[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Mullica 1-9-1979. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:56A-1 et seq., the Township Committee considers it to be a need in the interest of the public health, safety and welfare that an environmental commission be established for the protection, development or use of natural resources, including water resources, located within the territorial limits of the Township of Mullica, and therefore there is hereby created an environmental commission which shall be known as the "Environmental Commission of Mullica Township."
The function of said Environmental Commission shall be limited to advising the Planning Board, the Township Council and all subsidiary agencies thereof on the areas as hereinafter delineated and receiving and disseminating information on said issues, and securing federal and state functions for said purposes. Said Commission shall not have any power whatsoever to legislate or make final determinations on any pending subdivisions or other similar applications, but shall be permitted to review the same for the purposes of making recommendations to the appropriate Township agencies when so requested.
[Amended 2-26-85 by Ord. No. 4-85]
Said Environmental Commission shall consist of seven members to be appointed by the Chairman of the Township Council (Mayor), one of whom shall also be a member of the Municipal Planning Board and all of whom shall be residents of the Township of Mullica. The members shall serve without compensation. The Mayor shall designate one of the members to serve as Chairman and presiding officer of the Commission. The terms of office of the Commissioners shall be designated by the Mayor in the making of his appointments so that the terms of approximately 1/3 of the members will expire each year, and their successors shall be appointed for terms of three years and until the appointment and qualification of their successors. The Mayor or Township Council of Mullica Township may remove any member of the Commission for cause, and written charges served upon the member and after a hearing thereon, at which the member shall be entitled to be heard in person or by counsel. A vacancy on the Commission occurring otherwise than by expiration of a term shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as an original appointment. The powers of appointment and removal hereby accorded to the Mayor shall be vested in the elected official so designated or, where there is a vacancy in the office of Mayor, in the duly designated Acting Mayor.
The creation of said Commission is for the following purposes:
To promote the conservation and development of the environmental quality of the Township of Mullica.
To plan, implement and inform the public about local conservation programs.
To compile and keep an index of all open areas, publicly or privately owned, including open marshlands, swamps and other wetlands.
To conduct research into the possible use of the open areas and the preservation or protection of their resources such as air and water.
To recommend to the Planning Board and Board of Adjustment plans and programs for inclusion in a Municipal Master Plan and the development and use of such areas.
To inform the public of ways and means of promoting and encouraging the betterment of the quality of our environment.
To identify all scenic, historic, park and recreation sites and make recommendations for their protection and improvement.
To make recommendations as to legislation for control of excavation and soil erosion and other activities affecting the landscape.
To review all proposed road locations and subdivisions for their environmental impact when requested to do so by the governing body, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment or other Township agencies.
To promote good architectural and landscape design for all developments with adequate provisions for park and green areas therein.
To manage donated or purchased lands for conservation purposes and operate conservation programs.
To act as the coordinating agency of the community on conservation matters and a liaison between local conservation needs and regional, state and federal agencies administering to those needs.
All members of the Township of Mullica Environmental Commission shall serve during their terms in office without any compensation.
The Commission may, subject to the approval of the Township Committee (which approval must be in the form of a 2/3 vote in the affirmative of the entire membership of the Township Committee), acquire property, both real and personal in the name of the Township of Mullica, by gift, purchase, grant, bequest, devise or lease for any of its purposes and shall administer the same for such purposes subject to the terms of the conveyance or gift. Such acquisition may be to acquire the fee or any lesser interest, development, right, easement (including conservation easements), covenant or other contractual right (including a conveyance on conditions or with limitations or reversions), as may be necessary to acquire, maintain, improve, protect, limit the future use of, or otherwise conserve and protect and properly utilize open spaces and other land water areas in the Township of Mullica.
The Environmental Commission may, subject to the approval of the Township Committee (2/3 vote of the entire membership of the Township Committee required), have control of lands acquired for the purposes herein stated and may adopt suitable rules and regulations for the use thereof and the conduct of all persons while on or using the same.
The Commission shall keep records of its meetings and activities and shall make a semiannual report on or before the first day of January and on or before the first day of July and submit the same to the Township Committee, which report shall be comprehensive and detailed governing operations, receipts, disbursements and expenditures for the full year.
The Mayor (Chairman of the Township Committee) shall designate one of the members to serve as Chairman and presiding officer of the Commission. Said Commission is authorized to adopt bylaws governing the procedural operations of said Commission.
The Township Committee of Mullica Township may remove any member of the Commission for cause on written charges served upon the member and after a fair and impartial hearing thereon, at which the member shall be entitled to be heard in person or by counsel. A vote of 2/3 of the entire membership shall be needed to remove any members, and no member shall be removed for political reasons.
The Township Committee may appropriate funds for the expenses incurred by the Environmental Commission. But under no circumstances shall any expenses exceed the limits of the funds appropriated to it.