[HISTORY: Adopted by the Annual Town Meeting of the Town of Harvard 3-30-1974 by Art. 33; amended in its entirety 3-29-2008 Annual Town Meeting by Art. 27. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
In order to preserve the qualities and character of the Town ways, the roads, streets and ways set forth in § 90-3 below are designated as scenic roads under the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 40, Section 15C.
The Town of Harvard adopts the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 40, Section 15C, as amended, which provides, in part, that any repair, maintenance, reconstruction or paving work done with respect to any road, as defined in § 90-2 of this chapter, designated as a scenic road in § 90-3 of this chapter, shall not involve or include the cutting or removal of trees, or the tearing down, destruction, or alteration of stone walls or portions of stone walls within the right-of-way of a designated scenic road, except with prior written consent of the Planning Board after a public hearing.
A scenic road consent is not required for the temporary removal and replacement of a stone wall at the same location with the same materials, but only if the Harvard Department of Public Works is notified before the work begins so that it can confirm that the wall is properly replaced.
The Planning Board shall consider, among other things, the public safety, scenic views, preservation of historic and regional characteristics, and preservation and enhancement of natural and aesthetic qualities of the environment.
After public notice and public hearing, the Planning Board may promulgate rules to accomplish the purposes of this bylaw, effective when voted and filed with the Town Clerk. Failure by the Planning Board to promulgate such rules or a legal declaration of their invalidity by a court of law shall not operate to suspend or invalidate the effect of this bylaw.
The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation of this bylaw.
- CUTTING OR REMOVAL OF TREES
- The removal of one or more trees, trimming of major branches, or cutting of roots sufficient in the Tree Warden's written opinion to cause eventual destruction of a tree. However, such cutting or removal shall not be construed to include clearing of nuisance growth, routine or emergency tree maintenance which removes only permanently diseased or damaged limbs, trunks or roots and dead whole trees, or thinning out of overcrowded trees as determined by the Tree Warden, but shall include such cutting or removal done in contemplation of, or following the repair, maintenance, reconstruction or paving work for a road.
- REPAIR, MAINTENANCE OR RECONSTRUCTION
- Any such work done within the right-of-way by any person or agency, public or private, including, but not necessarily limited to, any work on any portion of any right-of-way which was not physically commenced at the time the road was designated as a scenic road; and the construction of any new driveway or private way or the alteration of any existing driveway or private way in so far as such alteration takes place within the right-of-way when such work involves the cutting down of trees or the destruction of stone walls.
- The area on and within the boundaries of the public way. If the boundaries are unknown, any affected trees or stone walls shall be presumed to be within the public right-of-way until shown to be otherwise.
- The entire right-of-way of a way used for vehicular travel and appurtenant structures and facilities including, but not limited to bridge structures, drainage systems, retaining walls, traffic control devices, sidewalks, pedestrian facilities, and the air space above them, but not intersecting streets or driveways.
- TEARING DOWN OR DESTRUCTION OF STONE WALLS
- The defacement, removal, physical covering (other than naturally occurring plant covering) or rearrangement of a stone wall as defined herein. Temporary removal and replacement at the same location with the same materials is permitted without Planning Board consent, but only if the Harvard Department of Public Works is notified before the work begins so that it can confirm that the wall is properly replaced.
- TEMPORARY REMOVAL OF STONE WALLS
- The temporary removal and replacement at the same location with the same materials.
- For the purposes of this Scenic Road Bylaw only, a living tree whose trunk has a diameter of 1.5 inches or more as measured one foot from the ground. All trees so defined within the right-of-way of a designated scenic road or on the boundaries thereof shall be subject to this bylaw. If, for whatever reason, it is uncertain as to whether a tree is within the right-of-way of a designated scenic road, it shall be presumed to be subject to the provisions of this bylaw and the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 40, Section 15C until the contrary is shown. Nothing in this definition shall be construed to permit a person, other than the Tree Warden or his deputy, to trim, cut down or remove a public shade tree.
Written application shall be filed with the Planning Board to perform activities affecting areas protected by this bylaw. The application shall include such information and plans as are deemed necessary by the Planning Board to describe proposed activities and their effects on the areas. No activities shall commence without receiving and complying with written consent issued pursuant to this bylaw.
At the time of an application, the applicant shall pay a filing fee as specified on the Scenic Road Consent Application.
The Planning Board may waive the filing fee and costs and expenses for an application filed by a government agency, the Town, or a nongovernmental organization working the interest of the Town.
A decision of the Planning Board shall be reviewable in the Superior Court in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 249, Section 4.
[Amended 10-22-2018 STM by Art. 1]
This bylaw shall be administered and enforced by the Planning Board, the Building Commissioner, the Tree Warden, the Director of the Department of Public Works or others designated by the Town Administrator. Enforcing officials may issue a citation for the violation of this bylaw and shall take appropriate action in the name of the Town of Harvard to prevent, correct, restrain or abate such violations. Violators shall be subject to a fine of $100 per violation for the first offense, $200 per violation for the second offense and $300 per violation for the third and all subsequent offenses.
The invalidity of any section or provision of this bylaw shall not invalidate any other section or provision thereof, nor shall it invalidate any permit, approval or decision, which previously has been issued.