[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Southampton as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 3-22-2005 by L.L. No. 12-2005]
Regardless of the date of their initial appointment, all members of the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Board shall be required to attend a minimum of six hours of relevant training courses within each year from the date of their appointment to such Board. Such training shall include an introductory planning and zoning course approved by the Town Planning and Development Administrator for new members and/or members who have not previously taken said course.
Prospective members of the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board shall be notified of the requirements of this article prior to their appointment to such Board. Noncompliance with minimum requirements relating to training shall be deemed a proper cause for removal from office.
The Town Board, after discussion with the Chairpersons of the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Planning Board, and the Town Planning and Development Administrator, shall annually designate such seminars, workshops, or continuing education courses which may be offered within a reasonable distance and which may be helpful to or be of assistance to the Zoning Board of Appeals and/or Planning Board in carrying out its functions in a timely, fair and lawful manner. Additional seminars, workshops, or courses may be added during the year at the advice of the Town Planning and Development Administrator and as approved by the Town Board.
The costs of such seminars, workshops or continuing education courses so designated shall be a Town charge and shall be approved in advance by the Town Board. Members shall also be reimbursed for travel, lodging, and meal expenses according to Town policies.
The failure of a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals or Planning Board to obtain such training shall not affect said person's appointment to serve on the Board, to entertain applications, to vote on such applications or the validity of such member's actions unless further action is taken by the Town Board pursuant to § 62-2.
Each Board member shall submit proof of compliance with the minimum training requirements to the Town Planning and Development Administrator, or his designee, no later than January 3 of the following year. Thereafter, the Town Planning and Development Administrator, or his designee, shall submit such proof to the Town Board no later than January 10 of that same year. In the event that a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals or Planning Board has failed to complete the minimum training requirements as set forth in § 62-1, then the Town Board may remove such member for cause as herein provided.
Notice. Such member shall be mailed a written notice, by certified mail, return receipt requested, specifying the nature of the failure of such member to meet the minimum requirements of § 62-1 above.
Public hearing. Such notice shall specify a date, not less than 10 or more than 30 days from the date of mailing such notice, when the Town Board shall convene and hold a public hearing on whether or not such member should be removed from service on such Board. Such notice shall also specify the time and place of such hearing.
Public notice. Public notice of such hearing shall be published at least 10 days prior to the date of the public hearing.
Conduct of hearing. The public hearing on the charge shall be conducted before the Town Board. The member shall be given an opportunity to present evidence and to call witnesses to refute the charges. A record of such hearing shall be made. The decision of the Town Board shall be reduced to writing, together with specific findings of the Town Board with respect to each charge against such member. A copy of such decision and such findings shall be mailed to the member and a copy filed with the Town Clerk.
Action by the Town Board.
Following the hearing and upon a finding that such member has not met the minimum training established by this chapter, the Town Board, within 30 days of such finding, may:
Remove such member from the Board;
Issue a written reprimand to such member without removing such member from the Board; or
If the Town Board shall find that the reason for failing to meet the minimum training requirements are excusable because of illness, injury or other good and sufficient cause, the Town Board may elect to take no action.
Nothing contained herein shall be deemed to limit or restrict the Town Board's authority to remove a member from the Zoning Board of Appeals or Planning Board for cause (i.e., for other than the reasons enumerated herein).