Township of Franklin, NJ
Warren County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Franklin 9-12-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-15.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Open Space Commission — See Ch. 27.
Farming — See Ch. 73.
Land use and development — See Ch. 90.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance superseded former Ch. 28, Open Space Trust Fund, Municipal, adopted 3-8-1999 by Ord. No. 99-6, as amended.

§ 28-1 Establishment of fund.

There is hereby established a reserve in the General Capital Fund which shall be known and designated as the "Municipal Open Space Trust Fund." A special bank account shall be opened and maintained for the Municipal Open Space Trust Fund.

§ 28-2 Purposes of fund.

Funds from the Municipal Open Space Trust Fund may be utilized for the following purposes:
A. 
The acquisition and development and/or maintenance of lands for recreation and/or conservation.
B. 
The acquisition of farmland for farmland preservation.
C. 
Historic preservation of historic properties, sites, structures, facilities, areas or objects for historic, educational or recreational purposes.
D. 
Payment of debt service on indebtedness issued or incurred by the Township of Franklin for any of the purposes as set forth in Subsection A through C above.

§ 28-3 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall be defined as follows:
ACQUISITION
The securing of a fee simple or a lesser interest in land, including but not limited to an easement restricting development, by gift, purchase, installment purchase agreement, devise or condemnation.
CONSERVATION
The use of land or lands for parks, open space natural areas, ecological and biological studies, forests, water reserves, or wildlife preserves for the conservation of natural resources.
DEVELOPMENT
Any improvement to land acquired for the purposes of the fund as stated in this chapter, designed to expand and enhance its utilization for such purposes.
FARMLAND
Land actively devoted to agricultural or horticultural use that qualifies to be valued, assessed, and taxed pursuant to the Farmland Assessment Act of 1964, P.L. 1964, c. 48, N.J.S.A. 54:4-23 et seq.
FARMLAND PRESERVATION
The long-term preservation of farmland for agricultural or horticultural use.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION
The acquisition, maintenance and restoration of properties of historic significance to Franklin Township.
LAND, LANDS or PROPERTY
Any real property, including improvement thereof or thereon, rights-of-way, water, lakes, streams, rivers, riparian and other rights, easements, development rights, privileges, licenses and all other rights or interests of any kind or description in, relating to or connected with real property.
RECREATION
The use of land or lands for parks, athletic facilities, open space, fishing, hunting, camping, boating, winter sports, or similar uses for either public outdoor recreation or the use of lands for public indoor recreation.

§ 28-4 Tax levy.

[Amended 12-6-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-12]
The Municipal Open Space Trust Fund shall be funded through the dedication to the fund of an amount up to $.065 per $100 of assessed valuation of each annual tax levy commencing with the 2011 tax year and the 2011 budget year. The Municipal Open Space Trust Fund shall also be permitted to accept donations and testamentary bequests. The accumulated receipts and deposits within the Municipal Open Space Trust Fund may be utilized only for the purposes set forth in § 28-2 of this chapter. Any and all interest accruing shall be retained in and used for the same purposes as established in accordance with § 28-2 of this chapter.

§ 28-5 Apportionment and allocation of fund.

The Township Committee of the Township of Franklin, annually, after the holding of one public hearing thereon, shall apportion and allocate the use of the funds collected among the purposes set forth in § 28-2 of this chapter.

§ 28-6 Conveyance.

Any and all land, lands or property acquired by the Township of Franklin pursuant to this chapter shall be held by the Township of Franklin in trust. The deed or other instrument of conveyance into the Township of Franklin shall bear a legend stating that said land, lands or property are conveyed to the Township of Franklin subject to this chapter.

§ 28-7 Sale of property.

No land, lands or property acquired pursuant to this chapter with funds from the Municipal Open Space Trust Fund shall be leased, sold or otherwise conveyed unless action has been authorized by the Township Committee of the Township of Franklin in a manner as prescribed by law. The Township Committee of the Township of Franklin, after at least one public hearing thereon, and upon a finding that the purposes of this chapter shall otherwise be better served or that any land acquired by the Township of Franklin pursuant to this chapter is required for another public use, may, by Ordinance, convey through sale, exchange, transfer or other disposition, title to or a lesser interest in that land, lands or property, provided that the Township of Franklin shall replace any land, lands or property of at least equal fair market value and of reasonably equivalent usefulness, size, quality and location to the land conveyed. Any moneys derived from the conveyance shall be deposited into the Municipal Open Space Trust fund created by the chapter.