[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Cornwall 9-10-1973 by L.L. No. 2-1973; amended in its entirety 8-12-1996 by L.L. No. 2-1996. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The preservation and improvement of the quality of the natural and man-made environment within the Town of Cornwall, in the face of population growth, urbanization and technologic change with their accompanying demands on natural resources, are found to be of increasing and vital importance to the health, welfare and economic well-being of present and future inhabitants and require forthright action by the governing body of the Town of Cornwall. It is recognized that the biologic integrity of the natural environment on which man is dependent for survival and the natural and functional beauty of our surroundings which condition the quality of our life experience cannot be protected without the full cooperation and participation of all the people of the Town of Cornwall working in partnership with local and state officials and with various public and private institutions, agencies and organizations. Establishment of a council for the conservation of the environment is a necessary step in fostering unified action on environmental problems.
The Town Board of the Town of Cornwall hereby creates the Cornwall Conservation Advisory Council, hereinafter called the "Council."
The Council shall consist of nine members who shall be appointed by the Town Board and serve at the pleasure of the Town Board for a term not exceeding two years. Present serving members of the Cornwall Conservation Commission shall remain in office and the Council shall be organized at the reorganization meeting of the Town Board in January of 1997 at which time the Town Board will make the additional appointments to bring the Council up to nine members. The Town Board shall designate the Chairperson of the Council.
Persons residing within the Town of Cornwall who are interested in the improvement and preservation of environmental quality shall be eligible for appointment as members of the Council. Vacancies on the Council shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as an original appointment.
All terms of office shall commence on January 1 of the appropriate calendar year and continue for two years except for initial appointments of not more than four Council members, it being the intention that not more than five terms shall expire on December 31 of any calendar year, to the extent possible.
The Town Board shall have authority to remove any member of the Council for cause after a public hearing, if requested.
The Town Supervisor, Town Planning Board Chairperson, Superintendent of Public Works and Attorney for the town shall be ex officio members of the Council.
The Council shall adopt rules and procedures for its meetings. It shall keep accurate records of its meetings and activities and shall file an annual report with the Town Board not later than the first day of January 1998 and continuing thereafter annually, which said report shall list the activities of the Council. From time to time the Council may submit such other reports and recommendations as the Council may deem appropriate.
The powers and duties of the Council shall be to:
Advise the Cornwall Town Board on matters affecting the preservation, development and use of the natural and man-made features and conditions of the town insofar as beauty, quality, biologic integrity and other environmental factors are concerned and, in the case of man's activities and developments, with regard to any major threats posed to environmental quality, so as to enhance the long-range value of the environment to the people of the Town of Cornwall.
Develop and, after receiving general approval by resolution of the Cornwall Town Board, conduct a program of public information in the community which shall be designed to foster increased understanding of the nature of environmental problems and issues and support for their solutions.
Conduct studies, surveys and inventories of the natural and man-made features within the Town of Cornwall and such other studies and surveys as may be necessary to carry out the general purposes of this chapter following consultation with the Town Board to avoid duplication of efforts and expense.
Maintain an up-to-date inventory or index of all open spaces in public or private ownership within the municipality, including but not limited to natural landmarks, glacial and other geomorphic or physiographic features; streams and their floodplains, swamps, marshlands and other wetlands; other unique biotic communities; scenic and other open areas of natural or ecological value; and of the ownership, present use and proposed use of such open areas, so as to provide a base of information for recommendations by the Council for their preservation and/or use.
Seek to coordinate, assist and unify the efforts of private groups, institutions and individuals within the Town of Cornwall in accord with this chapter.
Maintain liaison and communications with public and private agencies and organizations of local, state and national scope whose programs and activities have an impact on the quality of the environment or who can be of assistance to the Council.
Working in cooperation with the Planning Board, recommend from time to time to the Cornwall Town Board features, plans and programs relating to environmental improvement for inclusion in the Master Plan of the Town of Cornwall; and similarly, recommend to the Town Board appropriate and desirable changes in existing local laws and ordinances relating to environmental control or recommend new local laws and ordinances.
Prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts and pamphlets in accordance with the purpose of this chapter.
Obtain and maintain in orderly fashion maps, reports, books and other publications to support the necessary researches of the Council into local environmental conditions.
When authorized by resolution of the Cornwall Town Board, the Council may accept, by gift, grant, devise, bequest or otherwise, property, both real and personal, in the name of the Town of Cornwall, depending on the boundaries in which the parcel resides, as may be necessary to conserve and otherwise properly utilize open spaces and other land and water resources within the boundaries of the Town of Cornwall. Such real property may be accepted in fee for land and water rights or as any lesser interest, development rights, easement, including conservation easement, covenant or other contractual right, including conveyance with limitations or reversions.
Carry out such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Cornwall Town Board.
All expenditures of the Council shall be subject to prior budgetary approval by the Town Board, and subject to any procurement policy established by the Town Board.
Whenever the Town Board serves as the lead agency in a State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) Type I action, upon request of the Town Board, the Council shall advise the Town Board on that matter. This shall be in addition to the powers and duties of the Council set forth above.