[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Washington 8-11-1971. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Township of Washington Environmental Commission is hereby established pursuant to the authorization contained in N.J.S.A. 40:56A-1 et seq.
Editor's Note: Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:56A-7, the name of this Commission was changed from "Conservation Commission" to "Environmental Commission" during codification.
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 Washington.
The Mayor shall designate one of the members first appointed to serve as Chairman and presiding officer of the Commission, and thereafter, in January of each year, at the time of the appointment of successors for such member or members whose terms then expire, the Mayor shall designate one of the members as Chairman for the ensuing year.
The terms of office of the first Commissioners shall be as follows: two members for one year each, two members for two years each and three members for three years each. The terms of each initial appointee is to be designated by the Mayor in making his appointments, and their successors shall each be appointed for terms of three years, such years to be determined by the calendar years, provided that each member shall hold office until the appointment and qualification of his successor.
The Washington Township Committee may remove any member of the Commission for cause, upon written charges being duly filed and 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 of a member shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment.
The Commission shall have the power to conduct research into the use and possible use of the open land areas and other natural resources of the municipality and may coordinate the activities of unofficial bodies organized for similar purposes within the township and may advertise, prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets and other information which, in its judgment, it deems necessary for its purposes. It shall keep an index of all public or privately owned areas, 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 and to the governing body plans and programs for inclusion in municipal master plans in the development and use of such areas. In addition to the foregoing, the Board shall have such powers as from time to time the Township Committee may, by ordinance, authorize, pursuant to subsequent enabling legislation.
The Washington Township Environmental Commission may, subject to the approval of the Township Committee, acquire real and personal property, in the name of the municipality, by gift, purchase, grant, bequest, devise, lease or otherwise, for any of its purposes, and shall administer the same for such purposes subject to the terms of the conveyance or gift. Such acquisitions may be in the form of fee or lesser title interests, development right, easements (including conservation easements), covenants or other contractual rights (including conveyance on condition or with limitation or reservations) 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, in January of each year, shall make an annual report to the Township Committee.
The Commission may appoint such clerks and other clerical assistants or employees as it may from time to time require, provided that any compensation of such employees shall be limited to funds appropriated for such purpose by the Township Committee.