[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of North Haven 9-24-2002 Annual Town Meeting. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Open space within the Town of North Haven has been and continues to be a diminishing resource and such open space is considered a valuable asset.
It is recognized that there is a need to obtain additional open space in order to maintain and insure the continued quality of our natural resources.
It is desirable to promote a comprehensive program of open space acquisition designed to keep pace with and complement the type of development necessary for a stable tax base.
There shall be in the Town of North Haven an Open Space Advisory Committee which shall consist of seven members who shall be appointed as follows:
One elector who holds no other elected or appointed office in the Town of North Haven, to be appointed by the Board of Selectmen.
All members of the Committee shall be appointed annually in the month of December to a term from January 1 through December 31 of the following year.
The Open Space Advisory Committee shall annually elect from its body a Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary.
Members shall serve without compensation.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- OPEN SPACE
- Land that is protected against development (such as designation as a park or forest subject to a restrictive covenant or ownership by a land trust organization) may be accessible to the public for passive, low-impact activities (CGS § 12-108b), and land as to which the preservation or restriction of use would:
- A. Maintain and enhance the conservation of natural or scenic resources, including animals, vegetation and trees.
- B. Protect natural streams or water supply.
- C. Promote conservation of soil, wetlands or tidal marshes.
- D. Enhance the value to the public abutting or neighboring parks, forests, wildlife resources, natural reservations or sanctuaries, or other open space.
- E. Expand public recreation opportunities.
- F. Preserve the aesthetic, cultural and historic aspects of the Town's heritage.
- G. Promote orderly urban or suburban development.
- H. Improve air and water quality.
- I. Enhance the overall quality of life of residents.
- J. Protect agricultural land with deeded restrictions.
- K. Enable each generation to fulfill its responsibility as the trustee of the environment for succeeding generations.
Within one year of the establishment of the Open Space Advisory Committee, the Committee will present for approval to the Board of Selectmen a general plan of action regarding the goals of the Town as envisioned by the Open Space Committee. This plan should include, but not be limited to, identifying areas of intended or possible open space use and estimated costs of acquisition and how much land the Town would want to obtain. The plan should incorporate a breakdown of needs and possibilities to insure a fair distribution of the Town's open space resources. The Committee shall make use of any studies, plans or information legally available from any source which may be pertinent to the formulation of this plan. The Committee shall from time to time update and modify said plan for approval by the Board of Selectmen.
The Open Space Advisory Committee may also:
Suggest changes to the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) of regulations that would facilitate open space protection.
Suggest changes to the Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) of regulations that would facilitate the protection of open space.
Produce publicity to inform the general public about what the Committee is attempting to do and to make sure that landowners know that the Town, not just developers, may be interested in their land.
Provide education materials to the general public and the schools.
Support fund-raising projects to add money to any open space fund established by the Town.
Research and produce literature for landowners on the various options available to help them use their land as part of North Haven's open space plan.
Monitor and protect existing open space.
Make suggestions to the Town on the suitability of various parcels throughout the Town.
Work to develop plans to acquire or protect specific land.
Assist the First Selectman in evaluating the worth and priority of any specific parcel that may unexpectedly become available on short notice.