[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of East Hampton 10-8-2013. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Be it resolved that the Town of East Hampton hereby creates an Agriculture Commission (the "Commission") to be advisory to the Town Council and other Town officials; and
Be it further resolved that the Town of East Hampton shall provide staff and budgetary support to effectuate the performance of this Commission; and
Be it further resolved that the Commission follow the provisions set forth in Public Act No. 11-188, including the following charges.
The Commission shall extol the role of East Hampton's natural resources and agriculture as major contributors to the Town's quality of life and the economy. The Commission will advocate for agricultural issues before nonprofit agencies, civic organizations, municipal boards and commissions, elected officials and residents. The Commission will foster public awareness of the importance of agriculture and how this enhances and preserves East Hampton's small town character. In addition, the Commission shall:
Provide information to local farmers and to municipal boards and commissions about the benefits of a balance between agriculture and other land uses; and review and make recommendations to improve the balance between agriculture and residential property owners.
Provide information and guidance on protecting farmland and agricultural viability--related to taxes, PA490 classifications, zoning, wetlands, watercourses, public infrastructure and others--to Town departments and other boards and commissions and residents.
Review existing and proposed East Hampton zoning regulations and other regulatory provisions relating to agriculture and provide information, guidance and recommendations to appropriate Town departments, boards, commissions and residents.
Promote the value of agriculture to the Town in areas of property taxes, environment, employment and other quality-of-life and economic issues.
Increase awareness of East Hampton's agricultural enterprises, including recognizing and supporting existing and new farms and identifying opportunities to preserve and expand agriculture.
Serve as a conduit between local farmers and East Hampton government, nonprofit agencies, civic organizations and non-farm residents and provide advisory services.
Act as a Town resource for agriculture and conservation information; educate municipal officials about agricultural laws and safety issues.
Identify, pursue and sponsor grant sources for farmers and municipalities.
Support local, regional and state vocational agricultural programs concerning agricultural matters.
Identify innovative opportunities for agriculture.
Create a climate that supports the economic viability of agriculture in East Hampton.
The Agriculture Commission shall consist of seven voting members appointed by the Town Council, at least three of which shall be from the agriculture community. In addition, three East Hampton youths, under the age of 19, shall serve as nonvoting ex officio members recommended by the Commission and appointed by the Town Council. The East Hampton Animal Control Officer shall also serve as an ex officio member. The failure of a voting member to attend four consecutive meetings of the Commission may constitute cause for the Town Council to remove the member and fill the position thus vacated. A chair and vice chair shall be elected by the Commission and serve for a term of one year.
The members of the Commission shall serve three-year terms; provided, however, that with the first appointment by the Town Council, four regular members shall be appointed for three-year terms with the remaining members appointed for two-year terms. The ex officio youth members shall serve one-year terms.