[HISTORY: Adopted by the Wilton Town Meeting 11-2-1977. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A commission of seven members to be known as the "Wilton Conservation Commission" is hereby established pursuant to Section 7-131a of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, to organize, maintain and direct conservation activities for the Town of Wilton for the following purposes:
To constitute a Conservation Commission within the meaning of Section 7-131a and to have all the rights and powers conferred upon it by such statute.
To guide the development and conservation of the natural resources within the Town of Wilton.
To propose, manage and maintain or provide for the maintenance of open-space lands and lands devoted to nonintensive use, owned by the Town of Wilton.
To manage any privately owned property permanently dedicated to the conservation and nonintensive recreational uses of residents of the Town of Wilton.
To be an advisory and consulting body to private individuals and private and public groups on issues involved with the environment, conservation and land use.
To develop and sponsor educational programs promoting sound environmental practices.
The members of the Commission shall be known as "Commissioners," all of whom shall be appointed by the First Selectman.
Commissioners shall be appointed, commencing on the first day of December, for the following terms:
In the event of any vacancy upon the Commission, the First Selectman shall appoint a Commissioner to the vacancy for the unexpired portion of the term.
Commissioners shall serve without compensation, except that their actual expenses and disbursements, where incurred with the advance approval of the Board of Selectmen and in the performance of their duties, shall be paid from the Town treasury.
The Commission, annually at the first meeting in December, shall elect one of its number to be Chairman and one of its number to be Secretary.
The Commission shall make written annual reports of its doings to the Board of Selectmen.
The Commission shall be responsible and subordinate to the Board of Selectmen in all matters.
Subject to § 10-8, the Commission shall have the powers and duties of a Conservation Commission as set forth in Section 7-131a of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended. To further the purposes for which it is established, there is hereby delegated, conferred and confirmed to and upon the Commission, subject to § 10-8, the power and duty to:
With the approval in advance of the Board of Selectmen, obtain technical assistance to carry out its responsibilities as set forth in this ordinance or the general statutes.
Solicit or receive or hold in trust, in the name of the Town, gifts, devises and bequests of real or personal property, or any interests therein, from private corporations or individuals for any of the conservation and related purposes of the Commission. The Commission shall administer such gifts of real or personal property for the Town and may accept such gifts subject to the terms of the gift after holding a public hearing thereon as provided in § C4-5B(5) of the Wilton Charter and after obtaining the approval of the Board of Selectmen to accept such gift. The Commission may execute any trust agreement or other appropriate documents in connection with any such gift.
Administer and maintain open space and land and facilities of the Town devoted to nonintensive recreational use. For purposes of this ordinance, "open-space use and nonintensive recreational use" is defined as land which is maintained in an undeveloped state for the purpose of conservation of natural or scenic resources or which is devoted to field trails, nature study, hiking, horseback riding and similar nonorganized activities which do not disturb the natural and indigenous character of the land.
Unless otherwise required by law, following the approval of the Town Meeting and the Board of Selectmen, enter into contracts, trust agreements and other appropriate documents in the name of the Town to enable the Town to receive grants, gifts or contributions of land or money for conservation or related purposes from the state or any political subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities thereof or the federal government or any agency thereof.
Conduct research into the present and future utilization of land areas of the Town and to prepare maps, pamphlets and similar documents for the Commission's purposes.
Make recommendations to and assist the Planning and Zoning Commission in maintaining maps and technical information on wetlands and watercourses, as provided by § 18A-2 of the Code of the Town of Wilton and the Wilton Inland Wetlands Regulations.
With the approval of the Town Meeting, acquire land and easements in the name of the Town for conservation purposes.
Said powers and duties shall be exercised and discharged only to the extent permitted by law and consistent with the applicable general statutes and the Charter of the Town of Wilton.
The Conservation Commission shall maintain liaison with other boards, commissions and departments of the Town and shall cooperate with the Parks and Recreation Commission as to operation and maintenance of Town lands within its jurisdiction.
In case of a dispute between the Conservation Commission and the Parks and Recreation Commission as to jurisdiction over a proposed activity on a particular parcel of land, the Board of Selectmen shall determine which Commission shall have jurisdiction over the property.
Nothing in this ordinance shall affect any right, interest, claim, obligation, liability or defense of, by or against the Town, of whatever description and whether or not matured, incurred by the Parks, Recreation and Conservation Commission prior to its termination and existing at the effective date of this ordinance.
Editor's Note: The ordinance adopted 11-2-1977 repealed former Ch. 24, Parks, Recreation and Conservation Commission, adopted 10-23-1969, adjourned to 10-25-1969, and provided for the establishment of a Conservation Commission and a Parks and Recreation Commission. Provisions pertaining to said Commissions are included in this chapter and Ch. 24, respectively.
This ordinance shall take effect on December 1, 1977.