It is the applicant's responsibility to prepare and file a complete and correct application that accurately describes the site and the work proposed. The applicant must also demonstrate, through the plans and information submitted to the Commission, that the work proposed meets the performance standards established under the Wetlands Protection Act and the Needham Bylaw. The Needham By-law Regulations provide more protection for wetlands than do the State Regulations. Under the Needham Bylaw, projects that alter a wetland or the land within 25 feet of a wetland are not permitted.
A project that does not meet these performance standards may only be permitted if the Commission grants a waiver from strict compliance with the regulations (for example, any work actually within a wetland requires a waiver). The application must show that (a) strict compliance would result in severe financial hardship, (b) the action serves a substantial public interest, or (c) the resource area does not protect the public interests.