[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Florence 12-21-1983 by Ord. No. 1983-12 as Ch. 12 of the 1983 Code; amended in its entirety 3-4-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby created and established an Environmental Commission pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:56A-1 et seq. which commission shall be concerned with the protection, development and use of the natural resources located in the territorial limits of the Township.
The Environmental Commission shall be composed of seven persons appointed by the Mayor, which persons shall be citizens and residents of the Township and one of those appointed shall also be a member of the Township Planning Board. One of those appointed shall be a member of the Township Council. The appointments shall include at least one person from each of the wards established in the Township.
The Commissioners first appointed shall hold office for terms as follows: two members for one year; two members for two years; and three members for three years respectively, from the date in the year in which the appointments are made until their successors are duly appointed and have qualified. Thereafter, all subsequent appointments shall be for the term of three years, and vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term only and in the same manner as the original appointment was made.
In addition to the regular members, the Mayor shall appoint two alternate members. The alternates shall be designated, at the time of their appointment, as "Alternate No. 1," who shall be appointed for a term of two years, and "Alternate No. 2," who shall be appointed for a term of one year. Subsequent appointments shall be for terms of two years. Vacancies shall be filled and alternate members shall serve as provided by N.J.S.A. 40:56A-1.
Members shall receive no compensation for their services but may receive reimbursement for proper and authorized out-of-pocket expenses in accordance with existing Township regulations.
The Mayor shall designate one of the members to serve as the Chairperson of the Commission.
The Commission shall have the following powers:
The promotion of the conservation and development of the natural resources of the Township.
The planning, implementing and informing of the general public with respect to local conservation programs.
The responsibility to compile and maintain an index of all open areas, publicly or privately owned, including marsh, swamps and other wetlands.
The conduct of all appropriate research into the possible use or uses of open space in the Township.
The submission of recommendations to the Planning Board of appropriate plans and programs for inclusion in the Township Master Plan and for the general development and use of such areas.
Preparation of advertisements, books, maps, charts and other appropriate material necessary to the discharge of its duties within the limits of funds appropriated to it for such purpose by the Township Council.
To act as coordinating agency in the community with respect to conservation matters and as a liaison between local conservation needs and the regional, state, and federal agencies responsible for administering to those needs.
The Commission shall act and discharge its duties within the limits of funds appropriated to it for such purpose by the Township Council.
The Commission may adopt by-laws to provide for procedures, a copy of which shall be provided to the Mayor and the Township Council.
The Commission, with the approval of the Township Council, may from time to time 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 including but not limited to use as living museum sites for scientific study areas for prehistoric interest and scenic beauty and habitat for rare and endangered plants and animals 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, convenant or other contractual right including conveyance or 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 commission shall keep records of its meetings and activities and shall make an annual report on or before the first day of February and submit the same to the Township Council, which report shall be comprehensive and detailed, covering operations, receipts, disbursements and expenditures for the full year.
The Mayor shall designate one of the members to serve as Chairman and presiding officer of the Commission. The Commission is authorized to adopt bylaws governing its procedural operation.
The Mayor or the Council may remove any member of the Commission for cause on written charges served upon the member and after hearing thereon at which the member shall be entitled to be heard in person or by counsel.