[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Newburgh 6-18-1990 as L.L. No. 3-1990. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Environmental quality review — See Ch. 100.
The preservation and improvement of the quality of the natural environment within the Town of Newburgh, 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 Newburgh. It is recognized that the biologic integrity of the natural environment, on which man is dependent for survival, and the natural 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 Newburgh working in partnership with local and state officials and with various public and private institutions, agencies and organizations. Establishment of a council for conservation of the environment is a necessary step in fostering unified action on environmental problems.
There is hereby established the Conservation Advisory Council of the Town of Newburgh, hereafter called the "Conservation Council," to advise in the development, management and protection of the town's natural resources.
The Conservation Advisory Council shall consist of nine (9) members to be appointed by the Town Board, two (2) of whom, notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law, may be between the ages of sixteen (16) and twenty-one (21). Members shall serve at the pleasure of the Town Board for terms of two (2) years each, except that the members first appointed shall be appointed as follows: four (4) for one (1) year and five (5) for two (2) years.
The presiding officer or Chairman of the Conservation Advisory Council shall be designated by the Town Board from among the members so appointed. At the first meeting of the Council, its members shall elect from among themselves a Recording Secretary. The Town Board shall have the authority to remove any member of the Conservation Council for cause after a public hearing. A vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment.
The members of the Conservation Advisory Council shall serve without compensation. The Town Board may provide for payment of the expenses of the members of the Conservation Advisory Council actually and necessarily incurred in the performance of their duties and may appropriate funds for the appointment of such employees as the Conservation Advisory Council may from time to time see fit to appoint, all within the appropriation made therefor. Such charges and expenses so permitted by an appropriation of the Town Board shall be a charge upon the taxable property of the town and shall be assessed, levied and collected therefrom in the same manner as other town charges. Town officers and employees shall provide technical assistance when requested by the Conservation Advisory Council, with the approval of the Town Board.
The powers and duties of the Conservation Advisory 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 program shall be designed to foster increased understanding of the nature of environmental problems and issues and support for their solution.
Conduct studies, surveys and inventories of the natural and man-made features within the Town of Newburgh and such other studies and surveys as may be necessary to carry out the general purposes of this chapter.
Seek to coordinate the activities of unofficial bodies organized for similar purposes and to cooperate with official municipal bodies active in the area of community planning for the town.
Prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets which in its judgment it deems necessary for its work.
Maintain an up-to-date inventory and map, as defined in § 239-y of the General Municipal Law, 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 the town itself.
Maintain an up-to-date inventory or index of all natural landmarks, glacial and other geomorphic or physiographic features, streams and their floodplains, open marsh lands, swamps and all 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 in a like manner and may recommend to the Town Board a program for ecologically suitable utilization of all such areas.
Keep accurate records of its meetings and actions and file an annual report with the Town Board on or before the 31st day of December of each and every year. Once approved, the Town Board shall forward a copy of this report to the State Commissioner of Environmental Conservation.
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 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.
When authorized by resolution of the Town Board, the Conservation Advisory Council may accept, by gift, grant, bequest or otherwise, money or other personal property in the name of the town for use in furtherance of the purposes of General Municipal Law Article 12-F and this chapter. 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 purposes of General Municipal Law Article 12-F and this chapter. In addition, upon the written recommendation of the Conservation Advisory Council, 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 General Municipal Law Article 12-F and this chapter.
To assist the Conservation Advisory Council in carrying out its functions, powers and duties, it may request the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to:
Prepare reports outlining objectives, priorities and proposed relationships of the Conservation Advisory Council to the Town Board.
Prepare descriptions of work to be undertaken, advantageous techniques to be used and suggested roles of Conservation Advisory Council members.
Provide research on conservation facts and procedures.
Provide, on a consulting basis, technical and research assistance as may be required to assist the Conservation Advisory Council in carrying out its work and to enable the Conservation Advisory Council to offer recommendations to the Town Board.
Describe particular areas of natural resources within the town which require particular attention by the Conservation Advisory Council.
Within thirty (30) days following the effective date of this chapter, written notification of the establishment of the Conservation Advisory Council shall be sent by the Town Board to the State Commissioner of Environmental Conservation.
The Town Board may, by resolution, pursuant to General Municipal Law § 239-y, redesignate the Conservation Advisory Council as a Conservation Board, provided that the Conservation Advisory Council has prepared and submitted to the Town Board the conservation open area inventory and map, as defined in General Municipal Law § 239-y, which are accepted and approved by the Town Board as the open space index of the town. Said Conservation Board shall have the general powers and perform the duties set forth in General Municipal Law § 239-y, as well as the functions and responsibilities granted to the Conservation Advisory Council, as well as such duties assigned to it by resolution of the Town Board.