[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Lopatcong 12-30-1974 by Ord. No. 250 as Ch. 9 of the 1974 Code of the Township of Lopatcong; amended in its entirety 2-19-1999 by Ord. No. 1999-07. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Pursuant to the authority vested in the Township Council of the Township of Lopatcong under and by virtue of N.J.S.A. 40:56A-1 seq., there is hereby established an Environmental Commission, to be known as the "Environmental Commission of the Township of Lopatcong," which shall consist of seven members appointed by the Mayor, one of whom shall be a member of the Municipal Planning Board and all of whom shall be residents of the township. The members of said 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. 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 appointment 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 Township Council 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 Environmental Commission shall have the 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 advertise, prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets which in its judgment it deems necessary for its purpose. 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 or, if none, to the Mayor and Township Council plans and programs for inclusion in a Municipal Master Plan and for the development and use of such areas.
The Environmental Commission may, subject to the approval of the Township Council, 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 of any lesser interest, development right, easement, including a conveyance on conditions or with limitations or reservations, as may be necessary to acquire, maintain, improve, project, 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 Council.