[Adopted 9-10-1996 by Ord. No. 27-96 (Ch. 8, Art. XII, of the 1990 Code)]
There is hereby established an Open Space Committee.
The Open Space Committee shall be comprised of the following persons:
The Township Planner.
One member of the Mount Olive Township Council appointed by the Council.
One member of the Environmental Commission selected by members of the Commission.
One member of the Recreation Committee to be selected by the members of the Committee.
One member of the Planning Board to be designated by the Mayor.
Three members who are residents of the Township to be appointed by the Council.
Two members who are residents of the Township to be appointed by the Mayor.
The Committee shall have the right to appoint nonvoting advisory members with special abilities and expertise beneficial to the objectives of the Committee.
[Amended 1-26-1999 by Ord. No. 1-99]
The Mayor and the member of the Township Council appointed to the Open Space Committee shall have terms which shall correspond to the terms of their respective elective positions.
The Township Planner shall serve as a member of the Open Space Committee as long as he/she is employed by the Township in the capacity of the Township Planner.
The member from the Environmental Commission shall serve a term coextensive with his term on the Environmental Commission.
The member from the Recreation Committee shall serve a term coextensive with his term on the Recreation Committee.
The member from the Planning Board shall serve a term coextensive with his term on the Planning Board.
One of the members appointed by the Mayor and two of the members appointed by the Township Council shall serve terms of three years.
One of the members appointed by the Mayor and one of the members appointed by the Township Council shall serve terms of two years and, after the initial appointment, all terms for the residents appointed at-large shall be for three years.
The Open Space Committee shall have the following powers and responsibilities:
The Open Space Committee shall make an initial determination of which parcels of land should be acquired and the method of acquisition, including but not limited to the following:
By developmental rights only for preservation of open space;
By outright purchases;
By conservation easements;
By scenic easements;
As a down payment for the issuance of bonds;
By long-term lease; or
By other methods for the same purposes, at the discretion of the Township Council.
The Committee shall submit to the Township Council a prioritized list of properties to be acquired and/or properties for which developmental rights should be acquired. The Township Council, utilizing the prioritized list submitted by the Committee, shall determine annually which parcels shall be acquired and the amount to be appropriated annually for the open space purposes.
The Committee shall investigate and report to the Township Council additional funding sources to supplement the Mount Olive Township Open Space Dedicated Trust Fund.
The Committee shall prepare or assist in the preparation of grant proposals to obtain additional funding.
The Committee shall develop with the Planning Department an Open Space Plan for use in the open space element of the Township's Master Plan.
The Committee shall advise the Township Council and Mayor on any issues relating to use and acquisition of open space.
The Committee shall be granted an annual budget for operating expenses and shall submit a budget request to the Mayor during November of each year.
The Committee may employ and/or contract for professional services by appraisers, legal counsel or other professional staff as it may deem necessary, subject to appropriations from the Township's operating budget and the Township Council's passage of professional services resolutions establishing the rates of compensation to be paid.
The Committee shall hold public meetings, which public meetings shall be held in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, and the Committee shall give appropriate notification of said meetings.
The Committee shall hold no fewer than four regular meetings annually and such meetings shall be determined and established at the first regular meeting.
The Open Space Committee shall hold its initial organizational meeting within three months after this article takes effect.
The Committee shall select from among its members a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson. The Chairperson shall serve as presiding officer, and in his/her absence the Vice Chairperson shall serve as presiding officer.
The Committee shall also select from among its members a Secretary, whose function shall be to maintain minutes of the Committee's meetings and records of the proceedings of the Committee.
There is hereby established an account which shall be known and designated as the "Open Space Dedicated Trust Fund" which shall be maintained in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40A:4-1 and N.J.S.A. 40:5-1. Funds from the Open Space Dedicated Trust Fund may, as directed by the Township Council, be utilized to acquire vacant land as well as land which has improvements upon it at the time of acquisition, where the principal purpose of the acquisition is to preserve open space for active or passive recreation and for conservation purposes. In the event that the Township shall find it appropriate to apportion the cost of acquisition between open space and improvements, it may do so and charge the Open Space Dedicated Trust Fund for the approximate value that it deems appropriate relative to open space and the Township's capital account for the value that it determines shall be attributed to improvements.
The funds accumulated within the trust fund may be utilized for the acquisition of land by outright purchase, long-term lease, donation, development rights, conservation easements, scenic easements, Blue Acres projects as defined by N.J.S.A. 40:12-15.7a(1)(g) or as a down payment for the issuance of bonds for the same purposes at the discretion of the Township Council.
[Amended 3-13-2012 by Ord. No. 8-2012]
Moneys from the trust fund shall only be appropriated for an authorized purpose via a resolution adopted by the Township Council.
[Amended 8-19-2008 by Ord. No. 44-2008]
No property acquired with funds from the Open Space Dedicated Trust Fund shall be leased or sold unless and until such sale or lease of same has been approved by the voters at a referendum.
In the event that no property is acquired or in the process of being acquired under this article for a period of five consecutive years, the Mayor and Township Council shall review the activities of the Open Space Committee and issue a report with recommendations and conclusions concerning the Open Space Dedicated Trust Fund.