[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Lumberton 1-20-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-2. (This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 13, Environmental Commission, adopted 6-19-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-2, and former Ch. 43, Open Space Advisory Committee, adopted 3-17-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-3.) Amendments noted where applicable.]
Pursuant to the New Jersey Laws of 1989, Chapter 157, § 1, specifically N.J.S.A. 40A:63-7(d), there is hereby established within the Township of Lumberton an advisory Open Space and Environmental Preservation Council to assist the Township Committee and Land Development Board on matters related to the protection of open space and other natural resources within the Township.
[Amended 2-2-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-6]
The Open Space and Environmental Preservation Council shall consist of seven members appointed by the Township Committee who shall be residents of the Township. Each shall serve without compensation. No member of the Council may also simultaneously serve as a Class II member of the Land Development Board. The Mayor shall appoint one member of the Council to act as a Chairperson to preside over meetings, and said member shall also serve as a liaison with the Township Committee concerning all activities of the Council. The members first appointed shall hold office for terms as follows: two members for one year; three members for two years; and two members for three years, from the date of appointment until their successors have been duly appointed and qualified. Thereafter, all appointments shall be for a term of three years. Vacancies shall be filled for any unexpired term only in the manner in which the original appointments were made.
The Open Space and Environmental Preservation Council is only an advisory board to the Township Committee and the Land Development Board and has no independent or binding decisionmaking authority. The Council shall act at all times under the supervision of the Township Committee, which shall have the right to reverse and/or countermand any decision of the Council.
The Open Space and Environmental Preservation Council shall have the following powers and duties, subject to the Township Committee's review and approval:
Advocating the preservation of open space and other natural resources within the Township;
The planning, implementing and informing of the general public about local preservation programs;
The compilation and maintenance of an index of all open spaces and other natural resources within the Township both publicly and privately owned, including marshlands, swamps and other wetlands;
The conducting of appropriate research into the possible use of remaining open space within the Township;
Recommending to the Land Development Board appropriate plans and programs for inclusion in the Township's Master Plan for general development and use of remaining open spaces and environmentally sensitive areas;
The preparation and distribution of advertisements, books, maps, charts and other appropriate materials necessary to the discharge of the Council's duties;
Acting as a coordinating agency in the community with respect to conservation matters and as a liaison between local conservation needs and the regional, state and federal agencies responsible for administering those needs;
Review and report to the Land Development Board on environmental matters with respect to any site plan or subdivision as requested by the Planning Board or Township Committee; and
Commencing of any other such duties as the Township Committee may, from time to time, assign.
The Open Space and Environmental Preservation Council shall operate within the limits of the funds appropriated to it for such purposes by the Township Committee.
The Open Space and Environmental Preservation Council may, from time to time, recommend to the Township Committee acquisition of property, both real and personal, in the name of the Township by gift, purchase, grant, bequest, devise or lease for any conservation purposes including but not limited to living museums, sites for scientific study, areas for teaching of conservation, natural history, places of historic or prehistoric interest, scenic beauty and habitat for rare or endangered plants and animals. Such recommended acquisitions may be accomplished by conveyance of any interest, including fee simple title, development right, easement (including conservation easement), covenant or other contractual right including conveyance on condition or with limitations or reservations as may be necessary to acquire, maintain, improve, protect, limit the future use of, or otherwise conserve and properly utilize open spaces and other land and water areas in the Township. The acquisitions of property shall be by the Township Committee and in accordance with the Local Lands and Buildings Law.
The Open Space and Environmental Preservation Council shall keep records of its meetings and activities and shall make a comprehensive annual report of its operations on or before the first day of February to the Township Committee. In addition, a report of the Council's receipts, disbursements and expenditures for the full year shall be submitted by the Township Administrator and attached to the Council's report.
The Township Committee may, by a simple majority vote, remove any member from the Council for any reason the Township Committee deems appropriate. Notwithstanding that Council members serve for terms outlined in § 13-2 above, all members serve at the pleasure of the Township Committee and may be removed with or without cause.