|$100,001 - $500,000||$2500|
|$500,001 - $1,000,000||$5000|
|$1,000,001 - $1,500,001||$7500|
Each additional $500,000 project cost increment (over $2,000,000) shall be charged an additional $2,500 maximum fee per increment.
The project cost means the estimated, entire cost of the project including, but not limited to, building construction, site preparation, landscaping, and all site improvements. The consultant fee shall be paid pro rata for the portion of the project cost applicable to those activities within resource areas protected by this bylaw including wetland buffer areas. The project shall not be segmented to avoid being subject to the consultant fee. The applicant shall submit estimated project costs at the Commission's request, but the lack of such estimated project costs shall not avoid the payment of the consultant fee.
B. Regulation Language
Upon a determination by the Conservation Commission that consultant fees are necessary for a proposed project, the Conservation Commission shall request the applicant to provide a statement regarding the total project cost.
The Conservation Commission shall request a written estimate from a qualified consultant(s) of its choosing as to the cost of providing the request services. Said estimate shall be provided to the applicant and the applicant shall forthwith transmit a check for the amount of the review, provided it does not exceed the amount specified by the bylaw.
The Conservation Commission's consultant shall not begin work until payment is made by the applicant. Once the review is completed, the Commission shall release any unexpended funds to the applicant. If the actual charges are more than the estimated charges, the applicant will be required to pay the additional cost (up to the maximum specified in the bylaw) prior to authorization of further work and prior to rendering of the Commission's decision.
All consultants are retained and supervised by the Conservation Commission. All requests for meetings, site visits, reports, and questions of the consultant shall be routed through the Conservation Commission or Administrator unless the Commission authorizes the Consultant to work directly with the applicant to resolve project-related issues. A copy of all consultant reports shall be provided by the Commission to the applicant in a timely manner.
Commentary: In some circumstances it may be helpful for a Conservation Commission to have a variance process in place. Two examples are suggested here.
A. Bylaw Language (variances from Bylaw standards)
The Conservation Commission may, in its discretion, grant variances from the specific requirements of these regulations pursuant to this Section. The Conservation Commission may grant a variance from these regulations when an overriding public interest is demonstrated or when it is necessary to avoid so restricting the use of the property as to constitute an unconstitutional taking without compensation pursuant to the Massachusetts or United States Constitution(s). The intent of this section is to ensure that reasonable use may be made of such property; however, the extent of use shall be limited in so far as is necessary to protect the resource(s) of interest, and to ensure that there is no foreseeable danger to the public health or safety. In all cases, the burden of proof shall be on the applicant to demonstrate maximum feasible compliance with the requirements of this Bylaw and regulations. The Conservation Commission may require mitigation to offset adverse impacts to resource areas protected by this Bylaw.
B. Regulation Language (waivers from standards in regulations and variances from Bylaw standards)
The Commission may waive the application of any performance standard herein when it finds, after opportunity for a hearing that:
a) there are no reasonable conditions or alternatives that would allow the project to proceed in compliance with these regulations;
b) mitigating measures are proposed that will allow the project to be conditioned so as to contribute to the protection of the resource values identified in the Wetlands Bylaw; and
c) that the project is necessary to accommodate an overriding public interest or that it is necessary to avoid a decision that so restricts the use of property as to constitute an unconstitutional taking without compensation.
A request for a variance or waiver shall be made in writing and shall include, at a minimum, the following information:
a) a description of the alternatives explored that would allow the project to proceed in compliance with the performance standards in these regulations and an explanation of why each is not feasible;
b) a description of the mitigating measures to be used to contribute to the protection of the resource area values identified in the Wetlands Bylaw.
c) evidence that an overriding public interest is associated with the project which justifies modifying one or more performance standards in these regulations, or evidence that the decision regarding the permit application would so restrict the use of the land that it constitutes an unconstitutional taking without compensation.
d) in the event a taking claim is being made, the following additional information shall be submitted:
1. documentation that the subject property is legally and/or equitably owned by the applicant, including the date of acquisition. Also, identification of all property in contiguous ownership, including contiguous properties in which the Applicant has a present, future or past fee interest or beneficial interest and documentation of the assessed value of the said contiguous property.
2. documentation of the assessed value of the property subject to regulation as well as documentation of acquisition costs, proceeds received to date, expected proceeds (including copies of purchase and sales agreements, expenditures, and any other financial and economic data relevant to the waiver/variance request.
3. documentation of the value of the loss alleged to result from compliance with the relevant performance standards from which a waiver/variance is sought.
e) The request for waiver/variance shall be sent to the Commission by certified mail or hand delivered and a copy thereof shall at the same time be sent by certified mail or hand delivered to any other parties in interest.
Upon receipt of a request for a waiver/variance, the Commission shall within 21 days select a hearing officer to conduct the hearing and report to the Commission their findings relative to the request. The applicant shall pay for the services of the hearing officer.
f) Within 21 days of receiving the report of the hearing officer, the Commission shall issue a decision as to whether to grant the waiver/variance request. Such decision shall set forth the findings as required herein.
VII. Habitat Protection
There are a variety of mechanisms to protect plant and wildlife habitat at the local level. Habitat protection occurs at two different scales: landscape level habitat protection and site-specific habitat protection.
At the landscape scale, planning is an important component of a habitat protection program. Towns should identify important wildlife travel corridors and large areas of unfragmented woodlands. The Regional Policy Plan's Significant Natural Resource areas map can serve as a starting point for communities to identify important habitat protection areas. Once these areas are identified, towns can protect habitat at the landscape level through a variety of mechanisms including: land acquisition programs; adoption of cluster bylaws that contain design standards for open space that foster wildlife corridors and protection of unfragmented habitat; revision of zoning bylaws to limit uses and/or density in sensitive areas; adoption of wildlife corridor bylaws that protect important wildlife migration areas; and adoption of bylaws and regulations designed to minimize clearing and grading and encourage the planting of native vegetation.
Site-specific habitat protection occurs as specific development proposals are being reviewed. Communities can use a variety of tools at this scale including: a special permit and subdivision regulation requirement for a plant and wildlife habitat evaluation prior to development to identify the most critical areas within a site (the Cape Cod Commission has examples of such requirements); an assessment of the impacts of the project and proposed mitigation; requirements for vegetated buffers adjacent to wetlands and other critical habitats; landscaping requirements, revegetation and site restoration requirements; and minimizing perimeter fencing that could block the movement of wildlife (generally fencing, if not open or split rail style, should be less than 40" in height and set 10-12" off the ground).
Habitat protection also requires community education since many adverse impacts to wildlife habitat occur from pets, dumping yard debris, fencing and other impacts that are difficult to address through bylaws or enforcement.
Habitat protection often falls through the cracks in many communities because no single board or committee has responsibility for addressing this issue during the development review process. Conservation Commissions have the authority under the Wetlands Protection Act to preserve wildlife habitat as it relates only to wetland resource areas (and the 100' buffer) under their jurisdiction, but absent a local bylaw that specifies others they do not have any authority in upland areas. In addition, state law provides for protection of rare species, but there is no protection for the more common, yet important species of flora and fauna and their habitat.
The Town of Falmouth has adopted a Habitat Protection Bylaw as a Zoning Overlay District. Excerpts from the Falmouth bylaw are included below:
A. Purpose: Given that an enumerated purpose of zoning is the conservation of natural resources and that wildlife is a valued natural resource in Falmouth and finding that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has established the importance of protecting wildlife through numerous laws, and finding that Falmouth has a significant stock of wildlife which moves through a large, defined area of town, and further finding that development under zoning can be designed to co-exist with the wildlife and important habitat areas, the purpose of this Bylaw is to establish and protect permanent and contiguous corridors and special areas for the feeding, breeding and normal home range movement of wildlife through the defined habitat areas.
B. Applicability: All uses of land within the Wildlife Overlay District as shown on the Official Zoning Map shall be subject to the requirements of these sections. This includes:
- All subdivisions and divisions of land;
- All special permits;
- All site plan reviews;
- As-of-right construction if it involves an area of disturbance greater than one-fourth acre or movement of material totaling more than 2,000 cubic yards.
C.1 Upon submittal to a local board of plans for development, all plans subject to this section shall be referred to the Natural Resources Department.
C.2 Within thirty-five days of such referral, the Natural Resources Department shall file a recommendation with the reviewing agency. This time may be extended at the request of the applicant. These recommendations shall be considered prior to the final decision of the agency, and all restrictions to the property added by the reviewing agency as a result shall be shown on the final approved plan.
C.3 All areas on the plan set aside for protection of wildlife habitat shall be permanently protected as open space by the town or a nonprofit conservation trust or shall be subject to a permanent conservation restriction consistent with MGL Ch. 184, Section 31-33.
D.1 For those sites within mapped Wildlife Migration areas, the following standards shall apply:
D.1.1 Subdivisions which total more than 5 acres in the AGA, AGB, RA, PU, and RB Zones and more than 20 acres in the AGAA and RAA Zones shall submit to the Planning Board a preliminary cluster subdivision plan. The Planning Board shall encourage the submittal of a cluster-type definitive subdivision in accordance with the [cluster bylaw] if it facilitates that purpose of this Article.
D.1.2 The applicant shall establish contiguous corridors with a minimum three-hundred-foot width across the subject site and to adjacent parcels and corridors. Corridors less than three hundred feet in width may only be allowed upon a finding by the reviewing agency that the purpose of this Bylaw is not compromised and the proper mitigating measures are provided.
D.1.3 Fencing or any structural barrier to wildlife movement within corridors shall be prohibited.
D.1.4 The applicant shall ensure that drainage from roadways is diverted away from depressed areas that may be used as shelter for wildlife.
D.1.5 Natural, indigenous vegetation shall be encouraged or enhanced by the project. Disturbed areas shall be revegetated as rapidly as possible within a time required by the reviewing agency.
D.1.6 Dramatic changes in topography shall be discouraged and the footprint of disturbed areas shall be limited.
1 Note that numbers in italics may be varied and are included here as an example.