The purpose of this page is to introduce Wayland's residents to the Town's Scenic Road Bylaw and to provide information on how our roads are protected so that we can preserve their scenic qualities.
The Scenic Roads Bylaw can be found in the Wayland Town Code, Chapter 158, Article 5 (§158-5). The purpose of the bylaw is to maintain the rural, natural, historic and scenic character of the town's roads. Scenic Road Bylaws are permitted under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40, section 15C. In 1974 the Town designated 18 different roads, 21 miles total, as scenic (see the map on the right).
The bylaw requires the Planning Board to hold a public hearing and review all work proposed within and along any designated scenic road. Projects that are subject to review include alteration or removal of trees or stone walls, road widening, the addition of a sidewalk, or the construction of a new curb cut or driveway.
Scenic roads are designated by a majority vote of the town meeting after being recommended or requested by the Planning Board, Conservation Commission, or Historical Commission. No numbered route or state highway can be designated as a scenic road unless the road is entirely within Wayland and no part of it is owned or maintained by the state.
Currently there is no application form for the cutting or removal of trees or tearing down or destruction of stone walls on scenic roads. A letter to the Tree Warden with a copy to the Planning Board requesting and detailing such actions, together with a plan showing where such actions are proposed, are all that is necessary. The cost of the advertisements for the public hearing must be borne by the applicant.
On any road, which has been designated a "Scenic Road," no repair, maintenance, reconstruction, or paving on the road that involves any cutting or removal of trees, or tearing down or destruction of stone walls, can occur without the prior written consent of the Planning Board. This written consent cannot occur until after the Planning Board has held a public hearing.
Since all trees subject to this law are also subject to the "Shade Trees" law (MGL Ch. 87), all public hearings under the Scenic Roads law for trees (not those for stone walls only) must be conducted as joint public hearings held in accordance with the requirements of the Shade Trees law.
Thus, the hearing must be called by the Wayland Tree Warden (which is the Park & Recreation Commission), the notice of the time and place of the hearing must appear in two or more public places in Wayland and in a general circulation newspaper in the town once in each of two successive weeks, the first appearance to be not less than seven days before the day of the hearing, and the notice must identify the size, type, and location (in a manner commonly understood by the a non-technical person) of each tree.
During r after the public hearing the Planning Board will vote either to deny or allow the actions requested, based on its judgment of the relative scenic value and impacts of the actions. The result of this vote will be transmitted in writing to the applicant.