[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Berne 2-12-1975, as amended 1-11-1984. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board of the Town of Berne, pursuant to § 239-x of the General Municipal Law, hereby creates a council, which shall be known as the “Berne Conservation Board.”
The Board shall consist of nine members who shall be residents of the Town of Berne and who shall be appointed by the Town Board for terms not to exceed two years. On initial appointment, four members shall be appointed for one year and five members for two years, with subsequent appointments being for two years. Vacancies on the Board 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.
The Town Board shall designate a member of the Board to act as Chair thereof. At the first meeting of the Board, its members shall elect from among themselves a recording secretary. The Board shall adopt rules of procedure for its meetings. It shall keep accurate records of its meetings and activities and shall file an annual report as provided for in § 16-6 of this chapter.
The Board may accept by gift, grant, bequest or otherwise, money or other personal property in the name of the municipality for use in furtherance of the provisions of this act by resolution of the Town Board. The Town Board may accept by gift, conditional or unconditional, grant, devise, or otherwise, real property in fee, or any lesser interest, including conveyance with limitations or reversions, for the purpose of this chapter. In addition, upon the written recommendation of the Board, the Town Board may acquire by purchase in fee or any lesser interest, through negotiation or by condemnation, such real or personal property as may be needed to fulfill the purpose of this chapter.
The powers and duties of the Board shall be as follows:
To conduct researches into the land area of the Town of Berne;
To seek to coordinate the activities of unofficial bodies organized for similar purposes and to cooperate with other municipal bodies active in the area of community planning;
It may advertise, prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets which in its judgment it deems necessary for its work;
It shall keep an inventory and map of all open areas within the Town with the plan of obtaining information pertinent to proper utilization of such open lands, including lands owned by the state, any other municipality within the state or by the Town itself;
It shall keep an inventory and map of all open water, streams, marshlands, swamps and other wetlands in a like manner, and may recommend to the Town Board a program for ecologically suitable utilization of all such areas;
In addition to the foregoing, carry out any other duties, tasks, or responsibilities consistent with the objectives of this chapter assigned to it by resolution of the Town Board.
On or before December 31 of each year, the Berne Conservation Board shall file an annual report of its activities with the Town Board for approval and forwarding of same to the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
The members of the Board shall receive no compensation for their services as members thereof. Expenses will be paid with approval of the Town Board.
This chapter is not intended and shall not be deemed to impair the powers or limit the discretion of any other municipal body or agency, but it is intended to emphasize that the biological and cultural integrity of the community is important and should be a consideration in the governmental processes.
The conservation open area inventory and map with overlays prepared and submitted by the Berne Conservation Advisory Council (BCAC) is hereby accepted and approved as the Open Space Index of the Town of Berne, and is hereby ordered to be filed with the Town Clerk.
Board review of proposed development. Each application which seeks approval for the use or development of any open area listed in the Open Space Index of the Town of Berne and which is submitted to the Town Board, Building Department, Planning Board, or Zoning Board of Appeals shall be referred to the Berne Conservation Board in order that said Board may review same and submit a written report within 45 days, evaluating the proposed use or development of the open area in terms of the open area planning objectives of the Town and the effect of such use or development on the Open Space Index and recommending the most appropriate use of redevelopment of the open area and any alternative use proposals consistent with open areas conservation which the Board may conclude should be considered.
Referrals from other boards. Upon request of the Town Board, Building Department, Planning Board, or Zoning Board of Appeals, the Berne Conservation Board shall make recommendations to said bodies regarding such matters as they may refer.