Town Bylaw Preserves Stone Walls and Scenic Roads

Scenic Roads
Since the adoption of the Scenic Road Bylaw (click here) 32 roads have been designated with this status. These roads are rich in scenic value with stone walls, tree canopies, and views of river marshland, mill ponds, farmland and historic buildings. Many of the roads in town date back to the Colonial times, some are old Native American paths between encampments, and most of the designated roads appear on the 1830 or 1875 street maps of Sudbury. The narrow width and curved routes of these roadways are important characteristics for the Town to preserve.

 Stone Walls
These stone walls that line many scenic roads were constructed to divide agricultural fields and mark property boundaries. Many were made from the stones gathered in the fields when preparing the land for planting and grazing. These stone walls are important aspects of the character of the landscape and are often times vulnerable during road reconstruction and development of meadow land.

Scenic Roads Bylaw
The purpose of the Scenic Roads Bylaw is to protect the scenic quality and character of Town roads designated as Scenic Roads. The Bylaw governs the cutting or removal of trees, or the tearing down or destruction of stone walls during the repair, maintenance, reconstruction, paving, or other alteration of roads that hold this status. An application must be filed with the Planning Board, and a public hearing is held.


Reconstruction of Stone Walls
With the new residential development activity around town, we are noticing an increase in stone wall reconstruction projects. Homeowners should be aware that rebuilding stone walls also requires a permit under the Scenic Road Bylaw, and the Planning Board must be contacted prior to commencement of these projects. As shown in the pictures displayed, the town boards and committees favor loose stone walls which are prevalent in agricultural fields and meadows. Formal, mortared walls have less historical significance in Sudbury, and are not recommended in historic districts or along scenic roads. If there are questions on the type of stone wall planned for an individual property, you can call the Planning and Community Development Department at 978-639-3387 for a consultation on the appropriateness of the design prior to its construction.