[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Independence 8-13-1979 (Ch. 20 of the 1984 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 2-13-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-01]
The Township of Independence Environmental Commission is hereby established pursuant to Chapter 245 of the Laws of 1968 (N.J.S.A. 40:56A-1 et seq.), as amended.
The Commission shall consist of seven members appointed by the Mayor, one of whom shall also be a member of the Planning Board and all of whom shall be residents of the Township of Independence; the members 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.
[Amended 12-10-1984 by Ord. No. 84-11]
The 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, and their successors shall be appointed for terms of three years and until the appointment and qualification of their successors. The first members of the Commission shall be appointed for the following terms:
The current provisions of Subsection A have the effect of increasing the membership of the Commission from five to seven members. Therefore, on September 30, 1984, in addition to the appointment or reappointment of two members to serve for terms of three years, one new member shall be appointed to serve for a term expiring on September 30, 1985, and one new member shall be appointed to serve for a term expiring on September 30, 1986.
[Added 12-10-1984 by Ord. No. 84-11]
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 Independence. 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 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 the same shall be within the limits of funds appropriated to it by the Township Committee.