Township of Kingwood, NJ
Hunterdon County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Kingwood as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Farmland preservation — See Ch. 75.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 115.
Taxation — See Ch. 119.
[Adopted 6-16-1997 by Ord. No. 9-6-97]

§ 32-1 . Fund for open space.

[Amended 12-17-2001 by Ord. No. 11-12-2001]
There is hereby established an account in the General Capital Fund which should be noted and designated as the "Reserve for Open Space Funds." Subject to approval by resolution adopted by the Township Committee, funds from the Reserve for Open Space Funds account may be utilized to acquire any type of interest in real estate, including, but not by way of limitation, fee simple acquisitions, easements, development rights acquisitions and preservation, as well as the costs to restore, repair, replace, upkeep and maintain the improvements thereon, or the vacant land comprising the property, and such other purposes as deemed appropriate by resolution of the Township Committee in furtherance of the preserving of open space. The acquisition of land shall mean undeveloped land as well as land containing improvements at the time of acquisition, provided that the principal purpose of the acquisition is to preserve open space. The Township Committee shall have the option of either paying for land acquisitions with improvements upon them solely through the Reserve for Open Space Funds or by apportioning the cost thereof by charging the Reserve for Open Space Funds for the land portion and the capital account for the improvement portion. Acquisition may also occur via gift, purchase or by eminent domain proceedings pursuant to N.J.S.A. 20:3-1 et seq.

§ 32-2 Funding of trust fund.

A. 
In 1997 and each year thereafter, a special tax rate shall be added to the total Township tax rate in an amount not to exceed $0.03 per $100 of the 1997 assessed valuation and each succeeding year's valuation, with the funds raised therefrom to be deposited in the Reserve for Open Space Funds. The special tax rate for 1997 shall be $0.03 per $100. Of the 1997 assessed valuation and thereafter, the determination of the amount of the special tax rate for a given year shall be set by resolution of the Township Committee. Additionally, the Township Committee, by resolution, may determine to suspend for one or more years the imposition of the special tax, based upon budgetary and other considerations. The Chief Financial Officer of the Township shall report annually as to the fund's status, balances and transactions.
B. 
The Reserve for Open Space Funds shall also be permitted to accept donations and testamentary bequests. The funds accumulated within the Reserve for Open Space Funds account shall be utilized for the acquisition for municipal purposes of real estate, and interest in real estate as more fully delineated in § 32-1 hereinabove, and for the costs to restore, repair, replace, upkeep and maintain the improvements thereon, or the vacant land comprising the property, and such other purposes as deemed appropriate by resolution of the Township Committee in furtherance of the preserving of open space. In connection with such acquisition, the funds may also be utilized for appraisals and other items of expense permitted by law in connection with the acquisition or as a down payment for the issuance of bonds or for debt service for the same purpose at the discretion of the Township Committee. Any and all interest accruing on the funds shall remain in the Reserve for Open Space Funds and may be utilized for the above-described purposes. In no eventuality shall the Township pay more than fair market value for the land to be acquired. The Township shall obtain a minimum of two appraisals from certified appraisers plus the evaluation of the Township Tax Assessor as a guide to the fair market value.
[Amended 12-17-2001 by Ord. No. 11-12-2001]

§ 32-3 Utilization of acquired properties.

[Amended 12-17-2001 by Ord. No. 11-12-2001]
The property, comprised of land and any improvements thereon, as well as any interest in property, acquired through the Reserve for Open Space Funds shall be utilized for municipal purposes, including but not limited to, parks, active and/or passive recreational areas, greenways, wildlife habitats, and general preservation of farmland, with the municipal use thereof as may be determined from time to time by resolution of the Township Committee.

§ 32-4 Sale of property.

No real property or the interest therein acquired with funds from the Reserve for Open Space Funds shall be sold, conveyed, leased or otherwise alienated unless it is needed for another public use or otherwise furthers the purpose of the trust. If such a sale, lease or conveyance is authorized by the Township Committee, the moneys received shall be placed into the Reserve for Open Space Funds for use in replacing the open space with another property or similar interest in real estate. The deed of any property acquired with funds from the Reserve for Open Space Funds shall contain a specific notation reflecting that the property was acquired with funds from the Reserve for Open Space Funds.

§ 32-5 Open Space Advisory Committee.

A. 
Establishment. There is hereby established an Open Space Advisory Committee to review and recommend parcels of land and interests therein for acquisition and preservation as open space within the Township of Kingwood.
B. 
Membership.
[Amended 2-4-2008 by Ord. No. 15-4-2008]
(1) 
The Open Space Advisory Committee shall consist of seven members to be appointed by the Township Committee. The membership in the Open Space Advisory Committee shall include:
(a) 
One member of the Township's Environmental Commission.
(b) 
One member of the Planning Board of the Township of Kingwood who shall not be an elected official.
(c) 
One member of the Township Committee of the Township of Kingwood.
(d) 
Four members to be appointed from the general citizenry of the Township.
(2) 
The Planning Board and Environmental Commission members shall have terms which correspond with the terms of their respective appointive offices. The Township Committee members shall be appointed annually. The four members of the general citizenry shall be appointed for three-year terms. Members who are appointed from the general citizenry shall have terms of three years; however, the initial public members appointed shall have the following terms as designated by the Township Committee:
(a) 
Two members: two years.
(b) 
Two members: three years.
C. 
Duties and functions.
(1) 
The Open Space Advisory Committee shall annually review, update and submit to the Township Committee the Open Space Plan for the Township of Kingwood. It shall review and update the inventory of open space properties within the Township and re-evaluate and prioritize such open space properties through the criteria established by the Open Space Committee. It shall review, update and recommend to the Township Committee the parcel ranking as well as make recommendations concerning the nature of the interests in such real estate to be acquired and for the purposes for which such land should be utilized.
(2) 
The Open Space Advisory Committee shall assist the Township in the establishment of an Open Space Tracking Program to catalog the state of privately owned open space in the Township and record the Township's progress with respect to open space preservation.
(3) 
The Open Space Advisory Committee shall provide guidance and support to the Township Committee and Planning Board on issues and matters of open space.
(4) 
The Open Space Advisory Committee shall periodically review its functions and submit recommendations to the Township Committee as to whether additional duties should be assigned or delegated to the Advisory Committee.
(5) 
The Open Space Advisory Committee shall select from among its members a Chairperson and a Vice Chairperson to serve as the presiding officer in the absence of the Chairperson. The Committee shall also select a Secretary whose function shall be to maintain minutes of the Committee's meetings and records of the proceedings of the Committee.

§ 32-6 Review.

The Township Committee shall periodically review this article and shall amend it as necessary to carry out the goal of open space preservation. In the event that no property is acquired or financed under this article or no action has been taken to rescind or modify the provisions of this article for a period of five consecutive years, then the Township Committee shall conduct a review and issue a report with recommendations and conclusions concerning the continuation of the special tax and Reserve for Open Space Funds.