Land Disturbance Permit

General Information

A permit is required prior to any land disturbance activity that exceeds the thresholds contained within Chapter XIV: Stormwater Management of the Auburn General By-laws and its associated Stormwater Regulations.

There are two types of permits - a minor permit and a major permit - which are defined by the extent of the land disturbance activity. The thresholds for each type of permit are shown in the table below.

Regulated ActivityMinor Permit ThresholdMajor Permit Threshold
Any land disturbance activity (or activities that are part of a larger plan of development)5,000 – 9,999 square feet≥10,000 square feet
Any land disturbance activity where there is an existing or proposed slope of 15% or greater2,500 – 4,999 square feet≥5,000 square feet
Any land disturbance activity that will result in equal to or greater than 50 cubic yards of material filled, removed, or altered50 – 499 cubic yards≥500 cubic yards
An increase in impervious area1,000 – 2,999 square feet of new impervious area≥3,000 square feet of new impervious area


Applicants are responsible for submitting the following information in order to obtain a permit:


  • Online Application
  • Design Plans
  • Stormwater Management Plan
  • Erosion and Sediment Control Plan
  • Long-Term Operation and Maintenance Plan
  • Application Review and Inspection Fee


  • Online Application
  • Design Plans
  • Narrative of Project
  • Operation and Maintenance Certification
  • Application Review & Inspection Fee

Please see the Stormwater Management Regulations for additional information on what is required. An Application Checklist is also available. The checklist is for the benefit of applicants and is not a required document that needs to be submitted with the application.

The Department of Public Works will make a determination of completeness of the application and adequacy of the materials submitted within 10 business days of receipt of the application. Final Action on the application will be taken within 30 business days of a positive certification of completeness or receipt of documentation addressing comments.


A Land Disturbance Permit is valid for one year. Following issuance, the permit holder is required to complete the following actions:

  • Prior to the start of construction
    • Attend a pre-construction meeting with representatives from DPW and the Town Building Inspections Division
    • Submit proof of recorded Long-Term Operations and Maintenance Plans at the Worcester Registry of Deeds (Major Permits Only)
    • Submit proof of recorded Easements at the Worcester Registry of Deeds (if applicable)
    • Submit a copy of the NPDES Construction General Permit (if applicable)
  • Schedule inspections at the following milestones during construction, providing DPW with at least 2 working days notice
    • Erosion and sediment control measures are in place and stabilized
    • Rough grading has been substantially completed (Major Permit Only)
    • Final grading has been substantially completed
    • Prior to backfilling of any underground drainage or stormwater conveyance structures (Major Permit Only)
    • During construction of stormwater BMPs (Major Permit Only)
    • Close of the construction season (Major Permit Only)
    • Final landscaping and post-installation of stormwater BMPs
  • Conduct weekly inspections of their stormwater control measures
  • Submit to the DPW a monthly report on those inspections
  • Notify DPW, in writing, of any change or alteration of a land-disturbing activity before the change or alteration occurs

Unless otherwise stated, all submittals, notifications, scheduling inquiries, and questions should be sent to: Stormwater Management


At the end of construction, the permit holder is required to submit a final report and as-built plans before a Certificate of Completion can be issued. A copy of the Certification must be presented by the permit holder to the Town Building Inspections Division prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy, if applicable.

In addition, major permit holders are required to submit annual reports to DPW regarding the inspection and maintenance of BMPs for which they are responsible following construction. The responsible party is the owner of the property and the reports must be submitted in perpetuity. Reports must be emailed to Stormwater Management prior to June 1st of every year.




Questions may be sent to Stormwater Management or you may call DPW at (508) 832-7814.


Stormwater in Auburn is regulated by US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II Massachusetts Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit. As part of this permit, the Town is required to implement and enforce a program to reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff that result from construction and post-construction activities. The Stormwater Bylaw meets or exceeds the requirements of the MS4 permit and provides greater regulatory mechanisms for addressing pollution, protecting the environment, and preventing flooding. 


Per the Stormwater Bylaw, the following activities are exempt from obtaining a land disturbance permit:

  • Normal maintenance and improvement of Town-owned public ways and appurtenances
  • Normal maintenance and improvement of land in agricultural use, as defined by the Wetlands Protection Act regulations 310 CMR 10.04
  • Repair or replacement of septic systems when required by the Board of Health for the protection of public health and in accordance with Title V (CMR 15.00)
  • The construction of fencing that will not alter existing terrain or drainage patterns
  • Construction of utilities other than drainage (gas, water, electric, telephone, etc.) that will not alter terrain or drainage patterns
  • Maintenance of existing landscaping, gardens, or lawn areas associated with single-family dwellings
  • Repair or replacement of an existing roof of a single-family dwelling
  • Activities conducted in accordance with an approved Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Forest Stewardship Plan
  • Regular and approved maintenance of stormwater infrastructure
  • Emergency work that poses a threat to public health and safety

How long will it take to get my permit?

Within 10 days of submittal, the application will be reviewed to ensure all the required documentation has been included and is of a quality sufficient for review.  Action will be taken on an application within 30 days of the determined date of completeness or receipt of documentation addressing comments.