A Conservation Advisory Council is created and shall be hereafter known as the "Conservation Advisory Council of the City of Newburgh." The Conservation Advisory Council is authorized to review materials and make recommendations to appropriate agencies regarding the development, management, and protection of the City's natural resources, designated in the Natural Resource Inventory, including, but not limited to, coastal resources, the City's drinking water sources, and City trees, as well as make recommendations on the consistency of actions proposed within the City's waterfront area according to LWRP policy standards and conditions. The Conservation Advisory Council shall be charged with the duties as set forth in this section.
The City Council of the City of Newburgh is hereby authorized to appoint seven persons to said Conservation Advisory Council, all of whom shall be residents of the City of Newburgh. Of the members of the Conservation Advisory Council first appointed, three shall hold office for a term of one year and four for a term of two years from and after their appointment. Their successors shall be appointed for terms of two years from and after the expiration of the terms of their predecessors in office. Members may be removed by the City Council for cause and after public hearing. Vacancies shall be filled by the City Council by appointment for the unexpired term.
The City Council shall annually appoint one Conservation Advisory Council member to serve as Chairperson of the committee. The current Chair shall continue to serve until a replacement is appointed. The members of the Conservation Advisory Council may recommend the Chairperson to the City Council for its consideration.
The Conservation Advisory Council may employ or retain such persons or firms as may be needed as authorized by the City Council.
The Conservation Advisory Council shall have the power to adopt rules of procedure for the conduct of all business within its jurisdiction.
The members of the Conservation Advisory Council shall serve without compensation but may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties within the appropriations made available therefor.
The Conservation Advisory Council shall advise various City agencies on greening the City's infrastructure and matters affecting the preservation, development, and use of the lands listed in the Natural Resource Inventory and shown on the Open Space Map and natural features and conditions of such lands in the City insofar as aesthetics, quality, biologic integrity, and other environmental factors are concerned, including, in the case of human 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 City.
The Conservation Advisory Council shall study problems and identify the needs of the City of Newburgh in connection with stormwater management, green infrastructure, sustainability and watershed protection. The Conservation Advisory Council will also make recommendations to the City Council as to desirable policy, promotion activities, and legislation concerning urban forestry and a tree maintenance program.
The Conservation Advisory Council shall develop and conduct a program 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. The Conservation Advisory Council shall include information regarding the selection, planting and maintenance of trees within the corporate limits.
The Conservation Advisory Council shall conduct studies, surveys and inventories of the natural and man-made features within the City to create a Natural Resource Inventory and Open Space Map using a computer-based geographic information system (GIS) as may be necessary to carry out the general purposes of this section.
The Conservation Advisory Council shall maintain an up-to-date Natural Resource Inventory and Open Space Map for the City of Newburgh.
The Conservation Advisory Council shall be authorized to coordinate, assist and unify the efforts of private groups, institutions and individuals with the City in accord with the purposes of this section.
The Conservation Advisory Council shall communicate and act as liaison 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 Conservation Advisory Council.
The Conservation Advisory Council shall obtain and maintain, in an orderly, timely fashion, maps, reports, books and other publications to support the necessary research of the Conservation Advisory Council into local environmental conditions, in a space within a municipal building with a designated phone number, mailbox, e-mail address, access to a photocopy machine, printer, fax machine, scanner, and a City computer configured with the City's GIS system.
The Conservation Advisory Council shall further assist the City in the development of sound environmental planning and ensure preservation of natural and scenic resources on the local level throughout the City and City-owned land as follows:
Review each proposed application for action by the City Council, Planning Board, and Zoning Board of Appeals which seeks approval for the use or development of open space and natural resources. In the event an application is located within the Local Waterfront Revitalization Area, the Conservation Advisory Council shall issue an advisory consistency recommendation in accordance with the LWRP policy standards and conditions set forth in § 159-5.3G. The Building Inspector shall not approve applications for sidewalk repair or replacement unless the applicant has obtained a recommendation from the Conservation Advisory Council.
Submit a written report promptly to the referral body after receipt by the Conservation Advisory Council of such application, so that the referral body will have the report prior to substantive consideration of the application, but in no event later than 30 days after receipt by the Conservation Advisory Council of such application. If the Conservation Advisory Council fails to report within such thirty-day period, the referring body may take final action on the proposed action without such report. Such report shall evaluate the proposed use or development of the open space in terms of the environmental planning objectives of the City and shall include the effect of such use or development on the City's environment. The report shall make recommendations as to the most-appropriate use or development of the applicable open space and may include recommendations of preferable alternative uses consistent with open space conservation. A copy of every report shall be filed with the City Council.
Make available for public inspection at the office of the Conservation Advisory Council and on the City's website copies of all such reports of the Conservation Advisory Council.
Nothing herein shall prevent the City Council or other City agency or department from requesting advice from the Conservation Advisory Council.
Working in cooperation with the Planning Board, a designated member of the Conservation Advisory Council shall attend Planning Board meetings and provide to the Planning Board the Conservation Advisory Council's recommendations concerning features, plans and programs relating to environmental planning. The Conservation Advisory Council shall also review industrial, commercial, institutional and subdivision proposals for their environmental impact and similarly recommend to the City Council appropriate and desirable changes in existing local laws and ordinances relating to environmental conservation or recommend new local laws and ordinances. When appropriate, the CAC shall provide a similar function to other boards and agencies in the City of Newburgh.
The Conservation Advisory Council shall advise and make recommendations to the Superintendent of Public Works as to:
The planting of new, pruning and removal of trees, including advice on City infrastructure to maximize tree survival and minimize damage to City and community property.
The type and kind of trees to be planted upon such municipal streets or parts of municipal streets or in parks as are designated or requested.
Applications for the planting of shade or ornamental trees with the purpose of populating the City of Newburgh with desirable tree types.
Proposed street or sidewalk reconstructions to recommend whether such actions would result in the planting of new, replacement, or removal of trees, to recommend whether such replacement and removal is necessary and to recommend the type and kind of tree, if any, with which such trees should be replaced.
Implementation and incorporation of a qualified Tree Maintenance Program meeting state-funding requirements.
Funding and training opportunities for tree maintenance and plantings and green infrastructure techniques.
The Conservation Advisory Council shall hold regular and special meetings at which the subject of trees and vegetation, urban forestry, and green infrastructure, inasmuch as it relates to the City of Newburgh, may be discussed by the Commissions, City officials and employees, and all others interested in such programs.
The Conservation Advisory Council may advise the Superintendent of Public Works, the Engineering Department, and the Water Department as to stormwater management relating to green infrastructure.
The Conservation Advisory Council may act as an interested agency, representative of the City's environmental concerns, by commenting on actions outside of the City that may impact the City's drinking water resources that are subject to SEQRA review. Notice of such action shall be referred to the Conservation Advisory Council.
The Conservation Advisory Council shall advise the City Manager, the City Council and the Recreation Department with respect to the maintenance of all parks, playgrounds, recreation fields, swimming pools and other recreational facilities.
The Conservation Advisory Council shall keep accurate records of its meetings and actions and shall file an annual report with the City Council on or before the 31st day of December of each and every year. Once approved by the City Council, the annual report shall be forwarded to the State Commissioner of Environmental Conservation.