What are the Steps Required to Build on Nantucket?

Depending upon the particular property there can be many steps to go through in order to build or renovate on Nantucket.   Some of these steps can be done concurrently and they are very property-specific.  Each commission or board has certain statutory requirements for giving notice to the public and neighbors who are allowed a voice at the various hearings.  Before applying to any of these entities, an owner will need a current and updated survey which will largely inform what is possible to do on the property.  Following is a list of the various permitting authorities, in no particular order:

Nantucket Conservation Commission (Con Comm):  The Conservation Commission is tasked with enforcing the state and local wetlands protection act.  Any property that is located within 100 feet of an area defined as a wetland falls under their jurisdiction.  There is a no-disturb zone between the wetland and the 25’ buffer zone.  It is sometimes possible to have some landscaping within the 25’-50’ buffer zone and sometimes building is permitted within the 50’-100’ buffer zone.  The process involves two steps:  the initial application is a Request for Determination and the second step is a Wetlands Review which may result in a Certificate of Compliance.  The Con Comm determines where structures can be built on the lot relative to the wetlands (which could be defined as wetlands vegetation and not actually be “wet”).  The Con Comm also has a say in NHESP applications which deal with priority habitats of rare species (please see below).  This process can take months, depending upon various factors.  Read on below….

How Hard is it to Build on Nantucket