[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Brighton 1-27-1993. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The preservation and improvement of the quality of the natural and built environment within the Town of Brighton, in the face of population growth, urbanization and technological 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 Brighton. It is recognized that the biological integrity of the natural environment on which all are 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 the people of the Town of Brighton working in partnership with local and state officials and with various public and private institutions, agencies and organizations. Establishment of a board for conservation of the environment is a necessary step in fostering unified action on environmental problems.
The Town Board of the Town of Brighton hereby creates a board which shall be known as the "Brighton Conservation Board," hereinafter called the "Board."
The Board shall consist of seven (7) members who shall be appointed by the Town Board and who shall serve at the pleasure of the Town Board. Persons residing within the Town of Brighton who are interested in the improvement and preservation of environmental quality shall be eligible for appointment as a member of the Board. The membership shall be appointed for a two-year term. 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 a term of office shall be filled only for the remainder of the unexpired term.
A member of the Town Board, and other officials as may hereafter be designated by the Town Board shall be ex officio members of the Board. Ex officio members shall not be voting members. The Town Board shall, upon recommendation of the Commissioner of Public Works, designate a member of the town staff as Secretary to the Board.
The Conservation Board shall designate a member to act as Chair. At the first meeting of the Board, its members shall elect from among themselves a Recording Secretary. The Board shall adopt rules and procedures for its meetings, establish bylaws and establish liaisons between other municipal boards and committees as appropriate. It shall keep adequate records of its meetings and activities and shall file an annual report.
The powers of the Board shall be to:
Advise the Town Board, Planning Board and Parks and Recreation Department on matters affecting the preservation, development and use of the natural and built features and conditions of the Town of Brighton insofar as aesthetics, quality of care and maintenance, biological integrity and other environmental factors are concerned and, in the case of people's activities and developments, with regard to any major threats posed to environmental quality so as to enhance the long-range value and care of the environment to the people of the Town of Brighton.
Develop and, after receiving general approval by resolution of the Town Board, participate in programs 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.
In conjunction with town staff and through the use of consultants, oversee studies, surveys and inventories of the natural and man-made features within the Town of Brighton and such other studies and surveys as may be necessary to carry out the general purposes of this chapter.
Oversee the maintenance of 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 Board for their preservation and/or use.
Ensure that the town's open space index shall be updated on a regular basis; identifying and evaluating the open space planning objectives as stated in the most current town Master Plan; providing recommendations as to the most appropriate use or development of open space areas; and recommending land uses that would be consistent with areas identified in the index and other plans.
Review each application received by the Town Board, Building Department, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals or other administrative body which seeks approval for the use or development of any open area listed in the open space index or other open areas deserving protection as a community resource. The Conservation Board shall submit a written report to the referral body within the time required by the referring body. Such report shall evaluate the proposed use or development of the open area in terms of the open area planning objectives of the municipality and shall include the effect of such use or development on the open space index or other plans. The report shall make recommendations as to the most appropriate use or development of the open area and may include preferable alternative use proposals consistent with open areas conservation and the sound conservation of retained open spaces in areas planned for private development. A copy of every report shall be filed with the Planning Board.
Seek to coordinate, assist and unify the efforts of private groups, institutions and individuals within the Town of Brighton in accordance 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 Board.
Working in cooperation with the Planning Board and Recreation and Parks Department, recommend from time to time to the Town Board any features, plans and programs relating to environmental improvement 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.
Prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts and pamphlets in accordance with the purposes of this chapter.
In conjunction with town staff, obtain and maintain in orderly fashion all maps, reports, books and other publications to support the necessary researches of the Board into local environmental conditions.
Carry out such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Town Board.
The Board shall submit an annual report to the Town Board, written for review during February of each year, concerning the activities and work of the Board 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 Board, 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.
This chapter shall be deemed an exercise of the powers of the Town of Brighton to preserve and improve the quality of the natural and built environment on behalf of the present and future inhabitants thereof. This chapter is not intended and shall not be deemed to impair the powers of any other public corporation.