[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Farmington 1-25-2012. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Budget requests — See Charter, Art. IX.
Enforcement of zoning regulations and inland wetland regulations — See Ch. 22.
Water Pollution Control Authority — See Ch. 68.
Inland wetlands and watercourses — See Ch. 125.
Zoning regulations — See Ch. 197.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 9, Conservation Commission, adopted 2-28-1967 by Ord. No. 53, as amended.
The purpose of this chapter is to clarify that the existing Conservation Commission and Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency will be abolished on February 27, 2012, and that a new commission, the Farmington Conservation and Inland Wetlands Commission, will be constituted on the same day.
In order i) to carry out and effectuate the purposes and policies of the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act of the State of Connecticut pursuant to C.G.S. § 22a-37 et seq., and ii) to promote the development and conservation of natural resources, including water resources, within the territorial limits of the Town of Farmington pursuant to C.G.S. § 7-131a, there is hereby created an agency of the Town of Farmington (the "Town") to be known as the "Farmington Conservation and Inland Wetlands Commission" (the "Commission"). The Commission, when acting in the capacity of the Inland Wetlands Commission or the Conservation Commission, shall operate each commission as a separate and distinct body.
The Commission shall consist of seven regular members and two alternate members appointed for terms of four years. Terms shall expire on September 30 of each year, except that an appointment to fill an unexpired term shall be for the duration of said unexpired term only. No more than three members' terms shall expire at one time. The expiration of the initial appointments of the members of the Commission shall be as follows: two (2) regular members' terms shall expire on September 30, 2012; two (2) regular members' terms shall expire on September 30, 2013; two (2) regular members' terms shall expire on September 30, 2014; and one (1) regular member's term shall expire on September 30, 2015. One alternate member's term shall expire on September 30, 2013, and one alternate member's term shall expire on September 30, 2015. Thereafter, members and alternates shall be appointed to serve terms of four (4) years. The two alternates cannot be members of the same political party.
Members shall be electors of the Town of Farmington holding no salaried Town office.
The first meeting of the Commission following the effective date of this chapter shall be constituted as an organizational meeting. At such organizational meeting the Commission shall elect a Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary from its regular members. Only regular members of the Commission, or alternates seated in lieu of a regular member who is absent or otherwise not participating, shall be entitled to vote in the election of officers. The professional staff will run the organizational meeting until such time as elections are complete.
Where a regular member cannot attend the organizational meeting, such member may select the alternate to vote in his or her place. If the regular member fails to select an alternate member, the selection shall be made using a method agreed upon by the regular members present.
At the first organizational meeting, the Commission shall begin to discuss the creation of new bylaws. Such bylaws shall be created and adopted no later than July 1, 2012. For the purposes of adopting bylaws, only regular members of the Commission, or alternates seated in lieu of a regular member who is absent or otherwise not participating, shall be entitled to vote.
Thereafter beginning in 2012, within a period not exceeding 30 days after the first day of October of each year, the members of the Commission shall elect a Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary from its regular members. Only regular members of the Commission, or alternates seated in lieu of a regular member who is absent or otherwise not participating, shall be entitled to vote in the election of officers.
All members shall serve without compensation.
The Town Council shall appoint all regular and alternate members, may remove any such member for cause and may fill any vacancy that may arise.
The appointment of members of the Commission shall be governed by the applicable minority representation provisions of the Town Charter and the Connecticut General Statutes.
Members of the Commission shall attend and complete the comprehensive training program developed and conducted by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection within three years of their appointment.
Alternate members when serving as members of the Conservation Commission shall have full powers and duties as regular members and shall be permitted to vote on all issues before it.
The membership of any person who is absent from three regular meetings during any six-month period shall terminate as of the time the third such absence occurs, unless such absences are waived by the Chairman of the Commission because of illness or other extenuating circumstances. The Chairman of the Commission shall notify the Town Manager promptly after the third absence occurs.
The Commission shall fix the time and place of its regular meetings and provide a method for calling special meetings. The Commission shall determine its own rules of procedure. The presence of four members shall constitute a quorum. The Commission may adopt regulations, rules and procedures to carry out the purposes of this chapter. The Commission shall keep records of its meetings and activities and shall make an annual report to the Town Council through the Town Manager. The Commission may submit a budget request to the Town Council through the Town Manager in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Town Charter.
Inland Wetlands Commission.
The Commission shall be vested with all powers authorized by the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act of the State of Connecticut, as amended, and, in particular, shall promulgate such regulations in conformity with the regulations promulgated by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection of the State of Connecticut as are necessary to protect the inland wetlands and watercourses within the territorial limits of the Town of Farmington. The Commission shall provide, through regulations, the manner in which the boundaries of inland wetland areas and watercourses in the Town of Farmington shall be established, amended or changed and shall follow the procedures set forth in the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act of the State of Connecticut.
The Commission shall be solely responsible for the permitting of all regulated activities conducted upon or upland of an inland wetland or watercourse, as those terms are defined in the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act of the State of Connecticut and in the Farmington Regulations for Inland Wetlands, within the Town of Farmington. In carrying out its permitting activities, the Commission shall follow the standards and procedures set forth in the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act of the State of Connecticut and in the Farmington Regulations for Inland Wetlands.
The Commission shall be vested with all powers authorized by C.G.S. § 7-131a of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended.
The Commission shall conduct researches into the utilization and possible utilization of land areas of the municipality and may coordinate the activities of unofficial bodies organized for similar purposes and may advertise, prepare and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets as necessary for its purpose.
The Commission shall keep an index of all open areas, publicly or privately owned, including open marshlands, swamps and other wetlands, for the purpose of obtaining information on the proper use of such areas, and may from time to time recommend to the Town Plan and Zoning Commission of the Town of Farmington plans and programs for the development and use of such areas, which may include the acquisition of conservation easements.
The Commission may recommend acquisition of land to the Town Council for any of its purposes as set out in this section or as authorized in C.G.S. § 7-131a of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended.
The Commission, upon approval of the Town Council and the Town Meeting, may receive gifts of land in the name of the Town of Farmington for purposes not inconsistent with this chapter.
The Commission may receive gifts of money in the name of the Town of Farmington for any purpose not inconsistent with the purpose of this Chapter. Such gifts of money, if not designated for the special purpose by the donor, shall become part of the general fund of the Town of Farmington. Special gifts of money shall be deposited in a special fund of the Town of Farmington created for this purpose by the Town Treasurer and may be used by the Commission for such special purposes upon approval by the Town Council. The Town Treasurer shall keep an accurate record of all funds received.
The Commission shall give particular consideration to the following matters and shall inform the Town Council and other appropriate agencies with respect to the same:
Uses and avoidance of pollution of the Farmington River.
Land that should be kept as open space or for recreation purpose.
Methods of keeping open space without purchase by public agencies, such as the acquisition of easements or agreements with property owners.
Recommended land practices and land development of present Town-owned properties.
Coordinating information from and among each of the Town agencies involved with any aspect of conservation of natural resources.
Making maximum use of federal and state agencies, such as the Soil Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture and the Connecticut Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Coordination of activities of various organizations and groups in the Town of Farmington having an interest in conservation, such as garden clubs and other civic associations.
Cooperation with Conservation Commissions of neighboring towns.
Coordination of efforts with Farmington River Watershed Associations.
Stimulation and promotion of conservation within the Town of Farmington.
Editor's Note: See Article IX, Budget, of the Charter.
The facilities and services of the Town Planner, his/her staff and office shall be available to the Commission. The Commission shall otherwise operate within the amount of the appropriation provided in the Town budget each year.
The Farmington Conservation Commission, as constituted under the prior version of this Chapter 9, shall continue to be responsible for all regulations pursuant to the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act until February 27, 2012.
All existing Commission regulations shall remain in full force and effect during this transition period.