[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of East Greenwich 5-11-1993 by Ord. No. 593 (Secs. 2-171 to 2-176 of the 1993 Code); amended in its entirety 4-9-2001 by Ord. No. 710. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Zoning — See Ch. 260.
STATE LAW REFERENCES
Open meetings — See R.I.G.L. § 42-46-1 et seq.
Farmland Preservation Act — See R.I.G.L. § 42-82-1 et seq.
There is hereby established the Town of East Greenwich Land Trust (hereinafter called the "Trust"), a body corporate and politic and a public instrumentality. The Trust shall have the authority to acquire, hold and manage real property and interest therein including development rights situated in the Town, consisting of open, residential, agricultural, recreational, historical or littoral property, including existing and future well fields and aquifer recharge areas, fresh and saltwater marshes and adjoining uplands, wildlife habitats, land and buildings providing access to or views of the ocean, Greenwich Cove and ponds, land or bicycling and hiking paths and for future public recreation use, and land for agricultural use or airspace thereof. With the exception of property acquired for public historical preservation or recreational purposes, the Trust shall hold all property or development rights solely as open space or for agricultural uses or for water purposes or for public access or to prevent the accelerated residential or commercial development thereof, as the Trustees may determine.
The Trust shall be administered by eight Trustees, seven of whom shall be appointed by the Town Council for five-year terms. In addition to the seven Trustees appointed by the Town Council, the current Chairperson or his/her designee, representing the Planning Board, shall be a Trustee.
Trustees must be resident electors of the Town, and their term shall be deemed expired at the end of the appointed period or if they cease to be a resident of the Town. No elected officer of the Town or the state and no person who has been employed by the Town may be appointed a Trustee for at least one year after serving in elected office or one year after leaving Town employment.
The Trustees, after appointment and each year thereafter, shall appoint a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and Recording Secretary from among the seven members appointed by the Town Council. Clerical help from the Town work force shall be assigned by the Town Manager, or his/her designee, to keep accurate records of every meeting. All meetings shall be held in compliance with the Open Meeting Law, being R.I.G.L. § 42-46-1 et seq. Meeting minutes shall be submitted to the Town Manager for distribution to the Town Council and other interested persons.
The Trustees shall adopt reasonable rules and regulations governing the conduct of Trust affairs, including the acquisition and management of its holdings, not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter. All rules and regulations of the Trust are subject to the approval of the Town Council. Decisions of the Trustees shall be by a majority of those present and voting, excepting in decisions on the acquisition of land, easements, rights-of-way, and other uses referred to in § 143-1, which must be by a majority vote of all Trustees. The Trustees shall prepare a budget that must be sent to the Town Manager for review and, after his/her review, be presented to the Town Council for final approval.
[Amended 6-12-2017 by Ord. No. 871]
The funds authorized in this budget will be paid by the Town Finance Director in accordance with accepted accounting procedures that are in place in the Town at that time.
All funds that are released for land acquisition can only be released after a public hearing requiring three weeks of consecutive advertising and by approval of a majority of the Trustees. All properties considered for sale by the Land Trust can only be sold after a public hearing which follows three weeks of consecutive advertising and by approval of a majority of the Trustees.
The Trust shall have the power to:
Purchase, receive by gift, or otherwise acquire fee simple or lesser interests in real property, including development rights as defined in R.I.G.L. § 42-82-2, or any interest in real property consistent with the purposes of this chapter, including other development rights of any kind whatsoever; provided, however that, in cases involving the expenditure of Town funds, such acquisitions shall be in general conformance with the Comprehensive Community Plan;
Accept gifts, grants or loans of funds or services from any source, public or private, and comply, subject to the provisions of this chapter, with any terms and conditions thereof;
Accept from state and/or federal agencies loans or grants for use in carrying out the Trust's purposes and enter into agreements with such agencies respecting such loans or grants;
Employ counsel, auditors, engineers, appraisers, private consultants, advisors, secretaries or other personnel needed to perform its duties;
Administer and manage land and interests in land held by it in a manner which allows public use and enjoyment consistent with the natural and scenic resources thereof, including conveyance of any such land or interests in land to, and contracts with, nonprofit organizations, provided that such land shall continue to be used in a manner consistent with the purposes of this chapter and with the terms of any grant or devise by which such land was acquired by the Trust;
Incur debt only after authorization in each instance by vote of the municipal budget or special appropriation process used by the Town;
Dispose by sale or otherwise of all or any portion of its real property or interests therein held by it whenever in the opinion of the Trustees such lands or properties have become unsuitable or have ceased to be used for the purposes set forth in this chapter or unless the best interests of the Trust shall be served by such sale or other disposition. Such disposition or sale shall be made only by a vote of the Trustees in which at least five members vote in favor of such a disposition or sale and further only after having been approved by the Town Council; and
Otherwise do all things necessary for the performance of its duties, the fulfillment of its obligations and the conduct of its business.
All funds received by the Trust as voluntary contributions, grants or loans, funds appropriated to the Trust by vote of the annual municipal or special appropriation process used by the Town, or proceeds from disposal of real property or interests shall be deposited into a fund to be set up as a revolving or sinking account by the Treasurer of the Town. All expenses lawfully incurred by the Trust in carrying out the provisions of this chapter shall be evidenced by proper vouchers and shall be paid by the Treasurer of the Town only by submission of warrants duly approved by the Trust. The Treasurer of the Town shall prudently invest available assets of the funds, and all income thereon shall accrue to the fund. Upon termination or dissolution of the Trust, the title of all funds and other properties owned by the Trust which remain after payment or making provision for payment of all bonds, notes and other obligations of the Trust shall vest in the Town.