Docks, Walls & More


If you live near or camp along the lake or live in the watershed in the town of Douglas, Sutton or Oxford, and want to do work along or near the shoreline of Manchaug Pond or within 200 ft. of the lake, vernal pool, wetlands or stream in the watershed – say put in a new dock, take down a tree, make changes to a rock wall or the landscape – you may need a permit from the town’s Conservation Commission prior to beginning the work. The Conservation Commissions have jurisdiction in areas primarily defined in the Wetlands Protection Act (MGL 131 Sec 40) and further defined in the enforcing regulations (310 CMR 10.00) but they also have adopted local bylaws: Douglas,   Sutton,  and Oxford.

The towns currently rely upon the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for relevant Permit Applications Forms or inquire at your town hall speaking to the Conservation Commission secretary, or visit the town website.




All applications must be accompanied by a complete plan to scale.

For a new Temporary or Removable Dock:

  • Applicants must file a Request for Determination with the Conservation Commission even if there is no bank disturbance or a Notice of Intent if the bank area is disturbed.  A permit is not required to remove Temporary Docks in and out of the water.
  • A permit is not required to remove Temporary Docks in and out of the water.

For a Permanent Dock or Permanent Bank Alteration:

  • Applicant must file with the Conservation Commission and must file a Chapter 91Waterways License Application with the State.
  • Permanent structures are subject to MGL Ch. 131 Section 40.
  • Bank disturbance may not exceed the lesser of 5% of frontage or 25 feet.
  • A Chapter 91 Waterways license is required for all anchored in water, off shore floating, swimming docks or pontoon structures.

This policy shall not serve to diminish the requirements of MGL or 310 CMR 9.00 but may be applied more stringently as reserved herein. The Commission may grant certain variance(s) with cause or hardship to this Regulation. This policy shall not apply to existing or and/or licensed docks before October 1, 2007. For any substantial repair with major alteration, a Request for Determination or a Notice of Intent shall be filed with the Commission.
For further information contact the Sutton Conservation Commission by calling 508-865-2728.


For those living and camping on the lake, the Sutton Conservation Commission offers policy guidelines on new docks:dock with canoe

  • Docks must be located 25 feet from property lines or for properties less than 50 feet wide in a central location.
  • Docks may be no further than 30 feet into the water measured from the high water.
  • Docks may be no larger than 300 square feet.
  • All docks must have permanent reflectors on each corner.
  • There may not be more than one dock per parcel.

*Offered by the Town of Sutton