[Adopted 2-26-1991 by L.L. No. 2-1991]
This article shall be known as and may be cited as the "Environmental Conservation Commission Law of the Incorporated Village of Sands Point."
The preservation and improvement of the quality of the natural and man-made environment within the Incorporated Village of Sands Point (hereinafter "the village") in the face of 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 action by the governing body of the village. It is recognized that the 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 residents of the village working in partnership with local and state officials and with various public and private institutions, agencies and organizations. The village recognizes that it, together with other agencies, is the steward of the air, water, coastline, beaches, land and living resources, and, as such, the village has an obligation to protect the environment for the use and enjoyment of this and future generations. Establishment of a commission for conservation of the environment is a necessary step in fostering a unified approach to environmental problems so that consideration of the protection and enhancement of the environment is given appropriate weight in governmental decisions.
The Board of Trustees of the Incorporated Village of Sands Point hereby creates, pursuant to the provisions of Article 12-F of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York, a commission which shall be known as the "Environmental Conservation Commission of the Incorporated Village of Sands Point" (hereinafter the "Commission").
The Commission shall consist of five members, appointed by the Mayor with approval of the Board of Trustees, who shall serve at the pleasure of the Mayor and the Board of Trustees. Persons residing within the village who are interested in the improvement and preservation of environmental quality shall be eligible for appointment to the Commission. The first two members appointed shall hold office for a term of three years, the second two members for a term of two years and the fifth for a term of one year, and the successor of such five initial appointees shall be appointed for full terms of three years, except for vacancies occurring other than by the expiration of a term of office. Vacancies on the Commission shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment, except that a vacancy occurring other than by the expiration of term of office shall be filled only for the remainder of the unexpired term.
The Mayor, with approval of the Board of Trustees, shall designate a member of the Commission to act as Chairperson, and one as Deputy Chairperson, thereof. The Chairperson or the Deputy Chairperson shall not be members of the Board of Zoning Appeals. At the first meeting of the Commission, its members shall elect from among themselves a recording secretary. The Village Clerk shall be the Clerk of the Commission and shall keep accurate records of its meetings and activities and shall file an annual report as provided in § 4-15 herein.
The Commission is hereby authorized to adopt, promulgate amend and repeal rules and regulations governing its procedures and the transaction of its business and for the purpose of fully implementing the provisions of this article. Such rules and regulations, and any amendments thereto, shall be subject to approval by the Board of Trustees and, once approved, shall be made a part of this article with the same force and effect as all other duly adopted laws of the village. Such regulations may be amended or modified by resolution of the Commission.
The powers and duties of the Commission shall be to:
Advise and make recommendations to the Board of Trustees on matters which affect or might affect the environment of the village and the region.
Develop and, after receiving approval by written resolution of the Board of Trustees, conduct a program of public information in the community which shall be designated to foster increased understanding of the nature of environmental problems and issues and support for their solutions.
Conduct studies, surveys and prepare inventories of the natural and man-made features within the village and conduct such other studies and surveys as may be necessary to carry out the general purposes of this article.
Create and maintain an up-to-date inventory or index of all open spaces in public or private ownership within the village, including but not limited to natural landmarks, glacial and other geomorphic or physiographic features; streams and their floodplains, swamps, marshlands and other wetlands; 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 Commission for their preservation and/or use.
Seek to coordinate, assist and unify the efforts of private groups, institutions and individuals within the village in accordance with the purposes of this article.
Maintain liaison and communication 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 Commission.
Working in cooperation with the Planning Board, recommend from time to time to the Board of Trustees, features, plans and programs relating to environmental improvement for inclusion in the Master Plan of the village and similarly, recommend to the Board of Trustees appropriate and desirable legislation relating to environmental control.
When authorized by written resolution of the Board of Trustees, prepare, print and distribute materials in accordance with the purposes of this article.
Obtain and maintain, in orderly fashion maps, reports, books and other publications to support the necessary research of the Commission into local environmental conditions.
Advise and make recommendations to the Board of Trustees that the Board of Trustees may accept by gift, grant, devise, bequest or otherwise, property, both real and personal, in the name of the village, as may be necessary to conserve and otherwise properly utilize open spaces and other land and water resources within the boundaries of the village.
Carry out such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by written resolution of the Board of Trustees.
The Commission shall submit an annual report to the Board of Trustees, not later than the first day of March of each calendar year, concerning the activities and work of the Commission and from time to time shall submit such reports and recommendations as may be necessary to fulfill the purposes of this article.
The members of the Commission shall receive no compensation for their services as members thereof.
All appeals from final nonadvisory determinations of the Commission shall be to the Board of Zoning Appeals.
This article shall be deemed an exercise of the powers of the village to preserve and improve the quality of its natural and man-made environment on behalf of the present and future inhabitants thereof. It is not intended and shall not be deemed to impair the powers of any other public corporation.