[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of LaFayette 4-12-1971 by L.L. No. 1-1971. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The preservation and improvement of the quality of the natural and man-made environment within the Town of LaFayette, 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 LaFayette. 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 working in partnership with local and state officials and with various public and private institutions, agencies and organizations. Establishment of a commission for conservation of the environment is a necessary step in fostering unified action on environmental problems.
The Town Board of the Town of LaFayette hereby creates a commission which shall be known as the "LaFayette Advisory Conservation Commission," hereinafter called the "Commission."
The Commission shall consist of seven members, all of whom shall be residents of the Town of LaFayette. The Town Board shall consider geographical distribution, age, employment and special expertise in maintaining a balance on the Commission of individuals with diversified backgrounds and concerns willing to dedicate themselves to the preservation and improvement of the environmental quality of the Town of LaFayette. The Town Board shall initially appoint four members to a two-year term and three members to a one-year term. Successors shall be appointed for two-year terms except when appointed to fill a vacancy in an unexpired term.
The Supervisor, or his designee from the Town Board, the Chairman of the Planning Board, the Chairman of the Board of Appeals, the Highway Superintendent and other officials that may be hereafter designated by the Town Board shall be ex officio members of the Commission.
[Amended 12-8-2020 by L.L. No. 2-2020]
The Town Board shall designate a member of the Commission to act as Chairman. At the first meeting of the Commission each year, its members shall elect from among themselves a recording secretary. They shall adopt rules and procedures for its meetings, shall keep accurate records of its meetings and activities and shall file an annual report as provided in § 15-6 of this chapter.
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 LaFayette insofar as beauty, quality, biologic integrity and other environmental factors are concerned and, in the case of man's activities and developments, with regard to any major threats posed to environmental quality, so as to enhance the long-range value of the environment to the people of the Town of LaFayette.
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 studies, surveys and inventories of the natural and man-made features within the Town of LaFayette and such other studies and surveys as may be necessary to carry out the general purposes of this chapter.
Maintain an up-to-date inventory or index of all open spaces 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; and of the ownership, present use and proposed use 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 LaFayette in accord with the purposes of this chapter.
Maintain liaison and communications with public and private agencies and organizations of local, state and national scope whose programs and activities have an impact on the quality of the environment or who can be of assistance to the Commission.
Advise its Town Board and its Planning Board concerning features, plans and programs relating to environmental improvement for inclusion in the Master Plan of the Town of LaFayette and recommend to the Town Board appropriate and desirable local legislation relating to environmental control.
Carry out such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Town Board of the Town of LaFayette.
The Commission shall submit an annual report to the Town Board not later than the first day of April of each year concerning the activities and work of the Commission and from time to time 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.
This chapter shall be deemed an exercise of the powers of the Town of LaFayette 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 not intended and shall not be deemed to impair the powers of any other public corporation.