[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Harmony 10-1-1991 as Ord. No. 0:91-7. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Township of Harmony Environmental Commission is hereby established.
[Amended 12-3-1991 by Ord. No. 0:91-11]
The Commission shall consist of seven (7) members appointed by the Mayor, one (1) of whom shall also be a member of the Planning Board and all of whom shall be residents of the Township of Harmony. The members shall serve without compensation, except as hereinafter provided. The Mayor shall designate one (1) of the members to serve as Chairman and presiding officer of the Commission.
[Added 2-7-1995 by Ord. No. 0:95-1]
There shall be two (2) alternate members to be appointed by the Mayor. The alternate members shall be designated as "Alternate No. 1" and "Alternate No. 2."
The terms of the alternate members shall be for two (2) years except that terms of the alternate members first appointed shall be two (2) years for Alternate No. 1 and one (1) year for Alternate No. 2 so that not more than one (1) alternate member shall expire in any one (1) year. A vacancy occurring otherwise than by expiration of term shall be filled by the Mayor for the unexpired term only.
An alternate member shall not be permitted to act on any matter in which he has either directly or indirectly any personal or financial interest. An alternate member may, after a public hearing if he requests one, be removed by the Township Committee for cause.
An alternate member may participate in discussions of the proceedings, but may not vote except in the absence or disqualification of a regular member. A vote shall not be delayed in order that a regular member may vote instead of an alternate member. In the event that a choice must be made as to which alternate member is to vote, Alternate No. 1 shall vote first.
All terms shall run from January 1 of the year in which the appointment was made.
[Added 9-19-1995 by Ord. No. 0:95-10]
There shall be two (2) associate members to be appointed by the Mayor who shall not be required to be township residents to serve in that capacity.
The term of the associate members shall be for two (2) years. A vacancy occurring otherwise than by expiration of term shall be filled by the Mayor for the unexpired term only. All terms shall run from January 1 of the year in which the appointment was made.
An associate member shall not be entitled to vote on any matter in which the Commission is empowered to act. The duties of an associate member shall be advisory only and as otherwise designated by the Chairman of the Commission. If so designated, an associate member shall be authorized to act as official spokesperson for the Commission. An associate member, if so designated, may conduct studies and prepare recommendations to the Commission regarding applications for development and the environmental consequences in connection therewith.
[Amended 12-3-1991 by Ord. No. 0:91-11]
Terms of office of the first Commissioners shall be for one (1), two (2) or three (3) years, to be designated by the Mayor in making his appointments, and their successors shall be appointed for terms of three (3) years and until the appointment and qualification of their successors. The first members of the Commission shall be appointed for the following terms:
The Mayor or Township Committee may remove any member of the Commission for cause, on written charges served upon the member and after a hearing thereon at which the member shall be entitled to be heard in person or by counsel. A vacancy on the Commission occurring otherwise than by expiration of a term shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as an original appointment.
The Commission is established for the protection, development or use of natural resources, including water resources, located within the territorial limits of the Township of Harmony. The Commission shall have power to conduct research into the use and possible use of the open land areas of the township and may coordinate the activities of unofficial bodies organized for similar purposes and may advertise, prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets which, in its judgment, it deems necessary for its purposes. It shall keep an index of all open areas, publicly or privately owned, including open marshlands, swamps and other wetlands, in order to obtain information on the proper use of such areas and may from time to time recommend to the Planning Board plans and programs for inclusion in the Master Plan and the development and use of such areas.
The Commission shall also be empowered to study and make recommendations concerning open space preservation, water resources management, air pollution control, solid waste management, noise control, soil and landscape protection, environmental appearance, marine resources and protection of flora and fauna.
The Commission may exercise review powers over applications and developments and may conduct hearings and studies to access the environmental consequences of proposed developments.
The Environmental Commission may, subject to the approval of the Township Committee, acquire property, both real and personal, in the name of the township, by gift, purchase, grant, bequest, devise or lease, for any of its purposes and shall administer the same for such purposes subject to the terms of the conveyance or gift. Such an acquisition may be to acquire the fee or any lesser interest, development right, easement (including conservation easement), covenant or other contractual right, including a conveyance on conditions or with limitations or reversions, as may be necessary to acquire, maintain, improve, protect, limit the future use of or otherwise conserve and properly utilize open spaces and other land and water areas in the township.
The Environmental Commission shall keep records of its meetings and activities and make an annual report to the Township Committee.
The Commission may appoint such clerks and other employees as it may from time to time require, provided that the same shall be within the limits of funds appropriated to it by the Township Committee.