[HISTORY: Adopted by the Planning Board of the Town of Dover 9-20-1990, amended in its entirety 1-24-1995. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The Dover Planning Board has adopted this chapter with the following objectives:
[Amended ATM 5-7-2002 by Art. 25]
Scenic roads by name and date of scenic road designation:
The Planning Board, the Board of Selectmen, the Conservation Commission, the Historical Commission or by petition of citizens of the Town (consistent with petition requirements to place an Article on the Warrant) may propose scenic road status for any road in Dover other than a numbered route or state highway as a scenic road. The Planning Board shall hold a public hearing on the petition, notifying the Selectmen, the Tree Warden, the Consulting Engineer, the Superintendent of Streets, the Conservation Commission and the Historical Commission, and advertising twice in a newspaper of general circulation, the first advertisement at least 14 days prior to the date of the public hearing.
The Planning Board shall make a recommendation to the Town Meeting on the merits of designation of the proposed road as a scenic street.
A majority vote of Town Meeting is required for designation. Such designation shall be effective as of the date of Town Meeting action. Any work on any portion of the right-of-way of a scenic road which was not physically commenced at the time the road was designated as a scenic road shall conform to this chapter.
The absence of contrary meaning established through legislation or judicial action pursuant to MGL c. 40, § 15C, these terms contained in that statute shall be construed as follows:
- CUTTING OR REMOVAL OF TREES
- Shall not be construed to include routine or emergency tree maintenance which removes only permanently diseased or damaged limbs, trunks or roots or whole trees as determined by the Tree Warden, or sound limbs, trunks or roots of a tree with a diameter 1 1/2 inches or larger 1 foot above ground level that hinders a public way as determined by the Tree Warden.
- REPAIR, MAINTENANCE, RECONSTRUCTION OR PAVING-WORK
- Any work done within the right-of-way by any person or agency, public or private. Construction of new driveways or alterations of existing ones is also included to the extent that such work takes place within the right-of-way.
- The entire right-of-way including, but not limited to, a vehicular traveled way, plus its necessary appurtenances with the right-of-way, including bridge structures, drainage systems, retaining walls, traffic control devices, pedestrian facilities and the air space above them, but not intersecting streets or driveways. When the boundary of the right-of-way is in issue so that a dispute arises as to whether or not certain trees or stone walls are within the right-of-way, the boundary shall be determined in accordance with MGL c. 86.
- STONE WALLS
- Shall not be construed to include assemblages of stone involving less than 1 cubic foot of wall material per linear foot nor totaling less than 5 feet in length.
- TEARING DOWN OR DESTRUCTION OF STONE WALLS
- Shall not be construed to include temporary removal and replacement within 30 days at the same location with the same materials.
- Any woody plants having a trunk diameter with a diameter of 1 1/2 inches or larger, 1 foot above the ground.
The Planning Board authority and jurisdiction shall be consistent with MGL c. 40, § 15C. This chapter shall be controlling and may be amended from time to time.
Where stone walls exist, the maximum amount of stone wall to be removed shall be the width of the driveway at the location of the stone wall, plus 1 foot.
Removed stone shall be used to repair other sections of the wall along the road.
No wall shall be cut without construction of an appropriate terminus. Appropriate end points are shown in the attached diagram and consist of a stone wall with tapered ends turning back onto the lot along the drive, stone piers, granite posts or wooden posts (with or without a gate).
Editor's Note: Said drawing is included at the end of this chapter.
No tree with a trunk exceeding 8 inches in diameter four feet above the ground level shall be cut for a driveway unless the curb cut cannot be safely located otherwise; clusters of trees located within 6 feet of each other with individual trunks of 6 inches in diameter 4 feet above ground level shall not be cut for a driveway unless the curb cut cannot be safely located otherwise.
For each tree exceeding 4 inches in diameter 4 feet above ground level removed, a tree in a species and location suitable to the Planning Board shall be planted.
Submission of request.
Any person or organization seeking consent of the Planning Board under MGL c. 40, § 15C, (the Scenic Road Act) regarding the cutting or removal of trees or the tearing down or destruction of stone walls, or portions thereof, in connection with the repair, maintenance, reconstruction or paving work on scenic roads, shall submit a written request to the Planning Board by filing such request with the Town Clerk, with a copy to the Planning Board, together with the following:
A plan showing the location and the nature of the proposed action and a description of the proposed changes to trees and stone walls. Two copies of the plan showing the proposed changes are required.
A statement of the purpose(s) for the changes.
A certified list of abutters located within 500 feet of the proposed action. The list is to be obtained from the Assessors Office and should reflect their most current records.
Except in the case of Town agencies, a filing fee of $250 shall be paid.
Photograph(s) of the existing site showing the area to be affected by work on the scenic road in question. All photographs must be signed and dated by the applicant.
Any further explanatory material useful to adequately inform the Planning Board prior to the public hearing.
Editor's Note: The Scenic Road Application is on file in the office of the Planning Board and may be obtained during regular business hours.
Notice of submittal shall be filed with the Town Clerk and a copy of the submittal transmitted to the Tree Warden after it is accepted and signed for by the Planning Board or its staff.
Tree Warden. Whenever feasible, Planning Board hearings shall be held in conjunction with those held by the Tree Warden acting under MGL c. 87. Consent to an action by the Planning Board shall not be construed as inferring consent by the Tree Warden or the reverse, nor shall execution of this chapter in any way lessen the Tree Warden's duties as allowed, under MGL c. 87.
The Planning Board shall, as required by statute, give notice of its public hearing by advertising twice in a newspaper of general circulation in the area, the last publication at least 7 days prior to the public hearing. This notice shall contain a statement as to the time, date, place and purpose of the hearing, with a description of the action proposed by the applicant. Copies of this notice shall be sent to the applicant, the Selectmen, the Tree Warden, the Consulting Engineer, the Conservation Commission, the Historical Commission and the owners of property located within 500 feet of the proposed action.
In the event that the Planning Board holds a joint hearing with the Tree Warden acting under MGL c. 87, the advertisement shall be made jointly by the Planning Board and the Tree Warden.
Timing. The Planning Board shall hold a public hearing within 45 days from the date on which notice of submittal is received by the Town Clerk.
The Planning Board shall make a decision within 60 days from the date on which notice of submittal is received by the Town Clerk unless a longer time is agreed to by the applicant.
In rendering its decision, the Planning Board shall consider the application based on compliance with the Scenic Road Act and the following considerations.
The Planning Board may require sufficient bond to be posted to cover the costs of required work within the road right-of-way and to protect existing vegetation and stone walls. Such bonding shall be specified in the Board's decision.
The decision of the Planning Board shall be filed within 14 days of the close of the public hearing with the Town Clerk; copies of which shall be sent to the applicant, the Selectmen, the Tree Warden, the Consulting Engineer, the Building Inspector, the Conservation Commission, the Historical Commission and those persons who have requested a copy of the decision.
In acting in regard to a scenic road, the Planning Board shall consider the following:
Preservation of natural resources;
Environmental and historical values;
Scenic and aesthetic characteristics;
Traffic volume and congestion;
Compensatory actions proposed, such as replacement of trees or walls;
Financial and other consequences of design revision to avoid or reduce damage to trees or stone walls;
Evidence contributed by abutters, Town agencies and other interested parties; and
Other sound planning principles.
Filing requirement. Failure to file with the Planning Board for permission to cut or remove trees or for destruction of any portion of a stone wall within the layout of the scenic road will require an immediate filing as detailed above and shall be subject to restoration of the features. This restoration shall consist of replacing the stone wall as necessary and replacing the trees cut on a square-inch per square-inch basis at locations specified by the Planning Board. A square-inch per square-inch replacement means that the combined area of the replacement trees measured 1 foot above ground level must equal the total area of the original tree trunk as measured at the stump.
Compliance. Failure to comply with the duly issued decision of the Planning Board shall be subject to restoration as detailed above and other remedial measures the Planning Board deems necessary, including, but not limited to, the enforcement of the bonding and restoration as detailed above. Any decision not exercised within 2 years of issue shall be void and require a new filing.
The Planning Board and the Tree Warden shall have the authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter.