[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Stanford 12-14-1978 by L.L. No. 7-1978. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Planning Board — See Ch. 44.
The preservation and improvement of the quality of the natural and man-made environment within the Town of Stanford, in the face of population growth, urbanization and technologic change with their accompanying demands on natural resources, are found to be of increasing and vital importance to the health, welfare and economic well-being of present and future inhabitants and require forthright action by the governing body of the Town of Stanford. 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 of Stanford 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 Stanford hereby creates a commission which shall be known as the "Conservation Commission of the Town of Stanford," hereinafter called the "Commission."
The Commission shall consist of seven voting members, all of which shall be appointed by the Town Board and shall serve at the pleasure of the Town Board. A quorum of the Conservation Commission shall be a simple majority of the Board members then appointed by the Town Board, excluding any vacancies. The affirmative vote of the majority of the Commission present at any meeting shall constitute the act of the Conservation Commission. Any person residing within the Town of Stanford who is interested in the improvement and preservation of environmental quality shall be eligible for appointment as a member of the Commission. Vacancies on the Commission shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment, 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.
[Amended 10-8-1981 by L.L. No. 5-1981; 9-13-1984 by L.L. No. 4-1984; 2-13-1986 by L.L. No. 3-1986; 3-10-2005 by L.L. No. 1-2005]
At the discretion of the appointing authority, the membership may be diversified and special recognition may be given to the need for representation of certain groups on the Commission.
The terms of the members of the Commission shall be staggered: the first four members appointed shall hold office for a term of one year, the second three members shall hold office for a term of two years, and the successors of the initial appointees shall be appointed to a full term of two years, unless the appointment is to fill a vacancy or unexpired term, which in such case the term shall be the unexpired term.
[Amended 10-8-1981 by L.L. No. 5-1981; 9-13-1984 by L.L. No. 4-1984; 3-10-2005 by L.L. No. 1-2005]
One or more members of the governing body or any of its agencies may be designated by the Town Board as nonvoting ex officio members of the Commission.
At the first meeting of the Commission, its members shall elect from among themselves a Chairman and Vice Chairman. 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 § 14-6.
The powers and duties of the Commission shall be to:
Advise the Town Board on matters affecting the preservation, development and use of the natural and man-made features and conditions of the Town of Stanford insofar as quality, biologic integrity, beauty and other environmental factors are concerned, and in the case of man's activities and developments, advise on the major threats posed to environmental quality, so as to enhance the long-range value of the environment to the people of the Town of Stanford.
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 and maintain an inventory of the natural resources within the Town of Stanford.
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; scenic and other open areas of natural or ecological value. Such index shall include the ownership, 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.
Seek to coordinate, assist and unify the efforts of private groups, institutions and individuals within the Town of Stanford in accord with the purposes of this chapter.
Maintain liaison and communications 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. Specific requests may be made to local organizations to designate one of their members as liaison officer to the Commission.
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 Master Plan of the Town of Stanford, and similarly recommend to the Town Board appropriate and desirable changes in existing local laws and ordinances relating to the environmental land use controls 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 Commission into local environmental conditions.
When authorized by resolution of the Town Board of the Town of Stanford, the Commission may accept, by gift, grant, devise, bequest or otherwise, property, both real and personal, in the name of the Town of Stanford, 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 Stanford. Such real property may be accepted in fee for land and water rights, or as any lesser interest, development right, easement, including conservation easement, covenant or other contractual right, including conveyance with limitations or reversions. The Commission may accept gifts or grants but only upon authorization by the Town Board, and 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 applicable to the Town of Stanford.
Carry out such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Town Board of the Town of Stanford.
The Commission shall beep accurate records of its meetings and actions and shall submit aid 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 purposes of this chapter.
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.
The Town Board of the Town of Stanford 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 shall prepare and submit an annual budget request in the manner prescribed by the Town Board, and 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.
This chapter shall be deemed an exercise of the powers of the Town of Stanford 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 it not intended and shall not be deemed to impair the powers of any other public corporation.