§ 11-1Legislative intent.
§ 11-2Establishment of Council.
§ 11-3Membership; terms of office.
§ 11-4Officers; procedures; annual report.
§ 11-5Powers and duties.
§ 11-6Reports and recommendations.
The preservation and improvement of the quality of the nature and man-made environment within the Town of Boston, 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 Town of Boston. 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 of the people of the Town working in partnership with local and state officials and with various public and private institutions, agencies and organizations. Establishment of a Conservation Advisory Council pursuant to § 239-y of the General Municipal Law is a necessary step in fostering unified action on the management, development and protection of its natural resources.
The Town Board of Boston hereby creates a Conservation Advisory Council for conservation of the environment, hereinafter called the "Council."
Appointive members. The Council shall consist of nine members who shall be appointed by the Town Board and who shall serve at the pleasure of the Town Board and such ex officio members as provided herein. Persons residing within the Town of Boston who are genuinely interested in the improvement and preservation of environmental quality shall be eligible for appointment as a member of the Council. Vacancies on the Council shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment, except that a vacancy occurring other than by the expiration of a term of office shall be filled only for the remainder of the unexpired term. The membership of the Council shall be composed of individuals who have a diversity of backgrounds and experience and, as provided by § 239-y of the General Municipal Law, the Town Board may appoint:
Original appointments. Two members shall be appointed for a term of one year and three members shall be appointed for a term of two years.
Additional appointments. Three of the additional members shall be appointed for a term of one year and one member shall be appointed for a term of two years. Thereafter the successors of all initial appointees, except the filling of vacancies, shall be for a term of two years. This will leave six remaining members on the Board, with three appointees each year.
Ex officio members. The following shall be appointed as ex officio members of the Council: the Supervisor, Highway Superintendent, Director of Recreation and a Planning Board member.
The Town Board shall designate a member of the Council to act as Chairman thereof. At the first meeting of the Council, its members shall elect from among themselves a Recording Secretary. The Council shall adopt rules and procedures for its meetings. It shall keep accurate records of its meetings and activities and shall file an annual report as provided in § 239-X, Subdivision 1(f), of the General Municipal Law.
The powers and duties of the Council shall be to:
Advise the Town Board on matters affecting the preservation, development and use of the natural and man-made features and conditions of the Town 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 Town.
Develop and, after receiving general approval by resolution of the Town Board, 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 Town of Boston 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 Council for their preservation and/or use.
Seek to coordinate, assist and unify the efforts of private groups, institutions and individuals with the Town of Boston 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 Council.
Working in cooperation with the Planning Board, recommend from time to time to the Town Board features, plans and programs relating to environmental improvement for inclusion in the Master Plan of the Town of Boston and, similarly, recommend to the Town Board appropriate and desirable changes in existing local laws and ordinances relating to environmental control or recommend new local laws and ordinances; provided, however, that this chapter shall not be construed to be in derogation of the powers, duties and jurisdiction of the Planning Board of the Town of Boston.
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 Council into local environmental conditions.
In its discretion, recommend the acceptance by the Town of Boston of any gift, grant, devise, bequest or otherwise of property, both real and personal, to be taken in the name of the Town of Boston, as may be necessary to conserve and otherwise properly utilize open spaces and other land and water resources within the boundaries of the Town of Boston. 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 the Town Board.
The Council shall submit an annual report to the Town Board not later than the 31st day of December of each year, concerning the activities and work of the Council, 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 Council, 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 and as approved by the Town Board.
This chapter shall be deemed an exercise of the powers of the Town of Boston, in accordance with § 239-x of the General Municipal Law, to preserve and improve the quality of the natural and man-made environment on behalf of the present and future inhabitants of the Town of Boston. This chapter is not intended and shall not be deemed to impair the powers or jurisdiction of any other public corporation or agency thereof.