[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Marlborough 6-22-1992 by Ord. No. 92-4365-1. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Filing. Any person or organization seeking the consent of the Planning Board under MGL c. 40, § 15C (The Scenic Roads Act) regarding road repair, maintenance, reconstruction or paving work that will involve the cutting or removal of trees or the tearing down of stone walls, or portions thereof, shall file a request with the Planning Board, together with the following:
Information identifying the location of the proposed action in a manner that sufficiently describes its location and that also specifically describes the proposed changes to trees or stone walls.
Plans, drawings or other explanatory reference material showing the specific design or engineering details.
Except in the case of a municipal agency, a deposit sufficient for the cost of advertising and required notifications.
Notice. The Planning Board shall, as required by statute, give notice of its public hearing by twice advertising in a newspaper of general circulation in the area. The Board shall also send copies of said notice to the Mayor's Office, the City Council, the Conservation Commission, the Historical Commission, the City Engineer, the Street Division, the Department of Public Works, and owners as of the preceding January 1 of property located in whole or in part within 100 feet of the proposed action.
Timing. The Planning Board shall hold a public hearing within 45 days of receipt of a properly filed request and shall make a decision within 60 days of that receipt, unless a longer time is agreed to by the applicant. The date and time of the public hearing shall be set outside of normal weekday work hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday) so as to encourage maximum citizen participation.
Tree Warden. Whenever feasible, Planning Board hearings shall be held in conjunction with those to be held by the Tree Warden acting under MGL Chapter 87. Consent to an action by the Planning Board shall not be construed as inferring consent by the Tree Warden, or vice versa.
Emergency repair. The procedures outlined herein shall not be required when the Tree Warden or his designee act in an emergency in accordance with MGL Chapter 87 to remove fallen trees or limbs which cause an obstruction to public travel or a dangerous situation with respect to utility lines.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated: In the absence of contrary meaning established through legislative or judicial action pursuant to MGL c. 40, § 15C, these terms contained in that statute and herein shall be construed as follows:
- CUTTING OR REMOVAL OF TREES
- The destruction of more than one tree having a trunk diameter four inches or more measured one foot from the ground. Trimming of roots sufficient in the Tree Warden's opinion to cause eventual destruction of a tree is included in this definition.
- The entire right-of-way of a vehicular traveled way plus its necessary appurtenances, including bridge structures, drainage systems, retaining walks, traffic control devices and sidewalks, but not intersecting streets or driveways. The right-of-way includes the area on and within the boundaries of the public way. If the boundaries are not officially known, any affected tree or stone wall shall be presumed to be within the public right-of-way until shown otherwise.
- TEARING DOWN OR DESTRUCTION OF STONE WALLS
- The destruction of more than 10 linear feet of stone wall involving more than one cubic foot of wall material per linear foot, but shall not be construed to include temporary removal and replacement at the same location with the same materials.
In acting on scenic roads, the Planning Board shall take into consideration the following:
Preservation of natural resources.
Environmental and historical values.
Scenic and aesthetic characteristics.
The characteristics of local residential traffic and resident expectations.
Compensatory actions proposed, such as replacement of trees or stone walls.
Functional urgency of the repair, maintenance, reconstruction or paving.
Financial and other consequences of design revision to avoid or reduce damage to trees or stone walls.
Additional evidence contributed by abutters, City agencies and other interested parties.
Other sound planning considerations.
The Planning Board shall, within 60 days of receipt of a properly filed request, submit a written determination of consent or denial to the applicant and a copy to the City Clerk and the City Council. A report of denial shall include an indication of what modifications, if any, would lead to consent.