[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Grand Island 4-15-1974 by L.L. No. 1-1974 (Ch. 9 of the 1963 Code); amended in its entirety 11-2-2015 by L.L. No. 11-2015. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The preservation and improvement of the quality of life defined by the finite natural and human environment of the Town of Grand Island continues to rise in importance when viewed in terms of changes brought about by population, growth, urbanization and technological change. The quality of life therefore plays a vital role in the health, welfare and economic well-being of present and future island generations and requires forthright stewardship by the governing body of the Town of Grand Island. It is also recognized that the quality of life upon which island residents depend cannot be maintained or enhanced without full cooperation and participation of the people of the Town of Grand Island working in partnership with local, state and federal officials as well as nongovernment groups and organizations. Establishment of a commission for conservation of the environment is a necessary step in fostering unified action on environmental problems that define the quality of life of Grand Island.
The Town Board of the Town of Grand Island hereby creates a Board which shall be known as the "Conservation Advisory Board," hereafter in this chapter called the "Board."
The Board shall consist of nine members who shall be appointed by the Town Board for terms not to exceed five years.
A Chair, Vice Chair, and Recording Secretary shall be selected by the Board itself. Such officers shall serve a term of office in such position at the pleasure of the Town Board and the Board. The Board shall adopt rules and procedures for its meetings.
The Board shall keep accurate records of its meetings and activities. The Board shall make available for public inspection at the office of the Town Clerk copies of all records and reports of the Conservation Advisory Board.
The powers and duties of the Board shall be to:
Advise the Town Board, Planning Board, and Zoning Board of Appeals on matters affecting the preservation, development, or the current and future use of the human and natural environment.
Develop and, after receiving general approval by resolution of the 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 features and human environment within the Town of Grand Island and such other studies and surveys as may be necessary to carry out the general purposes of this chapter, subject to any budget appropriations.
Maintain and update an inventory or index of all open spaces in public or private ownership within the municipality, including but not limited to natural landmarks; geomorphic or physiographic features; creek and stream corridors and their associated floodplains; wetlands; rare, threatened or endangered species and their habitats; scenic areas; and areas of significant aquatic and terrestrial habitat, as well as information on ownership and present and proposed land use.
Review applications received by the Town Board, the Building Department, the Planning Board, or other administrative body that concerns the use or development of any open area listed in the open space index. The Conservation Advisory Board shall submit a written report to the referral body within 45 days of receipt of such application. Such report shall evaluate the proposed use or development of the open area in terms of the open area planning objectives of the municipality and shall include the effect of such use or development on the open space index. The report shall make recommendations as to the most appropriate use or development of the open area and may include preferable alternative use proposals consistent with open areas conservation. A copy of every report shall be filed with the Town Board.
Exercise any of the functions and responsibilities granted to conservation advisory councils, pursuant to General Municipal Law § 239-x.
Coordinate, assist or support the efforts of others within the Town of Grand Island in accord with the purposes of this chapter.
Maintain liaisons and communications with public agencies and nongovernment organizations of the Town of Grand Island whose programs and activities have an impact on the human and natural environment or who can be of assistance to the Board.
Working in cooperation with the Planning Board, recommend from time to time to the Town Board, features, plans and programs relating to environmental improvements for inclusion in the Master Plan of the Town of Grand Island and, similarly, recommend to the Town Board appropriate and desirable changes in existing local laws and ordinances relating to environmental regulation, or recommend new local laws and ordinances.
Prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts and pamphlets in accord with the purposes of this chapter.
Obtain and maintain in orderly fashion maps, reports, books and other publications to support the necessary researches of the Board into local environmental conditions.
Carry out such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Town Board.
The members of the Board shall receive no compensation for their services as members thereof but may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties within the appropriations made available therefor.
The Town Board may appropriate funds for the expenses incurred by the Board, including but not limited to expenses for professional staff, consultants, clerical assistance and printing and distribution of publications. The Board should prepare and submit an annual budget request in the manner prescribed by the Town Board. The Town Board, upon request by the Board, may also from time to time, and for designated purposes, assign or detail public employees to perform work for the Board.