[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Northampton 10-9-1972 by Ord. No. 828 (Ch. 1, Part 5, of the 1993 Code of Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 7-15-1993 by Ord. No. 1048]
A Borough Planning Commission, to be composed of five members, is hereby established for the Borough of Northampton. All members of the Commission shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for necessary and reasonable expenses not to exceed $25 per regularly scheduled meeting. The Borough Manager, the Borough Solicitor and the Borough Engineer shall be considered ex officio members of the Planning Commission.
Each member of the Planning Commission shall be a resident of the Borough of Northampton and shall be appointed by the Borough Council for a term of four years or until his successor shall be appointed and qualified, except that the terms of the initial members to be appointed to the Commission of five members shall be so fixed that no more than two shall be reappointed or replaced during any future calendar year; namely, one member for a two-year period, two for a three-year period, and two for a four-year period. The chairman of the Planning Commission shall promptly notify the Borough Council concerning vacancies and such vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term.
Any member of the Planning Commission once qualified and appointed may be removed from office for malfeasance, misfeasance or nonfeasance in office or for just cause by a majority vote of the Borough Council, after such member has received 15 days' advance notice of the intent to take such a vote. A hearing shall be held in connection with the vote if the member shall request it in writing.
The Commission shall elect its own chairman, vice chairman and secretary, who shall serve annual terms and may succeed themselves. The Commission may make and alter rules, bylaws, and regulations to govern its procedures consistent with the ordinances of the Borough of Northampton and the laws of the commonwealth. The Commission shall make a full record of its business and shall annually make a written report by March 1 of each year of its activities to the Borough Council. Interim reports may be made as often as may be necessary, or as requested by the Borough Council. All official actions of the Planning Commission shall be made by resolution, concurred in by a majority of those members present who represent a quorum. Such resolutions shall be numbered consecutively for each calendar year and shall be signed by the chairman and attested to by the secretary of the Commission. Administrative assistance shall be provided by the Borough Manager as determined between the chairman of the Commission and the Borough Manager.
The Planning Commission shall meet at least quarterly and such meetings shall be open to the public. It may schedule other work sessions privately as required.
The Planning Commission shall have the power and shall be required to:
Prepare the Comprehensive Plan for the development of the Borough and present it for the consideration of the Borough Council and the general public.
Maintain and keep on file records of its actions. All records and files shall be maintained by and in the possession of the Borough Council at the Borough Municipal Building.
Prepare and present for consideration of the Borough Council, and after adoption, maintain and make recommendations for changes to:
Promote public interest in, and understanding of, the Comprehensive Plan and planning.
Make recommendations to governmental, civic and private agencies and individuals as to the effectiveness of the development and planning proposals of such agencies and individuals.
Hold public hearings and meetings.
Require from other departments and agencies of this Borough, through their proper channels and through such individuals as may be in positions of authority, such available information as relates to the work of the Planning Commission.
In the performance of its functions, to enter upon any land to make examination and surveys either after permission has been obtained from the owner or after public notice.
Do such other act or make such studies as may be necessary to fulfill the obligations and duties imposed by this chapter.
In the performance of its powers and duties, any act or recommendation of the Planning Commission which involves engineering considerations shall be subject to the approval of the Borough Engineer.
It shall be the intent and purpose of the Borough Council that any recommendations by the Northampton Borough Planning Commission shall be advisory only.