Scenic Roads

The Town of Weston has designated 37 roads as Scenic Roads because of their aesthetic value and historical significance to the town. There are two types of by-laws relating to Scenic Roads:
  • Town of Weston General By-Law
  • Town of Weston Zoning By-Law
Town of Weston Zoning By-Law
To maintain the beauty and character of Scenic Roads, Section V. B. 2 of the Weston Zoning By-law requires that any new or replacement single family dwelling proposed to be built along a designated Scenic Road must have Site Plan Approval from the Weston Planning Board prior to construction.

Definition of Scenic Road
For purposes of the zoning by-law, “Scenic Road” is defined as follows:
“Those early Town Roads and / or core transportation routes which the Planning Board has identified as best representing the historic, rural and otherwise scenic character of the Town. These roads are:
Love Lane is one of Weston
  • Ash Street
  • Boston Post Road and Boston Post Road By-Pass (Route 20)
  • Brown Street
  • Chestnut Street
  • Church Street
  • Conant Road
  • Concord Road
  • Crescent Street
  • Fiske Lane
  • Glen Road
  • Highland Street
  • Hilltop Road
  • Kingsbury Lane
  • Lexington Street
  • Lincoln Street
  • Loring Road
  • Love Lane
  • Maple Road
  • Merriam Street
  • Newton Street
  • North Avenue (Route 117)
  • Oak Street
  • Pigeon Hill Road
  • Pine Street
  • Ridgeway Road
  • Ripley Lane
  • School Street
  • Silver Hill Road
  • South Avenue (Route 30)
  • Sudbury Road
  • Summer Street including by-pass
  • Viles Street
  • Ware Street
  • Webster Road
  • Wellesley Street
  • Winter Street
Town of Weston General By-Law
Repairs & Maintenance
Additionally, Article XXIII of the General By-Laws, the Scenic Roads By-Law, precludes any repairs, maintenance or reconstruction in the public right-of way that involve removing significant trees or destroying stone walls without the prior written consent of the Planning Board. This by-law does not apply to utility work in trees not affecting the road itself or to any emergency work necessary to protect public health and safety. Note that the list of scenic roads under the General By-law is slightly different and includes only 34 roads.

Article XXIII

SCENIC ROADS BY-LAW (Town of Weston General By-Law)

Informal landscaping contributes to Weston's rural character.

The purpose of this By-Law is to maintain the scenic beauty, aesthetic value, and historic significance of certain roads in the Town of Weston by designating them as “Scenic Roads.” For a road that has been designated a Scenic Road, any repair, maintenance, reconstruction or paving work done with respect thereto shall not involve or include the cutting down or removal of significant trees, or the tearing down, burial, relocation, or destruction of stone walls, or portions thereof, except with the prior written consent of the Planning Board.
Stone walls and street trees are protected along designated scenic roads
Informal landscaping contributes to Weston
Section II: Authority

The enactment of this By-Law is authorized by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 40, section 15C.

Section III: Definitions

In the absence of any contrary meaning established through legislation or judicial action in regard to G.L. c. 40, §15C, the following terms contained in said statute and used in this By-Law shall mean and be construed as follows:

3.1 Cutting or Removal of Trees: cutting through or removing any of the following:

(a) one or more tree trunks having a diameter of nine (9) inches or more measured four feet above the ground, or

(b) two or more tree trunks having a diameter of six (6) inches or more measured four feet above the ground, or

(c) seven or more limbs or roots of more than four (4) inch diameter where cut, on a single tree.

3.2 Repair, Maintenance, Reconstruction or Paving Work: any such work done within the right-of-way by any person or agency, public or private, including roadway widening and or construction of a new private driveway within the right-of-way, but not including utility work in trees not affecting the road itself.

3.3 Road: Any road in Weston, including a public road, private road, or paper road, other than a state highway or a numbered route, unless the entire length is of the numbered route is contained within the boundaries of Weston and no part of the numbered route is owned or maintained by the Commonwealth.

3.4 Scenic Road: Any eligible road or portion of a road designated as a Scenic Road by vote of Town Meeting pursuant to this By-Law. The boundary of a Scenic Road shall be the right- of-way line of such road, and shall include anything touching or located on the right-of- way line.

3.5 Significant Tree: Any woody plant with a trunk circumference of six feet or more as measured twenty-four inches above the ground.

3.6 Stone Wall: Any structure of natural stones, cut or uncut, built to order, enclose, divide, or define an area, regardless of the condition of that structure.

Section IV: Designation of a Scenic Road

4.1 Considerations for Scenic Road Designation: In determining which roads or portions of roads should be recommended for designation as Scenic Roads, the following criteria shall be considered:

a) overall scenic beauty;

b) overarching tree canopy and other contribution of vegetation to scenic beauty;

c) contribution of stone walls, fences, narrow shoulders, and other elements, natural or man-made, to scenic beauty;

d) age and historic significance of way, trees and stone walls, including preservation of historic way width grade, and alignment;

e) potential for lessening of scenic beauty, aesthetic value, or historical significance of natural and man-made features by alteration.

4.2 Procedure for Designation of a Scenic Road: Upon recommendation or request of the Planning Board, Conservation Commission, or Historical Commission, any road shall, upon vote of a majority of the voters present and voting at any annual or special Town Meeting, become a Scenic Road subject to the provisions hereof.

Section V: Procedure for Actions Affecting Scenic Road Stone Walls or Trees

5.1 Actions requiring Prior Written Approval: Any repair, maintenance, reconstruction, or paving work to be done within the Scenic Road Boundary that will involve or include (i) cutting down or removing significant trees or (ii) tearing down, burial, relocation, or destruction of stone walls or portions thereof shall require prior written approval of the Planning Board after a public hearing.

5.2 Actions Which Do Not Require Prior Written Approval: a) Emergency Work: In the event that emergency conditions require that work otherwise requiring Planning Board approval must proceed before such approval can be obtained, the work may proceed to the extent which is deemed necessary to protect public health and safety. The work shall be reported to the Planning Board within twenty-four hours of the emergency condition.

b) Repair of a stone wall using natural stones and of similar appearance to the original wall does not require approval hereunder.

5.3 Determination of Scenic Road Boundary: When a dispute as to the boundary of a Scenic Road arises, it will be presumed that the tree or stone wall in question is within the boundary until the contrary is shown by an applicant hereunder to the satisfaction of the Planning Board.

5.4 Filing: Any person, organization, state or municipal agency, utility or any other party that desires to undertake any action that requires prior approval pursuant to Section 5.1 hereof shall file an application with the Planning Board.

5.5 Public Hearing: The Planning Board shall schedule a public hearing as soon as is feasible after the Planning Board receives an application. The Planning Board shall give notice of its public hearing by advertising twice in a newspaper of general circulation in Weston, as to time, date, place and purpose, the last publication to occur at least seven days prior to such hearing. Such hearing shall be consolidated with any hearing required under M.G.L. Chapter 87, Section 3 whenever so required.

5.6 Considerations for Planning Board Decision: In making a decision with respect to any written request made hereunder, the Planning Board shall consider the following: preservation of natural resources; environmental issues; historical values; scenic and aesthetic characteristics; public safety; existence or absence of reasonable alternatives (including a no-build alternative); consistency with articulated town policies; other sound planning considerations.

5.7 Decision of the Planning Board: The Planning Board shall make a determination with respect to a written request within fourteen days after the close of the public hearing. Failure of the Planning Board to make its decision and file it with the Town Clerk within the time allotted shall be construed as approval of the request.

5.8 Additional Rules and Regulations: The Planning Board may adopt more detailed regulations for carrying out its duties under this By-Law.

Designated Scenic Roads
The following roads upon recommendation of the Planning Board, are to be designated as Scenic Roads, pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 40, Section 15C, and Article XXIII of the General By-Laws of the Town:
  1. Ash Street north of reservoir bridge
  2. Boston Post Road
  3. Brown Street
  4. Chestnut Street
  5. Church Street
  6. Conant Road
  7. Concord Road
  8. Crescent Street
  9. Fiske Lane
  10. Glen Road
  11. Highland Street
  12. Hilltop Road
  13. Kingsbury Lane
  14. Lexington Street
  15. Lincoln Street
  16. Loring Road
  17. Love Lane
  18. Maple Road
  19. Merriam Street
  20. Newton Street
  21. Oak Street
  22. Pigeon Hill Road
  23. Pine Street
  24. Ridgeway Road
  25. Ripley Lane
  26. School Street
  27. Silver Hill Road
  28. Sudbury Road
  29. Summer Street including By-Pass
  30. Viles Street
  31. Ware Street
  32. Webster Road
  33. Wellesley Street
  34. Winter Street

(Effective 10/26/89 - amended effective 8-30-98 and 10/10/2002) (amended effective May, 18, 2009)

Town of Weston Zoning By-law, Section V, B, 2.

2. By-Right Uses Allowed [in Single Family Residence Districts A, B, C, D] With Site Plan Approval

a. Privately owned and operated park or playground;

b. New or replacement single family dwelling, together with accessory buildings not containing a housekeeping unit, in conformity with Section VI.F.2., which is constructed pursuant to a building permit issued on or after October 29, 1998, and which is located on a lot bounding on a Scenic Road as defined in Section II.

c. New or replacement single-family dwelling, together with accessory buildings not containing a housekeeping unit, in conformity with Section VI, subsection F.2, which is constructed pursuant to a building permit issued on or after October 29,1998 and which exceeds the RGFA limit provided in Section V.B.1.a.