[Adopted 11-8-1978 as Sec. 2-11 of the Revised General Ordinances]
There is hereby created and established pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-27 the Environmental Advisory Committee of the Township.
The Environmental Advisory Committee shall consist of nine members appointed by the Township Committee, all of whom shall be residents of the Township. The terms of office of all members shall be three years and until the appointment and qualification of their successors.
The Township Committee shall appoint three members for one year, three members for two years, and three members for three years, whose terms shall commence retroactively on January 1, 2003. Thereafter, the Township Committee shall appoint or reappoint members for three-year terms.
The Mayor shall designate one of the members of the Planning Board to serve as the liaison between the Advisory Committee and the Planning Board.
A vacancy occurring on the Committee other than by expiration of a term shall be filled for the unexpired term. All members of the Committee shall serve without compensation.
The Committee is established to assist in the protection, development and use of natural resources, including water resources, located within the territorial limits of the Township. In order to carry out these purposes the Committee shall have the following functions:
Promoting the conservation and development of the natural resources of the Township by making recommendations to the appropriate Township officials, boards and bodies.
Planning, implementing and informing the public about local conservation programs.
Conducting research into the possible use of the open areas of the Township.
Recommending to the Planning Board plans and programs for use of such open areas.
Assisting and collaborating with the Planning Board in the latter's duties and responsibilities.
Rendering nonbinding opinions with respect to any matter referred for review by the Planning Board or any application for development referred by the administrative officer within 20 days of such referral.
Advertising, preparing, printing and distributing books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets which in its judgment it deems necessary for its purposes.
Acting as the coordinating agency for the community on environmental matters and a liaison between local environmental needs and regional, county, state and federal agencies administering to those needs.
Compiling and annually updating an environmental resource inventory of land and water resources, which are both publicly or privately owned, including open marsh lands, swamps, and other wetlands, in order to obtain information on the proper use of such areas.
At the request of the Township Administrator, reviewing proposed and existing legislation and actions of regulatory agencies as they impact the environment and advising the Township Committee on such matters.
Rendering nonbinding opinions with respect to any matter referred for review by the Township Administrator or the Township Committee, including any proposed sale or exchange of Township-owned property, within 20 days of such referral.
Recommending to the Township Committee the planting of shade and ornamental trees and shrubbery in appropriate locations or recommending the removal of any tree or part thereof for reasons of public safety.
The Committee may recommend to the Township Committee that the Township acquire property, both real and personal, for the Committee's purposes, including but not limited to use as living museums, sites for scientific study, areas for teaching of natural history and conservation, place of historic or prehistoric interest and scientific beauty and habitat for rare or endangered plants and animals, and shall assist in administering the same for such purposes. Such acquisitions may be to acquire the fee for any lesser interest, development right, easement (including conservation easement) covenant or other contractual right (including a conveyance on conditions or with limitations or revisions) as may be necessary to acquire, maintain, improve, protect or limit the future use or otherwise conserve and properly utilize open spaces and other lands and water areas within the Township.
The Committee may recommend, for adoption by the Township Committee, suitable rules and regulations for the use of any such lands and the conduct of all persons while on or using the same.
The Committee may request from all Township officials, offices and departments such assistance as may be proper and reasonably necessary to aid the Committee in the performance of its duties. The Committee shall make such requests for assistance through the Township Administrator, who shall determine if such assistance is reasonably necessary and proper to aid the Committee in the performance of its duties.
The Committee shall submit a budget request to the Township Administrator by December 15 of each year which shall recommend the appropriation of such sum to accomplish the functions set forth herein and to implement those recommendations of the Committee which the Township Committee, in its discretion, decrees feasible and appropriate.
The Committee shall keep records of its meetings and activities and shall make an annual report on or before December 1 of each year and submit the report of the Township Committee, which report shall be comprehensive and detailed concerning the operations and activities of the Committee during the preceding year.
The Committee shall conduct a reorganization meeting and shall organize as set forth herein within 30 days of the date of the final adoption of this article. Thereafter, an annual organizational meeting shall be conducted during the first meeting of the Committee in January of each year.
The Committee shall elect a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and secretary at its annual meeting and shall adopt a resolution establishing the dates, times and places of Committee meetings for the year.
The Committee is hereby authorized to adopt bylaws to govern its procedures.
The Township Committee may remove any member of the Committee for cause, on written charges served upon said member and after a hearing thereon, at which time the member shall be entitled to be heard in person or by counsel.