[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Emerson 5-28-1974 by Ord. No. 628 as Chapter 28 of the 1966 Code of the Borough of Emerson; amended in its entirety 3-19-2019 by Ord. No. 1586-19. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Land use procedures — See Ch. 47.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 156.
Parks, playgrounds and recreation areas — See Ch. 200.
Recycling — See Ch. 222.
Soil movement — See Ch. 244.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 247.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 252.
Trees and shrubbery — See Ch. 266.
Zoning — See Ch. 290.
There is hereby created an Environmental Commission for the protection, development or use of the natural resources located within the territorial limits of Emerson, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 245 of the Laws of New Jersey, 1968 Said Commission shall be known as the "Environmental Commission of the Borough of Emerson."
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40:56A-1 et seq.
The Mayor shall appoint seven citizens and residents of the Borough of Emerson to the Environmental Commission, and shall designate one of the appointments as Chairperson and presiding officer to 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 these appointments, so 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 Mayor or governing body of the municipality may remove any member of the Commission for cause, on written charges served upon the member, and after 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 the terms shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment. Notwithstanding any other provisions of the laws to the contrary, the powers of appointment and removal hereby according to the Mayor of the municipalities shall be vested in the elected official so designated or, where there is a vacancy in the office of the Mayor, in the duly designated acting Mayor.
The Mayor may also appoint two alternate members for a period of two years, except that the terms of the alternate members first appointed shall be for two years for Alternate One, and one year for Alternate Two, so that the term of not more than one alternate member shall expire in any one year. An alternate member may participate in discussions of the proceedings, but may not vote except in the absence or disqualification of a regular member. A vote shall not be delayed in order that a regular member may vote instead of an alternate member. In the event that a choice must be made as to which alternate is to vote, Alternate One shall vote first.
The Commission shall have the following powers:
Promoting the protection and preservation of the natural resources of the Borough of Emerson, including, but not limited to air, water, soil, wildlife, trees and shrubbery.
Planning, implementing and informing the public about local environmental programs.
Compiling and keeping an index of all open areas, publicly or privately owned, including open marshlands, swamps and other wetlands.
The power to conduct research into the possible use of the open areas of the Borough of Emerson.
Recommending to the Land Use Board plans and programs for inclusion in a Municipal Master Plan and the development and use of such areas.
Advertising, preparing, printing and distributing books, charts, maps, plans and pamphlets, and utilizing various forms of electronic communication which, in its judgment, it deems necessary for its purposes.
Managing donated or purchased lands for educational and conservation purposes, and operating conservation programs.
Acting as the coordinating agency of the community on environmental matters and as a liaison between local environmental needs and regional, state and federal agencies ministering to those needs.
Recognizing contributions to the conservation, beautification and environmental protection of the Borough of Emerson, by means of regular awards in a form suitable for display at the improvement and by presenting proclamations honoring worthy individuals.
Educating the public about the Borough's recycling program, and other local recycling resources, and assisting the recycling coordinator on the improvement of existing programs.
Working in conjunction with administrators and educators in the Borough's public schools, to help promote environmental education and to assist with the planning and implementation of environmental projects and programs.
Assisting the Mayor and Council in the preparation of Borough ordinances that have environmental significance, and preparing and submitting resolutions of environmental significance to the governing body for introduction and approval.
Pursuant to the requirements of the Municipal Land Use Law stating that when an Environmental Commission has prepared and submitted an index of natural resources to the Borough's Land Use Board, the Board "shall make available to the Environmental Commission an informational copy of every application for development," the opportunity to review each application and offer recommendations. Those recommendations shall be conveyed through the delegation of one of the Commission's members to testify orally at the hearing on the application and to explain any written report that may have been prepared and/or submitted to the Board by the Commission. Any such report shall be submitted to the Board Secretary at least 14 days before the scheduled public hearing on each application.
Researching and applying for grants and other forms of financial assistance as the Commission deems necessary to help fund its programs and projects.
Such other duties as the Mayor and Council shall from time to time, by resolution, entrust to the Commission in furtherance of the aforementioned goals and objectives.
Said Commission, with the approval of the Council of the Borough of Emerson, may, from time to time, acquire property, both real and personal, in the name of the Borough of Emerson, by gift, purchase, grant, bequest, devise or lease for any of its purposes, including but not limited to use as living museums, sites for scientific study, areas for the teaching of natural history and conservation, places of historic or prehistoric interest and scenic beauty and habitat for rare and endangered plants and animals, 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 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 Borough of Emerson.
The Environmental Commission shall, subject to the continuing approval of the Council, have exclusive control of lands acquired for the purposes herein stated and may adopt suitable rules and regulations for the use thereof and the conduct of all persons while on or using the same.
Said Commission shall keep records of its meetings and activities and shall make an annual report on or before the first day of January and submit the same to the Council of the Borough of Emerson, which report shall be comprehensive and detailed, covering operations, receipts, disbursements and expenditures for the full year.
The Mayor shall designate one of the members to serve as Chairman and presiding officer of said Commission. Said Commission is authorized to adopt bylaws governing its procedural operation.
The Mayor or Council of the Borough of Emerson 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.
The Council of the Borough of Emerson shall annually fix, determine and appropriate a sum sufficient for the care, custody, policing and maintenance of such lands acquired for the uses and purposes herein stated and for the expenses of said Commission, which shall be raised by taxation in the same manner as other taxes.
Said Commission may appoint a secretary or clerk and such number of custodians, supervisors and assistants for the lands acquired for the uses and purposes herein mentioned as they shall deem necessary, and such other professionals to advise it on matters that come before it from time to time as it may require, but the salaries of all such clerks, custodians, supervisors, assistants and other professionals shall be fixed and determined by the Council of the Borough of Emerson and, in addition thereto, the total salaries shall be within the limits of funds appropriated to said Commission.
Nothing in the chapter contained shall be construed to make the Commission or any member thereof responsible for the death or injury of any person or for any injury to any property or highway tree or shrub.