Town of Binghamton, NY
Broome County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Binghamton 12-18-1979 by L.L. No. 6-1979 (Ch. 9 of the 1969 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Planning Board — See Ch. 48.
Zoning — See Ch. 240.
The preservation and improvement of the quality of the natural and man-made environment within the Town of Binghamton, in the face of population growth, urbanization and technologic change with their accompanying demands on natural resources, is found to be of increasing and vital importance to the health, welfare and economic well-being of present and future inhabitants and requires forthright action by the governing body of the Town of Binghamton. It is recognized that the biologic integrity of the natural environment on which man is dependent for survival and the natural and functional beauty of our surroundings which condition the quality of our life experience cannot be protected without the full cooperation and participation of all the people of the Town working in partnership with local and state officials and with various public and private institutions, agencies and organizations. Establishment of a Conservation Commission is a necessary step in fostering unified action on environmental problems.
The Town Board of the Town of Binghamton hereby creates a commission which shall be known as the "Commission for Conservation of the Town of Binghamton."
The Commission shall consist of eight members, of which five shall be appointed by the Town Board and the remainder shall be ex officio members as provided herein.
A. 
Of the members of the Commission first appointed and designated, five shall hold office for one year and three for the term of two years. Their successors, including such additional members as may be appointed by the Town Board, shall be appointed for terms of two years from and after the terms of their predecessors; except that the ex officio members, irrespective of their terms, shall hold office only as long as they continue in their present official position with the Town.
B. 
Persons residing within the Town of Binghamton who are interested in the improvement and preservation of environmental quality shall be eligible for appointment as members of the Commission. Vacancies on the Commission shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments, except that a vacancy occurring other than by the expiration of term of office shall be filled only for the remainder of the unexpired term.
C. 
One member of the Town Board, the Chairman of the Planning Board, the Attorney for the Town and other officials that may be hereafter designated by the Town Board shall be ex officio members of the Commission.
The Town Board shall designate a member of the Commission to act as Chairman thereof. At the first meeting of the Commission its members shall elect from among themselves a recording secretary. The Commission shall adopt rules and procedures for its meetings. It shall keep accurate records of its meetings and activities and shall file an annual report as provided in § 12-6 of this chapter.
The powers and duties of the Commission shall be to:
A. 
Advise the Town Board on matters affecting the preservation, development and use of the natural and man-made features and conditions of the Town insofar as quality, biologic integrity, beauty and other environmental factors are concerned. In the case of man's activities and developments, it shall advise on any major threats posed to environmental quality, so as to enhance the long-range value of the environment to the people of the Town.
B. 
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.
C. 
Conduct and maintain an inventory of the natural resources within the Town of Binghamton.
D. 
Maintain an up-to-date index of all open spaces as defined in § 239-y of the General Municipal Law, in public or private ownership within the municipality, including but not limited to natural landmarks, glacial and other geomorphic or physiographic features; streams and their floodplains, swamps, marshlands and other wetlands; unique biotic communities; and scenic and other open areas of natural or ecological value. Such index shall include the ownership and present and proposed uses of such open areas so as to provide a base of information for recommendations by the Commission for their preservation and/or use.
E. 
Seek to coordinate, assist and unify the efforts of private groups, institutions and individuals within the Town of Binghamton in accord with the purposes of this chapter.
F. 
Community contacts.
(1) 
Maintain liaison and communication with public and private agencies and organizations whose programs and activities have an impact on the quality of the environment or who can be of assistance to the Commission.
(2) 
Make specific requests to local organizations to designate one of their members as liaison officer to the Commission.
[Amended 4-15-2003 by L.L. No. 1-2003]
G. 
Working in cooperation with the Planning Board, recommend from time to time to the Town Board features, plans and programs relating to environmental improvement for inclusion in the Comprehensive Plan of the Town of Binghamton and, similarly, recommend to the Town Board appropriate and desirable changes in existing local laws and ordinances relating to environmental and land use controls or recommend new local laws and ordinances.
[Amended 4-15-2003 by L.L. No. 1-2003]
H. 
Prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts and pamphlets in accord with the purpose of this chapter.
I. 
Obtain and maintain in orderly fashion maps, reports, books and other publications to support the necessary research of the Commission into local environmental conditions.
J. 
Gifts and grants.
(1) 
When authorized by resolution of the Town Board of the Town of Binghamton, to accept by gift, grant, devise, bequest or otherwise, property, both real and personal, in the name of the Town of Binghamton, as may be necessary to conserve and otherwise properly utilize open spaces and other land and water resources within the boundaries of the Town of Binghamton. Such real property may be accepted in fee for land and water rights or as any lesser interests, development right or easement, including conservation easement, covenant or other contractual right, including conveyance with limitations or reversions.
(2) 
Under the above provision, to accept gifts or grants, but only upon authorization by the Town Board. Likewise, if a purchase is involved, the power to make such purchase, by negotiation or condemnation, is vested in the Town Board. Purchases may be effected in accordance with the provisions of existing laws as applicable to the Town. The addition of a purchase provision in this chapter is optional.
[Amended 4-15-2003 by L.L. No. 1-2003]
K. 
Carry out such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Town Board.
The Commission shall keep accurate records of its meetings and actions and shall submit an annual report to the Town Board not later than the 31st day of December of each year concerning the activities and work of the Commission. From time to time the Commission shall submit such reports and recommendations as may be necessary to fulfill the purpose of this chapter.
A. 
The members of the Commission, including ex officio members, 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.
B. 
The Town Board may appropriate funds for the expenses incurred by the Commission, including but not limited to expenses for professional staff, consultants, clerical assistance and printing and distribution of publications. The Commission should prepare and submit an annual budget request in the manner prescribed by the Town Board. The Town Board, upon request by the Commission, also may from time to time and for designated purposes, assign or detail public employees to perform work for the Commission.
[Amended 4-15-2003 by L.L. No. 1-2003]
This chapter shall be deemed an exercise of the powers of the Town of Binghamton to preserve and improve the quality of the natural and man-made environment on behalf of the present and future inhabitants thereof. This chapter is not intended and shall not be deemed to impair the powers of any other public corporation.