[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Liberty 8-1-1988. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter establishes an Environmental Commission for the protection, development or use of natural resources, including water resources, located within its territorial limits. The Commission shall consist of seven members, appointed by the Mayor, one of whom shall also be a member of the Municipal Planning Board and all of whom shall be residents of the municipality. The members shall serve without compensation except as hereinafter provided. The Mayor of the municipality shall designate one of the members to serve as Chairman and presiding officer of the Commission. The terms of office of the first Commissioners shall be for one two, or three years, to be designated by the Mayor in making his appointments so that the terms of approximately 1/3 of the members will expire each year, and their successors shall be appointed for terms of three years and until the appointment and qualification of their successors. The Mayor or governing body of the municipality 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 occurring otherwise than by expiration of a term shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as an original appointment.
[Added 3-2-1992 by Ord. No. 3-92]
Two alternate member positions on the Liberty Township Environmental Commission are hereby created pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:56A-1 et seq.
The terms of said alternate members shall be for two years, except that one alternate member first appointed shall have a term of one year, and the other alternate member shall have a term of two years. Said alternate members shall be appointed by the Mayor.
The Environmental Commission shall have the 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. It shall keep an index of all open area, 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 Planning Board plans and programs for inclusion in a Municipal Master Plan and the development and use of such areas.
Whenever the Environmental Commission has prepared and submitted to the Planning Board and the Board of Adjustment an index of the natural resources of the municipality, the Planning Board or the Board of Adjustment shall make available to the Environmental Commission an informational copy of every application for development submitted to either Board. Failure of the Planning Board or Board of Adjustment to make such informational copy available to the Environmental Commission shall not invalidate any hearing or proceeding.
An Environmental Commission may, subject to the approval of the Township Committee, acquire property, both real and personal, in the name of the municipality 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 lesser 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 municipality.
The Environmental Commission shall keep records of its meetings and activities and shall make an annual report to the governing body of the municipality.
The Environmental Commission shall have the 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.