[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Franklin 3-12-1970 by Ord. No. 70-2 (Ch. 15 of the 1988 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Land use — See Ch. 220.
Pursuant to the authority vested in the Township Committee of the Township of Franklin in the County of Hunterdon by virtue of N.J.S.A. 40:56A-1 et seq., there is hereby established an Environmental Commission, to be known as the "Environmental Commission of the Township of Franklin in the County of Hunterdon," which shall consist of five members appointed by the Mayor, one of whom shall be a member of the Municipal Land Use Board and all of whom shall be residents of said Township.
[Amended 5-25-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-02]
The members of the Commission shall serve without compensation except as hereinafter provided.
The Mayor shall designate one of the members to serve as Chairman and presiding officer of the Commission.
Terms of office of the first Commissioners shall be for one, two or three years, to be designated by the Mayor in making his appointments so that the terms of approximately 1/3 of the members will expire each year, and their successors shall be appointed for terms of three years and until the appointment and qualification of their successors.
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 the original appointment.
The Environmental 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 Land Use Board or, if none, to the Mayor and Township Committee, plans and programs for inclusion in a Municipal Master Plan and the development and use of such areas.
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 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 shall make an annual report to the Township Committee.
The Township Committee may appropriate funds for the expenses incurred by the Environmental Commission. The Commission may appoint such clerks and other employees as it may from time to time require and as shall be within the limits of funds appropriated to it.