[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Verona 8-3-1992 as part of Ord. No. 9-92. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:56A-1 et seq., there is hereby established an Environmental Commission in the Township of Verona for the protection, development or use of natural resources, including water resources, within the territorial limits of the township.
The Environmental Commission shall consist of seven (7) members appointed by the Mayor, one (1) of whom shall be a member of the Township Planning Board and all of whom shall be residents of the Township of Verona. The members shall serve without compensation except as herein provided. The Mayor shall designate one (1) of the members to serve as Chairman and presiding officer of the Commission. Members shall serve for terms of three (3) years or until a successor is appointed and qualified, except that of the first members appointed, the terms of three (3) members shall expire on June 30, 1993, the terms of three (3) members shall expire June 30, 1994, and the term of one (1) member shall expire June 30, 1995.
The Mayor or the governing body 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.
A vacancy on the Commission which occurs otherwise than by expiration of a term shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment.
The governing body may appoint not more than two (2) alternate members to be designated as "Alternate No. 1" and "Alternate No. 2." The terms of the alternate members shall be for two (2) years, except that the terms of the alternate members first appointed shall be two (2) years for Alternate No. 1 and one (1) year for Alternate No. 2. A vacancy which occurs otherwise than by expiration of a term shall be filled by the governing body for the unexpired term only.
An alternate member, after public hearing, if one is requested, may be removed by the governing body for cause.
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 member is to vote, Alternate No. 1 shall vote first.
No member or alternate member shall be permitted to act on any matter in which he or she, either directly or indirectly, has any personal or financial interest.
The Environmental Commission shall have power to conduct research into the use and possible use of the open land areas of the municipality and may coordinate the activities of unofficial bodies organized for similar purposes, and may advertise, prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets which in its judgment it deems necessary for its purposes.
The Commission shall keep an index of all open areas, publicly or privately owned, 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 Township Planning Board or to the Mayor and Council plans and programs for inclusion in the Master Plan and the development and use of such areas.
The Environmental Commission may, subject to the approval of the governing body, acquire property, both real and personal, in the name of the township by gift, purchase, grant, bequest, devise or lease for any of its purposes 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 lessor 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 township.
The Environmental Commission shall keep records of its meetings and activities and shall make an annual report to the township governing body.
The township governing body may appropriate funds for the expenses incurred by the Environmental Commission. The Commission may appoint such clerks and employees as it may from time to time require and as shall be within the limits of funds appropriated to it.
The Environmental Commission shall have power to study and make recommendations concerning open space preservation, water resources management, air pollution control, solid waste management, noise control, soil and landscape protection, environmental appearance, marine resources and protection of flora and fauna.