[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Sea Cliff 9-17-1979 by L.L. No. 3-1979, effective 10-15-1979. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Environmental Conservation Law of the Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff."
The preservation and improvement of the quality of the natural and man-made environment within the Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff, 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 Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff. 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 Village 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 Board of Trustees of the Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff hereby creates, pursuant to the provisions of Article 12-F of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York, a commission which shall be known as the "Environmental Conservation Commission of the Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff" (hereinafter called the "Commission").
The Commission shall consist of 15 members, of which six shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees and who shall serve at the pleasure of the Board of Trustees. The remainder shall be ex officio members as provided herein. Persons residing within the Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff who are interested in the improvement and preservation of environmental quality shall be eligible for appointment as members of the Commission. The first three members appointed shall hold office for a term of one year, the second three members for a term of two years, and the successors of such six initial appointees shall be appointed for full terms of two years, except for vacancies occurring other than by the expiration of term of office. Vacancies on the Commission 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 filed only for the remainder of the unexpired term.
The Board of Trustees, the Chairman of the Planning Board, the Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Chairman of the Architectural Review Board, the Building Inspector and other officials that may hereafter be designated by the Board of Trustees shall be ex officio members of the Commission.
The Board of Trustees shall designate a member of the Commission to act as Chairman thereof. At the first meeting of the Commission, its members shall elect from among themselves a recording secretary. The Commission shall keep accurate records of its meetings and activities and shall file an annual report as provided in § 8-7 of this chapter.
The Commission is hereby authorized to adopt, promulgate, amend and repeal rules and regulations governing its procedure and the transaction of its business and for the purpose of fully implementing the provisions of this chapter. Such rules and regulations, and any amendment thereto, shall be subject to approval by the Board of Trustees and once approved shall be made a part of this Code with the same force and effect as all other laws of the Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff.
The powers and duties of the Commission shall be to:
Advise the Board of Trustees on matters affecting the preservation, development and use of the natural and man-made features and conditions of the Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff, 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 Village.
Develop and, after receiving 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.
Conduct studies, surveys and inventories of the natural and man-made features within the Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff 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 Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff 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.
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 Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff and, similarly, recommend to the Board of Trustees appropriate and desirable changes in existing legislation relating to environmental control or recommend new legislation.
When authorized by resolution of the Board of Trustees, prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts and pamphlets in accord with the purposes of this chapter.
Obtain and maintain, in orderly fashion, maps, reports, books and other publications to support the necessary researches of the Commission into local environmental conditions.
When authorized by resolution of the Board of Trustees, the Commission may accept, by gift, grant, devise, bequest or otherwise, property, both real and personal, in the name of the Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff, as may be necessary to conserve and otherwise properly utilize open spaces and other land and water resources within the boundaries of the Village. 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.
Carry out such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by resolution of the Board of Trustees.
The Commission shall submit an annual report to the Board of Trustees, not later than the first day of March 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 Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff to preserve and improve the quality of its natural and man-made environment on behalf of the present and future inhabitants thereof. It is not intended and shall not be deemed to impair the powers of any other public corporation.