[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Mount Laurel 8-18-1969 as Ord. No. 1969-10. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A commission for the protection, development and use of natural resources, including water resources, located within the territorial limits of the Township of Mount Laurel, County of Burlington, State of New Jersey, is hereby established, said Commission to be known as the "Mount Laurel Township Environmental Commission."
The Mount Laurel Township Environmental Commission herein established shall be composed of five members appointed by the Mayor of the township, one of whom shall be a member of the Mount Laurel Township Planning Board and all of whom shall be residents of the township. The members of the Commission shall serve without compensation.
Two members shall be appointed to the Mount Laurel Township Environmental Commission for a term of one year, said term commencing on January 1, 1969, and ending on December 31, 1969; two members shall be appointed to the Mount Laurel Township Environmental Commission for terms of two years, said terms commencing on January 1, 1969, and expiring on December 31, 1970; and one member shall be appointed to the Mount Laurel Township Environmental Commission for a term of three years, commencing on January 1, 1969, and terminating on December 31, 1971. Thereafter all appointments to the Mount Laurel Township Environmental Commission shall be for a term of three years and until the appointment and qualification of their successors.
The Mayor shall designate one of the members of the Mount Laurel Township Environmental Commission to serve as Chairman of the Commission.
Any member of the Mount Laurel Township Environmental Commission may be removed by the Mayor or the Township Council, 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.
Vacancies occurring on the Mount Laurel Township Environmental Commission otherwise than by expiration of a term shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as an original appointment.
The Mount Laurel Township Environmental Commission is hereby authorized, pursuant to statutes and laws of the State of New Jersey, to conduct research into the use and possible use of the open land areas within the Township of Mount Laurel; to coordinate the activities of beneficial bodies organized for similar purposes; to advertise, prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets which in its judgment it deems necessary for its purposes; to 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; to, from time to time, recommend to the Township Planning Board plans and programs for inclusion in a municipal master plan and the development and use of such areas; to acquire, subject to the approval of the Township Council, property, both real and personal, in the name of the township, by gift, purchase, grant, bequest, devise or lease, for any of its purposes; to administer any land acquisitions for conservation purposes, subject to the terms of the conveyance or gift. Any 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 municipality.
The Township Council may appropriate funds for the expenses incurred by the Environmental Commission in the township's annual budget. The Environmental 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.