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Village of Ossining, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Ossining 1-15-2002 by L.L. No. 1-2002. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Air pollution — See Ch. 64.
Environmental quality review — See Ch. 118.
Freshwater wetlands — See Ch. 149.
Parks and recreation — See Ch. 190.
The preservation and improvement of the quality of the natural and man-made environment within the Village of Ossining, 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 Village of Ossining. It is recognized that the biological integrity of 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 in the Village of Ossining working in partnership with local and state officials and with various public and private institutions, agencies and organizations. Establishment of an Environmental Advisory Council is a necessary step in fostering unified action on environmental problems.
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Ossining hereby creates a council which shall be known as the "Village of Ossining Environmental Advisory Council," hereafter called "the Council."
[Amended 2-19-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008; 12-20-2017 by L.L. No. 9-2017]
A. 
The council shall consist of seven members, all of whom shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees, who shall serve at the pleasure of said Board. Persons residing within the Village of Ossining who are interested in the improvement and preservation of environmental quality shall be eligible for appointment as a member of the Council. Vacancies on the Council shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment except that a vacancy occurring other than by the expiration of term of office shall be filled only for the remainder of the unexpired term.
B. 
Each member shall be appointed to a two-year term from the date of appointment. Members whose terms have expired shall continue to serve as members of the Council until the member is reappointed, resigns or a new member is appointed in place of the departing member. A member may be appointed to a maximum of four consecutive terms (eight years). If the member has served for four consecutive terms, that member must be off of the Council for one year before applying for appointment to the Council.
[Added 12-20-2017 by L.L. No. 9-2017[1]]
A. 
All members of the Council shall be required to attend a minimum of 75% of the Council meetings scheduled within a calendar year.
B. 
Noncompliance with minimum requirements relating to attendance at meetings shall be deemed a proper cause for removal from office by the Board of Trustees.
C. 
All members of the Council shall be required to attend a minimum of four hours in relevant courses annually.
D. 
Noncompliance with minimum requirements relating to training shall be deemed a proper cause for removal from office by the Board of Trustees.
E. 
The costs for such training sessions shall be a Village charge. Members shall be reimbursed for travel and meal expenses according to Village policy.
F. 
Training sessions which relate to the duties of members of the Council may include programs offered by the New York State Department of State, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Westchester County Planning Department, Westchester Municipal Planning Federation, and such other entities as well as in-house updates or seminars. The Village Manager, after discussion with the Director of Planning and Development and the Council Chairperson shall annually designate such seminars, workshops, or continuing education courses which may be offered within a reasonable distance and which may be helpful to the Council in carrying out its functions in a timely, fair and lawful manner.
G. 
The Chairperson of the Council shall notify the Village Manager and the Director of Planning and Development in writing on or about December 1 in any year, or at any other time if so warranted, of any member who fails to comply with the minimum requirements for meeting attendance and/or training in any calendar year.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also renumbered former §§ 119-4 through 119-8 as §§ 119-6 through 119-10, respectively.
[Added 12-20-2017 by L.L. No. 9-2017]
Notwithstanding the foregoing attendance and training requirements, the failure of a member of the Council to attend the required percentage of meetings or obtain such training shall not affect said person's appointment to serve on the Council, to entertain applications, to vote on such applications or the validity of such members' actions. No action by the Council will be voided or declared invalid as a result of a member's failure to comply with the annual attendance/training requirements.
The Board of Trustees shall designate a member of the Council to act as Chairman thereof. At the first meeting of the Council its members shall elect from among themselves a Recording Secretary. The council shall adopt rules and procedures for its meetings. It shall keep accurate records of its meetings and activities and shall file an annual report as provided in § 119-6 of this chapter.
The powers and duties of the Council shall be to:
A. 
Advise the Board of Trustees on matters affecting the preservation, development, and use of the natural and man-made features and conditions of the Village insofar as beauty, quality, biologic integrity, and other environmental factors are concerned and, in the case of man's activities and development, 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 Village.
B. 
Develop and, after receiving general approval by resolution of the Board of Trustees, 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.
C. 
Conduct studies, surveys and inventories of the natural and man-made features within the Village of Ossining and such other studies and surveys as may be necessary to carry out the general purposes of this chapter.
D. 
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 Council for their preservation and/or use.
E. 
Seek to coordinate, assist, and unify the efforts of private groups, institutions, and individuals within the Village of Ossining to accord with the purposes of this chapter.
F. 
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 Council.
G. 
Working in cooperation with the Planning Board, recommend from time to time, to the Board of Trustees, features, plans, and programs relating to environmental improvement for inclusion in the Master Plan of the Village of Ossining and, similarly, recommend to the Board of Trustees appropriate and desirable changes in existing local laws and ordinances relating to environmental control or recommend new local laws.
H. 
Prepare, print, and distribute books, maps, charts and pamphlets in accord with the purposes of this chapter.
I. 
Obtain and maintain in orderly fashion maps, reports, books and other publications to support the necessary researches of the Council into local environmental conditions.
J. 
The council may recommend acceptance by the Board of Trustees, by any gift, grant, devise, bequest or otherwise, property both real and personal, in the name of the Village of Ossining, as may be necessary to conserve and otherwise properly utilize open spaces and other land and water resources within the boundaries of the Village of Ossining. Such real property may be accepted in fee for land and water rights, or as any lesser interest, development right, easement, including conservation easement, covenant, or other contractual right, including conveyance with limitations or reversions.
K. 
Carry out such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Board of Trustees.
The council shall submit an annual report to the Board of Trustees not later than the first day of October of each year, concerning the activities and work of the Council and from time to time shall submit such reports and recommendations as may be necessary to fulfill the purposes of this chapter.
[Amended 2-19-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008; 12-20-2017 by L.L. No. 9-2017]
The members of the Council 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 as detailed above within the appropriations made available therefor.
This chapter shall be deemed an exercise of the powers of the Village of Ossining 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.