North River Protective Order

The Protective Order is a set of regulations adopted in 1978 by the Massachusetts Legislature, acknowledging the significance of the North River as a recreational and scenic resource in Massachusetts. To preserve this valuable natural resource, the regulations identify the River Corridor (land subject to protection under the Order) and specify allowed, prohibited, and special permitted uses within the Corridor.

The River Corridor includes the North River, it’s tributaries, headwaters, marshes, and the 300′ wide upland area on both sides of the River. The Corridor includes land in Scituate, Marshfield, Norwell, Hanover, Hanson, and Pembroke. These towns are members of the North River Commission (NRC).

The Protective Order restricts use and development of land within the River Corridor. It affords the most protection within 100′ of each side of the riverbank, where no new development and virtually no vegetative cutting is allowed. From 100′ – 300′ from each side of the riverbank, development if it meets specified site design standards. The Protective Order defines uses within the Corridor that are allowed, prohibited, or allowed only by Special Permit.

Click here to read a copy of the order.

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