Wetlands are found throughout the state, from the Atlantic coast to the Berkshires. Coastal wetlands are directly adjacent to the ocean and include beaches, salt marshes, dunes, coastal banks, rocky intertidal shores, and barrier beaches. Inland wetlands are areas where water is at or just below the surface of the ground. Although these wetlands can appear dry during some seasons, they contain enough water to support certain plants and soils. Inland wetlands include marshes, wet meadows, bogs, and swamps.
Many homeowners have some form of wetland on their property. Does this mean you cannot have a pool? No, but it will require additional time and expense for the necessary approvals.
First, bring your plot plan to your local Conservation Agent, usually located at your town/city hall. Show them the area you are considering for a pool and they will tell you the viability of the project. It is their job to not only enforce the wetlands rules and laws, but to HELP homeowners improve their property while not negatively impacting the wetlands.
Note that wetlands are not static, they move which is why you MAY have to have the area re-marked. You local conservation agent can tell you this.
You will need to hire an environmental scientist or biologist to mark the wetland boundaries. Once marked, contact the firm or person who created your original plot plan. Ask them to come back and mark the boundary lines. Have the surveyor mark on the plan, “PROPOSED POOL.” This is the document that will used for not only conservation, but will the building permit as well.
In MASS, you will be required to file a NOTICE OF INTENT (NOI) through your local conservation commission AND the State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). In RI, you will be working with DEM (Department of Environmental Management.)
In both states, the biggest factor is TIME. It will take anywhere from 6-12 weeks from start to finish to go through the process. At Dynasty, we have helped guide dozens of clients go through the process. Call us and ask for Julie as she is our resident conservation pro.
Here are some helpful links:
CRMC – If your RI property is located near the coast (Coastal Resources Management Council)